Tonight was the biggest night in combat sports this year. If you don’t think that then you don’t deserve to follow them, honestly; nothing any major combat sports company or fighter could do in 2013 will match Mayweather/Alvarez in money or attention. There have been many huge fights in the past couple years in both boxing and MMA … but this felt above them all.
The final PPV numbers will determine if it connected with audiences for $65-75 a pop in the same manner that it did for $20mm at the box office alone, of course, but so far here are my ten thoughts on the event. I covered it live for both Inside Fights and Fox Sports, so give them some click love as well.
10. The theme of the night was insanely annoying as it turned into a one sided pounding about how boxing is alive. It’s easy to say boxing is great, and there’s nothing wrong with it, during the biggest fight of the year and easily the biggest of perhaps the last two decades. But, as my friend Nick the Stand Up Comedian said, “Boxing is alive & it will never die. Sincerely: rotary phones, videotapes & C. Thomas Howell”
9. Pablo César Cano looked terrific against Ashley Theophane in the opening fight of the PPV card. CAno seemed to slow down after the sixth but he took a pretty clear decision. His body work was terrific but he clearly gassed around the seventh or so and Theopayne made it close by pushing the pace in the back half of the fight. Odd split decision, though.
8. I know I repeat it every time Showtime does a boxing PPV worth covering … but Mauro Ranallo is the best announcer in combat sports. Jimmy Smith Joe Rogan and Michael Schiavello are all excellent but Ranallo calling a big boxing fight so remarkably well after a career spent mainly in MMA is something special.
I met him at UFC on Fox 2 and he was a first rate guy, too. Got a picture and the next day he said hi, remembered my name. One of the few moments in life where I felt like the coolest guy alive. Kind of nice when people who’ve you been fans of for years turn out to be genuinely decent human beings to boot.
7. I was shocked Carlos Molina was able to dictate the pace so effectively early on Ishe Smith. Smith came on later, and made it close, but it was such an awful fight. Bowling shoe ugly, for sure.
6. It’s always awful when a celebrity poses with a title belt … except for Jack Nicholson. He owns that like it’s his job. That’s why he’s a star and no one else comes close.
5. Matthyse/Garcia was everything it was supposed to be. Maybe fight of the year candidate, I think, as Garcia’s chin held up to Matthyse’s power.
4. it’s easy to dislike Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he shows off his money and his items. But I like his attitude towards it; he earned it by working his ass off. There’s a sense of genuineness when he talks about earning it with hard work and dedication that normally you don’t get from him.
3. Floyd dismantled Alvarez, pure and simple. What a masterful display tonight. Floyd is the best of his generation, by farm, and it’s not even close right now. Scary to think that he’s still looking this good as he’s getting closer to 40 and not fighting regularly.
2. Cynthia Ross might be the worst judge in boxing. She’s the one who scored Pacquiao/Bradley for Bradley and scored this fight a draw. She’s either corrupted or doesn’t know anything about boxing. Keith Kizer defends her constantly but let’s be frank; she either clearly doesn’t know what she’s doing or someone else is judging her scorecards for her in advance. That kind of awfulness ruins fights.
1. Sometimes you have to love Floyd Mayweather. For everyone who just spent between $65-$75 for a fight … he wants us to buy a hat and a t-shirt. God bless this man sometimes.