The sport has languished for years.
Boxing has become an afterthought among many sports fans. Then there are events like Saturday’s that recaptures our attention.
In what could be the most sought after sporting event of the past generation, Floyd Mayweather will square off with Manny Pacquiao Saturday in Las Vegas. It will likely be the highest grossing sporting event of all time with each fighter expected to earn more than $100 million dollars.
But even in such a windfall, the outlook for boxing appears bleak because of the lack of leadership in the sport.
It is the only major sport that doesn’t have a commissioner. Instead it has been dominated by executives and promoters that have only been interested in financial gain.
Consequently, of all of the major sports, boxing is most widely known for corruption. This trend will continue until someone steps in to reign everything in. Consider for a moment that the biggest grossing sport in boxing history nearly never happened after being delayed for a half a decade.
In the time since, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has taken full control of combat sports and has become as visible as any of the top four mainstream sports. For the first time in years a boxing event is transcending past just boxing fans to sports fans.
When it was announced that Mayweather and Pacquiao would fight, it almost too good to be true.
It didn’t take long to see that disagreements would continue and the major issues weren’t solved until last week when tickets were finally released. It was another embarrassment and a reminder that even though the sport has many talented athletes it doesn’t have the right people in control.
In the past executives from HBO or Showtime and promoters from Golden Boy Promotions or Top Rank have decided most of the match-ups. More recently Al Haymon, a guy that no one seems to know much about, is brokering behind the scenes deals.
With this week’s fight the sport has a chance to truly reflect on where it should go from here. Television networks have shown more interest but the sport will only be as strong as its foundation.
If that foundation is corruption, Saturday’s event could be the final time we see boxing take the main stage.
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.