Los Angeles, CA, May 24 – The big Cinco de Mayo bout has past. De La Hoya vs. Mayweather 24/7 on HBO has come and gone. The fight to save boxing is over. The Mayweather’s are now the first family of boxing, sorry Klitschko’s. Roger Mayweather’s showing on HBO has put that family over the top. The fight has fans split. Boxing purists loved the way it represented the sweet science. Two superior athletes battled and manuevered around each other. They love the ballet aspect of their sport. A more casual fan, me for instance, may have hoped for a Ward-Gatti style, knockdown, drag-out affair and unfortunately they did not get that. The casual fan was looking for more and in my opinion the fight did not deliver. A purist of the sort will never say that was a bad fight. You should stand by the sport you love or hobby or TV show you love. Married with Children fans stuck around after the Seven fiasco showing the type of loyalty that fight fans show to the sport they love. It was a good fight, but did not match the hype or the expectations. That is where the problem is.
I saw something recently that was also reported here on touchgloves.com, that ESPNEWS will be covering the weigh-in this week of the Liddell-Jackson superfight from Las Vegas on May 26th. I am not prepared with a well thought out and thorough preview for the upcoming bout. I, like Johnny Drama, am of the camp that says; “What’s a Chuck Liddell?” That is a little far fetched, I know who Liddell is but I do not know enough about him to preview the fight. I do know however that between the HBO announcement to air UFC events, although the Albrecht resignation as Chairman/CEO may slow down the process, the success of the Ultimate Fighter and other shows on Spike TV, as well as ESPN’s recent devotion to UFC means trouble for boxing.
I know every major media outlet covered the De La Hoya/Mayweather bout, as they should, it was a major event. However, including a rematch, I don’t see a future boxing event, other than maybe Klitshcko vs. Klitschcko that will draw anywhere near the same amount of interest. The May 5 encounter broke all types of PPV revenue and buyrate totals. I am now convinced that UFC is taking over. That was the plan after announcing the Pride-UFC merger and it is coming to fruition. The final straw for me was this weeks Sports Illustrated. The issue featured a cover story on UFC. This upcoming Liddell-Jackson bout is getting nearly as much publicity as the De La Hoya/Mayweather bout.
Congratulations to the promoter and fighters of the May 5 bout but it was the end of an era. Boxing had its peak. I can’t help but think that UFC is the future. UFC is being featured on ESPN, HBO’s Entourage, and the cover of Sports Illustrated just weeks after De La Hoya and Mayweather graced the cover. I wrote months ago how UFC was a fad or a flash in the pan. I am starting to believe that I am wrong. Boxing had its chance at a 12th round KO with De La Hoya and Mayweather and I think they came up short. UFC may be the wave of the future. It may be time for me to jump on board the bandwagon. It won’t be the first time I have been called a bandwagon fan.
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