Floyd-Manny megafight won't halt sport's decline

Thu Mar 5, 2015 3:13pm EST
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By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) - The superfight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is expected to be the highest grossing bout in history but will do nothing to resuscitate a sport that has been in perpetual decline for years, according to experts.

Boxing will enjoy more exposure than it has seen in decades during the buildup to the May 2 fight but will quickly reclaim a back seat to other sports after the last crushing blow is landed at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

"It's going to be massive, but it's also going to be a massive one-off," Bob Dorfman, executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, told Reuters.

"It would've had more impact overall on the boxing world if it happened five years ago when it could've been the beginning of an ongoing series of fights between these guys that would've maybe built in momentum."

Mayweather and Pacquiao will be 38 and 36, respectively, on fight night and their failure to agree to meet earlier in their illustrious careers robbed the boxing world of what could have been one of the sport's all-time great rivalries.

But for one day, at least, boxing will likely be at the center of the sporting universe given the intrigue of watching Filipino southpaw Pacquiao, who has held world titles in eight different weight divisions, take on an undefeated Mayweather.

"This may be the last hurrah of boxing," said Robert Boland, sports business professor at New York University. "It's an interesting moment and maybe a moment that boxing will come together and figure out where it goes for the future."

Tickets for the fight between two of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters have not gone on sale to the public yet but are expected to start at $1,000 with ringside seats fetching a face value of $5,000, according to Forbes.   Continued...

Floyd Mayweather in attendance during the second half of the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Jan 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports