In a sport searching for any kind of redemptive story, Boxing has decided to bill Mayweather vs. Pacquiao as “The Fight of the Century”. Although this is the marquee fight of the year and arguably of the last five years, it is hard to compete with the likes of Ali vs. Liston, or Louis vs. Schmelling for such a grand designation as “The Fight of the Century”. Then again hyperbole is what Boxing has done best for the last 25 years or so.
With the lack of credibility in the Heavyweight Division making one yearn for the stolid and unimaginative Lennox Lewis, it has been the light and middle weight classes which have provided some of the best drama over the last decade plus. The success across multiple divisions of both Pacquiao and Mayweather clearly speaks to their legacies as champions and future hall of famers. With Mayweather taking a run at Marciano’s 49-0 win record, and Pacquiao cementing his reputation as the premier fighter of the last decade, this match-up does have historical legacy written all over it.
But is it really about the money at the end of the day? If it was solely about the boxing legacy then there might be richer context- but with an estimated collective 300 million USD generated by all aspects of the fight, not counting bets place in online sportsbooks, perhaps it might be more fitting to call it “The Payday of the Century”. Nothing wrong with that at the end of the day and we are still getting to see two great fighters of the modern era- but somehow it feels a little cheap.
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