Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Why Pacquiao-Mayweather Matters

from The New Yorker

How Much Does Pacquiao-Mayweather Matter?

BY 
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY ESTHER LIN/SHOWTIME®

In a humid boxing gym in Hollywood on Tuesday, members of the sports media outnumbered world-class boxers by about twenty to one. They had come to watch Manny Pacquiao, by most measures the second-best welterweight in the world, prepare for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., by all measures the best. As Pacquiao shadowboxed in the ring, Michael Koncz, one of his closest advisers, looked at the reporters and videographers and seemed to wince. “After these two weeks, that’s it!” he said. He had agreed to a brief media invasion, but he wanted as much brevity as possible.

Fred Sternburg, Pacquiao’s publicist, just laughed. Pacquiao-Mayweather will almost certainly be the most lucrative boxing match in history—it’s being called the new Fight of the Century, and it requires a publicity push to match. The fight is scheduled for May 2nd, in Las Vegas, and until then everyone in both fighters’ orbits will have to accommodate and ignore the non-stop stream of outsiders bearing notepads and cameras. The fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view, as part of an unusual arrangement between HBO and Showtime—the rival fighters are attached to rival premium cable networks, who therefore have had to find a way to collaborate. As far as the fight’s promoters are concerned, members of the media have one job to do: help them entice more paying customers.

The promotion began in earnest the next day, with the Press Conference of the Century, which took over the Nokia Theatre, in downtown Los Angeles. There was a red carpet, where each fighter could take a hundred-yard stroll in front of broadcast media. A number of outlets, including ESPN and CNN, had erected temporary anchor desks, which heightened the illusion that something important was about to happen.

Mayweather versus Pacquiao has been the most talked-about match-up in boxing for more than six years, and many observers had been skeptical, in recent months, that the fighters would finally agree to fight. Now that the date is set, boxing fans can go back to doing what they do best: complain—in this case, about the fact that it didn’t take place years ago, when both men were younger and quicker.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on March 12, 2015 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »