The importance of De La Hoya vs. Mayweather

floyd mayweather jr.02.05.07 - By Geoffrey Ciani: Ordinarily, there is a lot of chatter amongst boxing fans in the lead-up to a big fight. For the upcoming bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, this certainly holds true. The only difference with this bout is the chatter has extended beyond that of the boxing faithful—indeed, everyone is talking about De La Hoya-Mayweather.

This is potentially great news for boxing enthusiasts.

The sport has always counted on the casual fan. This, of course, refers to the type of fan who exclusively tunes in for big fights and otherwise doesn’t care. These types of fans have seemingly become a rare breed in recent times. As such, the market is largely driven exclusively by die-hard fans—the type that are never apt to miss a bout. Like an underground cult, die-hard fans are few in number, so in order to attract casual fans into the mix there needs to be some element of intrigue.

This one already has a great story line. It’s a battle between the sport’s biggest attraction and its most talented pugilist. That in itself makes for a great selling point. With the addition of some tremendous marketing techniques (such as the reality show created specifically for this one fight), the boxing world (and Oscar De La Hoya, in particular) has done a fantastic job in hyping this bout for the public eye.

That the chatter for this bout has extended beyond the die-hard fan and back into the realm of the casual fan seems rather promising. I, for one, never recall so many people showing so much enthusiasm for any particular bout. However, one thing is needed to help keep casual fans tuned-in beyond this pending mega-bout: A good fight!

In the end, it doesn’t matter who wins. Whether De La Hoya pulls off the upset, or whether the pound-for-pound king sends Oscar into retirement is irrelevant. What we need is an entertaining bout. If the people get a good show, they’ll be more apt to tune in for the next big bout. If they get a snooze-fest, chances are they won’t be as apt to tune-in down the road. In that light, it’s very important that De La Hoya and Mayweather make this bout a memorable one.

This bout needs to live up to the preflight hype.

At a time when boxing’s biggest attraction isn’t even a member of the heavyweight division, it’s imperative that Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather put the sport back on the map. So far, each has done his part in the lead-up as evidenced by the fact that so many people who usually haven’t the slightest interest in boxing are all talking about this bout. The only question remaining is what they’ll be saying after the bout. We’ll know soon enough.

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Article posted on 02.05.2007

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