A great fight, or a great story?

By Jordan Stier

Everyone loves an underdog. Everyone loves to see the rich prude overcome by the peasant; the massive figure of evil overcome by the pure force of good; David whip Goliath’s ass with nothing but an elastic band and a pebble (even though this was probably against the rules if you think about it). For boxing fans, this story is about to be told as it never has before.

Some context:

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao comes from an impoverished home in the Philippines. By the age of fourteen he had dropped out of school and left home because his mother could not support him and his five siblings. For a time, he lived on the street in Manila, before his achievements in amateur boxing took him from gutters to glory. Pacquiao now serves on the Phillippine House of Representatives, and is revered for the humanitarian work he affects with his accumulated wealth, being the fourteenth highest paid athlete on the planet in 2013, and third highest the year before.

However when it comes to wealth, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the real heavyweight. “Money” Mayweather was the highest-earning athlete for the past three years, and is known for his ridiculous spending and excessive lifestyle. He has refused to take on Pacquiao for years because of disagreements over the division of profits from the fight, which, amongst other factors, has delayed the showdown that for years the boxing world has been pleading for. The purse will be split 60-40 in Mayweather’s favour, and the fight is expected to gross well over $300 million.

Surely two guys cannot hit each other exceptionally enough to justify this, when one can witness fistfights galore at most liquor-serving outlets. Don’t get me wrong, they are good. Many have called them the two greatest pound-for-pound boxers in history, and few would dispute this.

But no one is paying $100 000 for a ringside seat just for their skill; we want the story. We want the fairy-tale. We want to see David throw a left hook that leaves Goliath groaning on the floor. We want to hear Pacquiao’s name called as his fist is lifted. We want to see Mayweather vanquished by a figure of genuine humanity. We want Money stripped of his titles, and Pacquiao to truly be the Philippine street kid that beat  the world.

Someone better write a damn good book about it if he does.

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