I’ve seen a lot of opinions on the fight since it was finally confirmed earlier this year. The majority of them are quite negative. I completely understand that.
For instance, many say the fight cannot be as good as it would have been in 2009, back when the two first attempted (and failed) to make it happen. It’s certainly arguable.
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Mayweather was just a 12-18 months removed from the best calendar year of his career – 2007 – while Pacquiao looked blisteringly dangerous whenever he stepped through the ropes, especially when he devastated Ricky Hatton. Back in 2009, the prospect screamed ‘fight of the century’.
There are also moral considerations - Mayweather has rightly been subjected to considerable scrutiny over his history of domestic violence. Can we really cheer on such a man? Can we support an event that makes him so unimaginably wealthy?
Another complaint is that the fight simply cannot meet the hype preceding it. Also true – it could be impossible for anything to completely match the crazy buzz this has generated. But that’s more of a compliment of the spectacle than it is a scathing criticism of whatever unfolds in the ring.
Finally, of course, is the money situation. Nobody’s happy that ticket prices are so insane. It’s somewhat predatory that those few available seats are marked up so highly on ticket websites, as it is that admission fees are being charged just to attend the weigh-in.
And yet, supply and demand work in unison. They always have. In fact, it kind of isolates the complaints documented above as being in the minority when so many are climbing over each other to get just a tiny piece of the action, no matter what the price.
Sure, those moaning about the cost, or that the fight is six years too late, or that the two will contest a ‘dull’ 12-round clinic make so much noise, it would be easy to assume they form the majority. But that’s just because they’re making all the noise.
Meanwhile, circles of friends and family around the world are busy organising ‘fight night’ parties. They’re stocking up on beers and cola. Marinating chicken wings in hot sauce, ready to cook on the night. There’s even a few fancy dress codes.
Not many boxing cards can provoke such social activity. Not even many of Mayweather or Pacquiao’s previous fights triggered this much anticipation, this much partying, this much happiness.
Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao is this expensive and this hyped-up, even five or six years past its optimal date, because it transcends the sport of professional boxing.
It is pop culture at its finest, the best vs the best. To spout another cliché, it’s the sort of event that people will remember where they were and what they were doing when it happened. No wonder some are willing to spend thousands of pounds to ensure their answer is the ultimate answer – “I was there”.
And that’s why it’s well worth whatever you choose – and I italicise the word ‘choose’ on purpose – to invest in Pacquiao-Mayweather, even if the fight itself isn’t very good.
Those of us whose only option from the start was to order the fight may even find the £20 fee to come with a degree of opportunism, perhaps even extortion. That Sky – who are carrying the fight in the UK – abused the trust of their potential PPV audience by charging a one-off fee for the atrocious Bellew v Cleverly 2 card has a little to do with that. But that should never have been PPV in the first place.
If you’re still a little uncertain, a little jaded, now’s the time to ring or Tweet or WhatsApp or Facebook your friends and see what viewing parties are being organised near you. Remember: that £20 is per screen, not per person.
Instead of focusing on what this huge fight isn’t doing right, ask yourself how you can turn this monumental sporting occasion into a day/night/morning you’ll never forget, and ensure that even if you’re sat on your couch in Princes Risborough with half a dozen friends, a crate of Carlsberg and a large plate of cheesy carbs to help you stay alert until 6am, you feel like you’re a part of the big night.
After all, we make these events possible with our financial and moral support which makes men like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao so famous, and so rich. It’s only fair we enjoy the moment and make it our own, rather than sit around complaining about what it should have been.
Liam Happe | Follow on Twitter @liamhappe
Join Liam for LIVE second-screen coverage of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao from 00:00 Sunday until 6:00 -
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