By Jason Keidel
At the risk of sounding like the very geriatrics I swore to ignore, the ones frozen in the fairy tale, photoshopped halcyon years, you have to be of a certain vintage to know how big boxing used to be.
Before it was relegated to the back alleys of the sports section, nestled between high school wrestling and harness racing, boxing was the original sport of kings.
Before the nation soured on the sweet science, before MMA scooped up the disenfranchised masses, there was no sport, no event, that owned our attention and adrenaline the way fight night did.
It is with that premise and prerogative in mind that I implore you to watch the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr (44-0) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1) tomorrow night in Las Vegas.
Yes, Golden Boy Promotions is asking you to dig deep into your checking account for the fight to appear on your television, and Golden Boy himself (Oscar De La Hoya) checked into rehab this week. But if you can appreciate the ancient, helpless dysfunction of the sport, it all makes sense.
We may be watching the final megafight, the last, enchanted moment when boxing is the main nerve of the night. There is nothing like watching two glistening gladiators slowly stroll to the ring, to some slow, ominous song, flanked by their corner men. A great fight is the distillation of our hidden appetites, a cocktail of bloodlust, aesthetic appreciation, and the keen awareness that one punch could change a life, if not end it.
The last few years, Floyd Mayweather has been far more concerned with his financial supremacy than his legacy. His retrograde schtick is nothing new, nor is it charming. He steals from Muhammad Ali’s loudmouth histrionics but has none of the champ’s charm or originality.
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Source: CBS local Boston