The buzz created by CBS' involvement in this week's fight promotion has been tremendous. The lead-up to Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley has gotten network exposure that we haven't seen for a fight since the 80's.
Earlier this week, former HBO chief Seth Abraham, said that a massive pay-per-view number, could create competition for its product, unseen in the history of boxing.
Gautham Nagesh from the Atlantic captured the mood of Pacman-Mosley with this list of five reasons why the sport has a chance to explode in the coming years.
5. Globalization American soccer fans are swearing allegiance to Barca and Man U while Chinese teens endlessly imitate Kobe and DWade on the basketball court. The increasingly cosmopolitan nature of sports is a perfect fit for boxing, which has historically marketed itself in ethnic and nationalistic terms.
4. The Latino Fanbase While the absence of an American heavyweight contender to succeed Tyson has sapped much of the sport's mainstream appeal stateside, Mexico remains a hotbed of the sport and home to some of its most beloved champions. Ditto for Puerto Rico and Cuba, albeit on a smaller scale (of course the latter produces amateur champions who must defect to fight professionally similar to baseball).
3. The Internet At once a blessing and a curse for the traditional media, the Internet is a boon for the fighting world and those that follow it.
2. Good Prospects, Great Fights The most basic element for any sport's revival is a compelling cast of characters and a high level of competition, both of which appear to be coming together in not one but several weight classes at the moment.
1. Manny Pacquiao Any talk of boxing's ascent must begin and end with the Pacman, who rose from the slums of General Santos City in the Phillipines to become his country's arguably greatest sporting icon and a political leader at just 32 years of age.
Simply stated, Pacquiao has the crossover appeal in and out of the ring to attract sports fans who bailed on the sport year ago and more importantly non-boxing fans, who are drawn to his existence outside the ring.
Nagesh also listed five reasons the sport could continue to shrink in popularity. Much of the list was the same old tune about the sport, but No. 1 might surprise some.
Nagesh said PPV and cable, promoters, lack of American heavyweights and the sanctioning bodies are part of the sports' downfall. His top reason boxing could remain in a malaise is Floyd Mayweather.
Do you agree? I don't.
Believe what you want about Floyd holding out on a Pacquiao fight, but if the sport is that reliant on one fighter (which it's not) then it has no hope regardless of what "Money" does.