The two big little men of prizefighting had their big fight Saturday Night past, with Floyd Mayweather beating Manny Pacquiao to unify three portions of the jigsaw puzzle of trying to decipher who is the champion of boxing’s welterweight division. It was later revealed that Pacquiao was fighting with a sore shoulder, which wasn’t revealed to the organization running the fight, the state athletic commission of Nevada.
The fact that Pacquiao hid his injury wasn’t surprising at all, at least to me.
When I lived briefly in Vegas in 1996 (which I’ve mentioned on this blog a few times), I happened to meet one of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.’s attorneys a few days before his (Julio’s) fight with Oscar De La Hoya at the Luxor Hotel sportsbook. When I asked how Julio was doing in a general way of speaking, he got tight lipped for some reason, saying he couldn’t say too much about it for legal reasons.
When the fight took place, I figured out right away why the lawyer was so tight lipped.
Julio got a bad cut from a punch only a minute and change into the very first round, losing the fight on cuts in the fourth round. It is very rare in big time professional boxing to lose on cuts that quickly unless the fighters happen to butt heads or a massive cut opens up.
A lot of these fighters start off in poverty, hungry to make money for themselves and their family, and perhaps it’s a mindset that can’t be escaped. Chavez was almost 34 when he fought Oscar that night in 1996. Manny Pacquiao is 36 now. When these fighters get to that age, perhaps they think a bit more about that financial security than their injuries and condition, and whether or not they can win against a fighter of equal or greater skill.
As for boxing and the decades old marriage between prizefighting and Las Vegas, were will they go from here? Glad I didn’t spend nearly $100 for that fight, but it’s possible the fight game won’t see a fight this big for a long while.