Monday, August 19, 2013
Floyd duel used to prop up Pacquiao vs Rios publicity
"Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it." GEORGE FOREMAN
By Alex P. Vidal
To promote Manny Pacquiao's November 24 fight against Brandon Lee Rios (31-1, 23 KOs) in Macau, publicists have been busy dragging the name of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in press releases in a hope to generate worldwide attention.
Although Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) is a global figure in sports, Rios is just a passenger in the economy class.
The good-looking bonecrusher from Oxnard, California isn't Roger Federer or Michael Schumacher who could draw a large crowd even without a need to hire expensive PR outfits.
He is no David Beckham who could fill up empty seats and boost popcorn sales.
Aside from banking heavily on the multi-million-dollar duel, a run-of-the-mill WBO international welterweight championship, investors are also promoting the glitzy Venetian Resort, one of Macau's famous hotels known for its European architecture.
Pacquiao, 34, and Rios, 27, will trade bombs for 12 rounds at the Cotai Arena.
The fight has been drumbeated as Pacquiao's "comeback" bid after an embarrassing sixth round KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6, 40 KOs) on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both Pacquiao and Rios are crownless and will be disputing the fringe belt intentionally put up to deodorize the promotion or to "legitimize" the word "championship." The fight actually will not upgrade the status of neither boxer--except for Rios who will definitely become a household name aside from bringing home a largess after the fight -- win or lose.
A win over Rios can not give Pacquiao, a second-termer congressman from Mindanao, a mandatory permit to fight the 34-year-old Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs), who is busy preparing for this WBC and WBA 152-lb rumble versus Saul Alvarez (42-0, 30) on September 14 in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, in a most recent statement, has categorically stated that "Me and Pacquiao had a chance to make a fight in the past, and basically that's the best place I'd like to leave it (in the past). "As of right now, I'm not really thinking of Pacquiao. Good luck to whatever he's doing. He handled his career like he handled his career, and I handled my career like I handled my career."
The American black fighter has dismissed the Filipino ringster as "has been". Mayweather, an ex-convict, chortled: "How are things today? He's not going to get a chance to fight me. I was feeling that way weeks ago. Now I'm feeling like I wouldn't even give him a chance. He had a chance, he blew it, so that's what it is."
Even Marquez, who will fight Timothy Bradley in October, doesn't see Pacquiao in his radar in the event he rolls past Bradely. Because of Pacquiao's bad fall, a fifth match with Pacquiao is not a bankable idea. It won't hit pay dirt especially that father time has beckoned for both Marquez and Pacquiao; and promoters are very much aware of this, especially Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
Calls have been made in the past for the richest Filipino professional athlete to retire and preserve his lofty status in the marquee game, but they all fell on deaf ears. Until Pacquiao's myth was tainted on a controversial split decision loss to Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) on June 9, 2012. Until Marquez bludgeoned him on a brutal stoppage that nearly forced him to end his fistic career.
Wealthy and famous--and a member of the House of Representatives to boot, Pacquiao will continue to defy logic by keeping himself busy in the ring despite reaping unmatched accolades in his many years of fame and glory in the square jungle capped by having been honored by American scribes and promoters as the greatest boxer pound-for-pound next to Muhammad Ali.
A loss to Rios will not only sink Pacquiao's reputation lower, he will join the rank of hitherto undisputed kings in prizefighting business whose reputations were badly shaken and impaired after defying nature and refusing to read the handwriting on the wall.