So it’s over. Goodbye May 5th. Hello May 6th, May 7th, and the rest of the year. It’s been almost 48 hours since the world witnessed Floyd Mayweather Jr. become the new WBC Light Middleweight Champion. It’s been almost 48 hours since Oscar De La Hoya lost a close and hard fought decision to Mayweather Jr. Now, 48 hours after the world finished waiting, the world begins to wait again. The world now waits for another “mega-fight”. The world now waits to see if boxing is “back”; If boxing has been “saved”. Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. planted the new seed for boxing, it’s up to the new fans to water it and help it grow.
When was the last time SportsCenter started off their telecast discussing a boxing match? Or when has espn.com had a fight as the main story on its front page? With the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, and Barry Bonds chasing Hank Aaron’s all-time homerun record all occurring Saturday, boxing was the first story on every sports telecast. These were not fifteen second clips either. They were full segments discussing the outcome of the fight. For non-sports website, gossip websites such as perezhilton.com let fans know that Jennifer Lopez and other celebrities attended the fight. Anybody with a pulse knew that a boxing fight took place Saturday in Las Vegas. The world was watching.
Does this mean that boxing is back? Well, Boxing was never gone to begin with. It’s always been here. It’s on HBO every other week. It’s on SHOWTIME once a month. ESPN shows fights every Wednesday and Friday Night. ESPN Classic introduces new fans to boxing legends and provides fans with big time fights that they’ve never seen before. It’s getting new fans to watch these smaller fights that are key to improving boxing awareness.
Thanks to last night, a casual sports fan may have become the next biggest boxing fan. For all we know thousands and thousands of new boxing fans are on boxing news websites looking up information regarding the fight, giving their opinions in boxing forums, and looking to see when the next fight on HBO is. Last night was not meant to help boxing for one night. It was not meant to let everybody know how great of a fighter Mayweather Jr is. It was to give the Kelly Pavlik’s, the Andre Berto’s, and all the other future stars of boxing the recognition they deserve.
Nobody starts off being a big boxing fan. Just like anything else, they start small and grow into a fanatic over weeks and months. For that new big fan, last night was that small start for somebody.
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