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List of Articles by Rich Mazon


There is no need to contain this Pacific storm for the good of boxing

By Rich Mazon
16 May 2011

Manny Pacquiao is willing to fight anybody ever since. There is no qualms in him taking anybody. Top Rank though is another subject. They are a business entity and they want the best possible financial reward for their golden goose that is Pacquiao. That means, matching him with fighters in their stable so they could accumulate as much money as possible.

The problem is, Top Rank has run out of quality fighters too match against the pound for pound king. Clottey is the first example, the overmatch Margarito from last year is another and now we have Mosley who crossed the bridge from rival Golden Boy promotions to the Top Rank stable to get the fight he wanted against Pacquiao. A move that Top Rank welcomed with open arms owing mostly to Mosley’s name recognition. Here they have a popular fighter who has been in prominent fights in the past which they will have no problems selling as an opponent for Pacquiao. Even if his age and skills are in question, even if his last two outings prior to this fight are below par performances. Add those to Mosley’s past glory as a fighter, Manny Pacquiao has a perfect opponent. As boxing insiders would say, “low risk, high reward.”

The hype to present Mosley as a viable opponent to boxing’ s number one guy is all that, just a hype. And Top Rank with its partnership with CBS/Showtime did a good job doing that. It is evident with the buzz surrounding this fight. The sold out arena proves that this indeed 2011’s biggest fight. There will be no doubt that it will surpass the one million mark on pay per view buys. The problem lies in the outcome of it, the actual fight. The big fight is a big dud. The world was expecting action and excitement from it and they felt that they got robbed of the very premise it sells.

The one fight that matters to non-hardcore fans of the sport , which Top Rank and CBS/Showtime are trying to attract of which they have attracted, have expressed outmost disappointment of the product they are dealt with. Mosley’s inability to fight cannot come in a bigger stage than this. We gave him the benefit of the doubt versus Mayweather because he hurt him in the second round of their 2010 fight but to come up with a performance sorely lacking of interest, persistence and the bravery to take the risk is unforgiving to everyone who paid top money to watch him both in the MGM Grand, the closed circuit viewing and the million who bought the pay per view. This is boxing, persistence and the willingness to take the risk are two attributes of the greatness of this sport. They definitely are not manifested in Mosley last Saturday. And for the millions watching him give this kind of performance, that is unacceptable.

Mosley is not the only one to blame for this. He is but a fighter who wants to earn a decent amount. Most of the blame should be on Top rank who feeds us with this matches against the best fighter in the world. The public will watch Manny Pacquiao fight regardless of whoever he faces, that is their main convincing power against anyone. Be it a promoter, boxer, manager, television networks and even writers who criticizes them. That is true, for Pacquiao comes in the ring ready to fight, which he did Saturday night. That same trait that has endeared him to the public was evident last Saturday. That trait was put in the bubble after this match. None of his own fault but primarily on Mosley and Top Rank. But that cannot spare him of all the blame with the dismal outcome of this fight. Top Rank and everyone knows that he makes the final choice on who his opponent is. His choice of Shane Mosley isn’t a good thing for his boxing career because it made him look bad in the ring for the first time. Not even the results of his match against a clammed up Joshua Clottey can come close to this. In the Clottey fight, his performance was dominating as shown by the number of punches he’s thrown, close to 100 per round. Because unlike Mosley, Clottey despite covering up all night in that fight at Dallas stadium in March of last year, did not clinch as much as Mosley did and most of all did not run around the ring as Mosley did. The crowd booed in Dallas stadium too in that fight but not as loud as last Saturday’s uninteresting match. People were seen leaving the MGM Grand as early as the 9th round. Not a good sign for a fight of this magnitude. Not a good sign for boxing in general.

There is maybe one or two or at the most three big boxing events in a year that the public looks forward to. The public means the general non-boxing enthusiasts who forks in sixty dollars of their hard earned money to be entertained for a couple of hours to see the best fight the best. Last Saturday was not the case. I have not heard of a single positive comment from my friends, relatives and co- workers after fight night. I am glad that they spent time and money for the so -called biggest fight of the year. But I myself have no words to explain to them why the fight truly bombed. Except that, there is not going to be a fight if one of the involved is not going to. There would not be any form of entertainment from a duel if one decided not to partake of it anymore. That was the case last week. That, and Top Rank’s choice of opponent for the best fighter of the sport.

I have read articles of how Manny Pacquiao’s prime as a fighter is being wasted on these choice of opponents. I have heard of comments of how this list of opponents will put his greatness in question in the future. There are valid points in their arguments for sure. One can just point to last Saturday’s disappointing match to elaborate his point. The best needs to fight the best challengers out there. The best fight outcomes come from two willing fighters who lets it all out in the ring. These are the fights that stick in the minds of the public. These are the names that becomes legendary. For in true competition comes greatness. Not from safe and careful matching which does not produce any excitement for the sport. Top Rank through Bob Arum has always stated that they are in the entertainment business. Pacquiao - Mosley was their master offering for the year. Results point to great numbers in pay per view and attendance records. It truly is pointing to a blockbuster event. But the outcome and the general perception of the event is a different story. Top Rank hopefully gets that message last Saturday. For if not, the booing will continue on. Or worse, the interest that these big fights rekindle in the general public will be for naught.

You can email Rich Mazon at for questions or comments or follow him on Twitter @Freemazon910.

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