Floyd Mayweather Jr. faces the backlash
In case you haven’t heard, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will make his supposed farewell to boxing when he faces Andre Berto this coming Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a bout that distributed by Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Or maybe it’s just that many of you simply don’t give a damn because it seems like those involved with this promotion basically can’t give it away (or will resort to doing so heading into fight week).
The MGM Grand and its sister properties have more packages than FedEx in hopes of luring fans to this event. As for tickets? Well, if you go onto any of the ticket sites, you’ll see there are thousands to be had – in fact, whole sections. One ticket broker tells me he has very few inquiries about Mayweather-Berto. You get the sense that, by Wednesday of this week, tickets will be given out like those fliers for various “gentlemen’s clubs” on the Las Vegas strip.
Prices have been slashed for various sections in the past week or two in hopes of getting some tickets out of the box-office. Yeah, “TMT” stands for “Too Many Tickets,” in this instance.
Yeah, it’s clear: This will be the hardest of sells, no matter what Leonard Ellerbe or anyone tells you. There is an abject apathy to this event. It could be that the dance partner, Berto, regarded as a rather pedestrian foe coming off Mayweather’s victory over Manny Pacquiao on May 2. While Ellerbe will point out that, like the “Pac-Man,” Berto is 3-3 in his last six bouts. What he fails to point out is Pacquiao in his last six has dropped fights to Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley (in a fight that the overwhelming majority of the viewing public believed he won. In that stretch, Pacquiao defeated the trio of Bradley (in their rematch), Chris Algieri and Brandon Rios. Contrast that to Berto whose three wins coming in were against Josesito Lopez, Steve Upsher Chambers and Jan Zaveck, with three defeats at the hands of Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass.
You see, not all 3-3s are not created equally.
The question is: Why is there such disinterest in this event? After all, this is still Mayweather, who, whether you want to admit it or not, is the preeminent prizefighter of this past generation and has become the largest pay-per-view attraction in the history of the sport.
But maybe it’s not just disinterest but perhaps a backlash to the non-fight that was featured on May 2. For whatever reason – whether it’s fair or not (and it says here it takes two NOT to tango) – Mayweather is getting the lion’s share of the blame. And with that, this fight is struggling mightily to gain footing. And truth be told, if Pacquiao was fighting sometime in the fall versus the same level of foe as Berto – who is listed as a 100-1 ‘dog by the wise guys – he’d probably be facing the same adverse reaction from the public. After what was a buzzkill of a boxing match put forth by those two, the sentiment from the a large segment of the fan-base is that they have now turned the page to the next generation of fighters and a new era of boxing.
Mayweather-Pacquiao was great for the participants and their bank accounts and nobody else. They were co-conspirators in a half-billion-dollar pugilistic Ponzi scheme, which left millions of fans (both hardcore and casuals) aggrieved and disgruntled.
It turns out that the luckiest thing to happen to Pacquiao is, because of his damaged shoulder (which is miraculously being cured by merely swimming around in salt water!), he is largely free and clear of the derision coming into Mayweather’s direction.
They have tried their best to sell the retirement story line coming into Sept. 12; the only problem is that almost no one is buying it and it’s hard to imagine him not being the opening act as the new MGM/AEG-funded arena opens in Las Vegas next year. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the promotional book: the selling of an imminent retirement to drum up interest and sales in a fight (perhaps the Tecate rebate for this one should be getting $50 back if Floyd fights within two calendar years of Sept. 12, 2015).
Those who attended the media day for Mayweather for this fight say it’s the most sparsely attended since his star-making fight against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 and the conference call was an exercise in futility and nonsensical questions. Everyone involved is just trudging along in this promotion, in route to just waiting for it to come and go.
In the lead-up to this promotion they even allowed the taping of Mayweather’s sparring, usually kept more secretive than the Illuminati, while the pay-per-view undercard is actually very solid. It features a rematch of one of the best fights of 2015 between Rocky Martinez and Orlando Salido and the battle between Badou Jack and George Groves (speaking of which, we had a caller on “The Next Round” who told us that, on Saturday night, he would be watching this card at a movie theater and he and his friends have made the decision to leave prior to Mayweather-Berto. If true, this would make this the most expensive walk-out bout in the history of the sport).
To a multitude of sports fans in the States, the main event on this evening is the match-up between Oregon and Michigan State. It’s a great match-up and it wont cost $75 – in fact, it’s…ahem…FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (well…sorta)!
They are billing this as Mayweather’s retirement, his final foray in the ring. Your absolute last chance to see the TBE!
Judging by the reaction of the fans, it seems like they hope that’s the case.
Speaking of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly, we are taking today off and will be back next week. But here’s last week’s episode that previews this pay-per-view card.
Nobody looks better throwing flashy, fast combinations quite like Tomoki Kameda – too bad he doesn’t land all that many punches…Anthony Dirrell-Marco Antonio Rubio lived down to very low expectations…So is Christian Sack-enburg still considered a top NFL draft pick? Geez, Temple did a number on him and Penn State…Josh Rosen already looks like the real deal…So Braxton Berrios and Stacy Coley are just “day-to-day”? Whew…Great to have college football back, even though most of the games were really sloppy…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.