On May 2, 2015, the boxing world will be brought together when the two greatest in the game finally meet in the ring.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio officially signed on for the fight of the year last Friday, Feb. 20.
First off, it’s about time.
Boxing connoisseurs and those willing to get technical about the upcoming fight will say the bout between arguably the two best fighters of my generation is three to four years late, when both men were in their prime.
But I, someone who does not know a lick about the sport besides the concept of two guys beating each other for a set amount of rounds until a winner is decided, will tell you none of that matters, because I’m all in.
I have never watched a full boxing match in my entire life, and could not tell you about any boxer without looking them up on Google. But you can bet that on May 2, I’ll be glued to both the couch and the television.
How often do we get to see the two greatest athletes of their respective sports duke it out? Besides our yearly dose of Brady-Manning, name another.
It is so hard to come by two athletes, who mean so much to their sport, meeting competitively. The bottom line is that Mayweather and Pacquiao absolutely fit that bill to the sport of boxing. Not to mention Mayweather has never lost in his career and Pacquiao can count his career losses on just one hand, with five.
We see every year how certain stories “are so great for the sport of…”
A horse, most recently notably California Chrome, being one leg win away from winning the Triple Crown is great for horse racing.
A Cinderella-story in the NCAA Tournament is great for college basketball.
Everybody watches. Everybody follows.
Mayweather-Pacquiao if anything, is great for the sport of boxing. I don’t need to throw numbers at you to prove that boxing is not nearly as popular as other televised sports.
But, Sports Media Watch conducted a study. So here are some numbers for you.
Out of the top 50 most-watched sporting events of 2014, 37 of them were NFL games. The rest were made up of a combination of MLB, FIFA matches and some winter Olympic events. Not one boxing event.
They conducted a separate list of 50 top-watched events, but excluding NFL and Olympic games. Still not one boxing event.
The point here is boxing is suffering, not in the eyes of its biggest fans, but suffering nonetheless. Mayweather-Pacquiao will unquestionably help the cause.
I am not saying professional boxing is about to make its ascent to the top of the professional sporting ranks with this upcoming fight. No, Mayweather will be 38 and Pac-Man will be 36 by the time the first bell rings on May 2.
But what I will say is that you can bet that Mayweather-Pacquiao will absolutely find itself atop this year’s most watched sporting events—and it won’t be just boxing fans watching.
David Heim is a junior journalism student from Roselle Park, N.J. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @davidheim12.