Hatton/Mayweather 24/7: A Build Up Or Let Down?

floyd mayweather jr.19.11.07 - By Vivek Wallace: From the day the Floyd Mayweather Jr./ Ricky Hatton fight was announced, fight fans all around the globe have been chompin' at the bits, eager to soak up any ounce of information relative to the fighters, their fight camps, and anything else remotely involved with this fight.

Last night, HBO released 24/7, which was supposed to be a snapshot of the fighters and their respective roads to stardom which have culminated to this big stage in which they're set to take part in. Although this 24/7 piece was envisioned as a way to whet the appetite of fight fans in the interim, after watching it, many - (myself included) - felt that it did everything but that.

Here we have two of the best pugilist of this era, undefeated, with a fanbase that spans global, and instead of us seeing flashbacks of some of these guys' memorable moments, or more substance based videography, we were force fed another episode of why Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his Father remain estranged in a 'reality show' type setting.

For those of us who really want to see the fight game elevate and live up to the recent stretch of mega-fights, the piece that was aired on HBO last night was exactly the reason why this sport remains in the shadows of many others.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. had an unfortunate relationship with his Dad as a kid........Ok, we get it. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is driven - like most others in the business - by the 'Benjamins'.......Ok, we get it.

Why not use this opportunity to show fans in the UK what a monster Floyd is in the ring. Like when he got rocked by Jose Luis Castillo and still managed to earn a points victory, then gave an immediate rematch rather than avoiding the man that me him look beatable? Why not show American fans how incredibly talented Ricky Hatton is, as displayed in his triumphant victory over Kostya Tszyu and many others? Why not give fight fans a comprehensive breakdown of what makes these guys so amazing, with quality interviews and soundbytes from other prominent figures in the world of boxing today? There are so many tasteful ways to package this program, but instead, we had to endure clip after clip of yesterdays news.

This was a classic example of how the sport of boxing continues to take two steps forward, and three steps back. The episode of 24/7 that aired last night did nothing to capture the attention of a non-boxing fan and bring them to the sport. While it did everything to capture the attention of a non-boxing fan and keep them away from it. Yeah, sex, money, and controversy sells, we've heard it all before. Only trouble is, we're gearing up for a helluva mega-fight with huge implications, not packaging a sequel to 'Scarface'. A fight of this magnitude with indelible global imprints should be used to cement the energy of the sport itself into people of all walks and stretches of life, but instead, this piece in my mind fell miserably short.

Make no bones about it, come next Sunday night, I'll be rushing home from the airport to get in front of the tube to watch the next episode like every other avid fight fan because at the end of the day, it still relates to the biggest fight of the year. But for the record, I can only hope that the substance we're given is indicative of the fireworks we expect to find in the ring on the night of December 8th. HBO has previously set the precedence for being the ultimate option in television entertainment. Hopefully the producers can redefine that magic, because last night, suddenly Home Box Office seemed more like a Horrible Broadcasting Option.

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Article posted on 20.11.2007

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