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“The One” and the political factors surrounding the showdown

mayweather22206Boxing is a sports-based show business and the sporting element very often gets sandbagged by mercurial agendas. Boxing like any other sport is an instrument of politics and as such it has its own internal politics as well. Those who know the ropes earn decently win or lose. Other very talented people who are stuck with the wrong management can waste their best years outside “the mix”.

This is not the case with Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez who have achieved iconic political status and have been spared from the adverse effects of stringent judging in some instances.

“The One” will probably be elected by the judges unless they score it as a draw in which case there will be “The Two” with an ensuing second fight.

This is an amusing scenario but it is very unlikely and boring. Draws in boxing have always perplexed me as an unnatural outcome which declares two individual performances based on different sets of skill absolutely identical. I’d gladly accept a draw in the event of a double KO, but this happens very rarely and at much lower level.

Unless Mayweather “gets old overnight” the fight is going to the score cards. He shouldn’t get old overnight because he already got old in boxing terms at around 32-34 ears of age. It’s not only the punishment that gets to boxers; it’s the physical ordeal of pushing the body to the limit in a 12 round fight. The organism and the nervous system can only be exerted so much and up to a certain age.

The main event on September 14 is propelled by interests intertwined into a Gordian Knot of entrepreneurial bravado and financial expectations. The event is expected to attract record-breaking revenues but show-business always plans for a sequel. Saul Alvarez is an up-and-comer and even if he loses a close fight, he still wins the fans and his image and earning abilities remain intact. He gets some credit but the magic of rivalry is gone. Mayweather will have no reason to look back and give him a rematch. Fans won’t be overly concerned about a rematch either. No one really gains a favorable perspective except Floyd who keeps his unblemished record and retains his bargaining position which allows him to twist the arms of the financiers.

If Mayweather drops a close decision loss and it looks even remotely like a robbery, the cry for a rematch will reach a crescendo on the same night. The second “revenge” fight will probably outdo the first one and the rivalry will turn into a reality show lasting several months to a year. It may seem Floyd’s handlers are powerful enough to shelter him from any adversity and protect the precious “0” of their charge. It also seems at this time his backers could be interested in hurting Floyd’s ego a little by “allowing” him to lose. They have a lot to gain by such a twist.

First, a loss will topple FMJ from his pedestal and his negotiating powers will suffer. He may lose a lot of perks, royalties and other benefits that amount to millions, money that will stay with the tycoons. He is on his bow out campaign and it may be time for his management to start squeezing every penny out of him. Most notably, a close UD loss for him will set up a rematch of historic proportions. It will create a social movement demanding justice in a society addicted to happy endings. The hype will be scintillating and Mayweather Sr. interviews will overshadow all concurrent comedies and talk shows.

The only thing the management doesn’t want is a KO loss for Floyd or him melting down and showing his age. This may prompt an end to the grand design and to Floyd’s career. Even “El Canelo’s”’ management may not like this sort of outcome. It may seem to suit “El Canelo” but he will see his next historic pay day vanish if he hurts Floyd badly and dismantles him. Fighting Mayweather is like winning the lottery in financial terms. Destroying him and torpedoing the rematch is like flushing down a winning ticket.

I am not suggesting this will be a staged friendly sparring session, I expect an exciting and dramatic fight. I am only expressing concern that political innuendos and financial sustenance may interfere with the boxing spirit. The boxing spirit is a rare commodity today and one has to look back to the old school to find good examples. An old-timer would chase the hen that lays golden eggs and eat it for breakfast. An old-timer’s promoter would care much more about tonight’s wager than next year’s joint venture.

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