Advertisement
Advertisement

“Fighting Words” - Moving on When Floyd, Manny Are Gone

by David P. Greisman

Allow me, for a moment, to recall two brief conversations that took place during another great weekend of boxing.

One friend, a fellow reporter, told me of the results of an informal poll he’d conducted, asking which pay-per-view fight his readers were most looking forward to. An overwhelming majority picked the bout between 140-pound titleholders Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse, and not the main event from that same broadcast pitting Canelo Alvarez against Floyd Mayweather, nor either of the other two upcoming major matches, Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios. I agreed with them.

Another acquaintance sounded somewhat surprised when I told him I was no longer as excited about Mayweather’s and Pacquiao’s fights as I once might have been.

It wasn’t intended to be a knock on their talents or their personalities. They remain two of the biggest stars in this sport, with legions of fans who will pay hundreds or thousands to travel just to see them perform, and with millions more staying home on a couple Saturdays each year to watch pay-per-view shows that are essentially the Super Bowl of The Sweet Science.

Their storylines are still compelling. Mayweather, his legacy long ago secured, is finishing his career with a string of huge paydays. That includes this September’s fight with a younger, heavier, hard-punching junior middleweight in Alvarez, who also happens to be the biggest boxing star in Mexico and who is increasingly popular within the United States.

Pacquiao, after a stretch of victories that brought him multiple title belts and numerous accolades, is coming off a year that could be considered his worst. He lost a split decision to Timothy Bradley, a highly controversial and debatable loss but a loss nonetheless, and then was knocked out and unconscious by a single right hand from Juan Manuel Marquez. His November bout against Brandon Rios is expected to be an entertaining test of what Pacquiao can still do, and it carries with it the spectacle of being staged in the Chinese gambling mecca of Macau.

I will watch, of course. But theirs are no longer the most thrilling narratives to me.

Again, that’s not an insult. Rather, it’s that I’m even more interested in the changing of the guard that is going on in our sport, with old stars hanging up their gloves or nearing retirement, and with new stars rising and commanding more of our attention.

After all, the sport will move on when Floyd and Manny are gone. Even if it takes a while for someone else to have a similar combination of talent and charisma, there always will be new champions and titleholders, and the ascent of skilled technicians and knockout artists. Most will eventually fizzle out. Some will be quite fun while they last. And they will infuse the sport with fresh matchups while also inspiring curiosity and debate.

Chaos reigns in a vacuum. And so we’ve seen divisions sorting themselves out, with Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse rising to the top of their weight class. We’ve seen other power punchers seize opportunities, including Gennady Golovkin steamrolling his way into the spotlight at middleweight, Adonis Stevenson capturing the championship by force at light heavyweight and Sergey Kovalev joining the fray as well at 175 due to his own formidable knockout power.

This past weekend’s fight between middleweights Daniel Geale and Darren Barker was broadcast on HBO due to a business settlement owed to promoter Gary Shaw. Nevertheless, the fighters performed with the urgency of men who not only were competing for a world title, but also as if they were auditioning for the network’s attention and for a potential shot at Golovkin or Sergio Martinez.

Among the other recent notable talents is heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder, who wrote on Twitter this past weekend that he likes the early knockouts he’s been getting rather than putting more rounds under his belt. He’s received more buzz this way in a division where contenders and pretenders have long waited for the kings Klitschko to vacate or be forced from their thrones.

Adrien Broner gets some of the highest ratings among American audiences even though he’s had a shallow pool of challengers at 130 and 135 and hasn’t yet faced a top opponent at 140 or 147.

And recently we’ve seen more young fighters as Showtime broadcasts an increasing number of tripleheaders and preliminary bouts, and as HBO features a newer generation of talent. Beyond the United States’ big two, there are more and more fights available not only through the other networks, but through the Internet as well.

Boxing, in a way, is like the proverbial 1,000 monkeys at 1,000 typewriters — amid the chaos, eventually cohesive storylines will come together.

We will watch our long-professional protagonists go from the spotlight off into the sunset. We will see new characters introduced, as they rise and fall and rise again. Those that stick around the longest at the top will earn a special spot, and we will find ourselves captivated as they transition from triumphant to transcendent.

The 10 Count will return soon.

“Fighting Words” appears every Monday on BoxingScene.com. Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

Tags: boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by moonshineman on 08-20-2013

Little Floyd will always be remembered as the fighter who RAN from Pacquiao. In the end Pacquiao will win, because Pacquiao will be rembered as the fighter who would fight anybody.

Comment by b morph on 08-20-2013

I think danny garcia or adrian broner can easily reach that top mainstream level. danny's one of those guys who does everything right and he has pretty good pop in his hands. adrian broner has the potential to become "the…

Comment by tangalog2200 on 08-20-2013

[QUOTE=Johnwoo8686;13662689]Some people think boxing will be better off when Mayweaher and Pacquiao are gone but I'd have to disagree. The talent and skill that these guys have put on display is far superior to many of these up and coming…

Comment by BabyFaceAssasin on 08-20-2013

Amir Khan doesn't have a chin so he's out of the picture. Danny not good enough. Wilder is a hype job. Andre Ward doesn't have the personality. Rigo personality and promotion will prevent him from being a star. Lucas will…

Comment by JaYDeuce11 on 08-19-2013

The point of that column is not who the next stars are but...who can reachthat mainstream level that floyd n manny have done with casual fans who rarely watchboxing but know them. Too bad it wasn't an up an comer…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (43)
Top Headlines Photos: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Try To Intimidate Each Other Photos/Weights: Pedro Campa vs. Jose Alfaro, More Hearn Explains Rift With DeGale, Situation With Haymon - Video Video: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Tense Face To Face at Weighin Lolenga Mock Outscores David Becarra Over Ten Rounds Callum Smith Hits Washington To Scout Badou Jack-Lucian Bute Fury Just Wants To Be Left Alone To Enjoy a Chicken Sandwich Francisco Vargas Granted Temporary License, Must Submit To Additional Testing Vasyl Lomachenko: Nicholas Walters Kept Making Excuses Rances Barthelemy-Mickey Bey Tops PBC on Spike, June 3 Photos: Badou Jack, James DeGale, Bute, Medina Ready To Fight Photos: Manny Pacquiao Hits The Campaign Trail in Senate Bid News: Marquis Moore; Orlando Del Valle; Dashon Johnson Video: Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina Make Weight For Battle All Fighters Make Weight For Showtime Double In D.C. Khan: Beating Canelo Would Be Monumental For British Boxing DeGale: I Told Badou Jack 'You're Next, Green Belt is Coming To UK' Bellew vs. Makabu Title Clash Officially Unveiled Weights From London: Fury 231, Kassi 233 Carl Frampton Relinquishes IBF 122-Pound Crown Kovalev's Promoter Details How Chilemba/Russia Deal Came About Andre Dirrell 'Definitely' Would Go To England For DeGale Rematch Porter: Thurman Doesn't Work on The Inside, Smarter Fighter Wins Gaiyanghadaogym, Sithsamerchai Claim Wins In Thailand Frampton: Leo Santa Cruz's Style is Made For Me, 100% I'll Win Jeff Horn Targets WBO Title Showdown With Jessie Vargas Photos: Joshua, Haye, Groves, McGuigan Hit BT Sport Awards Golovkin's Promoter: If Kell Brook is Serious, We Can Discuss It Nacho Says 'Perfect Fight' Will Still See Khan Get Blasted By Canelo Video: Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto Final Press Conference Patrick Nielsen-Denis Douglin Set For May 28 in Denmark De La Hoya: Canelo Has Surpassed What I Accomplished at His Age Video: Roman Martinez on Overcoming Lomachenko Defense Stevenson Motivated To Reach Childhood Dream of Olympic Gold Tyson Fury: I Wish I Had Anthony Joshua's C**k, I Bet It's Big Manny Pacquiao Shocked at Kidnap Plot, Requests Added Security Video: DeGale on Facing Lucian Bute if He Shocks Badou Jack Jessie Vargas is Ready and Willing To Unify With Kell Brook Video: Badou Jack Talks Lucian Bute, DeGale vs. Medina, More Martinez's Promoter Details Situation With WBO Title, Berchelt
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement