By Steven Keys

The big boxing news from the Floyd Mayweather v. Conor McGregor trans-tactic fight last Saturday nite (8.26): Pugilism still reigns supreme in the world of wingding combat. As Mark Twain, fight fan (?) would’ve likely put it: “Report of (boxing’s) death was an exaggeration.”

Here’s the line of questioning to listen for to get a good sense of whether a sport truly matters to the masses. On the big day the general public, young and old, men and women both, will be overheard to ask these three (3) questions:

1) Who’s fighting?
2) Who’s winning?
3) Who won?

Even my better-half, who ponders sports about as much as a lifeguard follows the morning farm report, was aware of the Big Bash. If it’s on NPR in the car, she’s listening. And when “something is in the air there’s no stopping it (R.Whorf, YankeeDoodleDandy (42))!”

......Mayweather.wc.6.29.11.DeWaltPower.thmWere UFC to hold championship MMA bouts in every weight division and give away a year’s free supply of any flavor Baskin-Robbins® ice cream to the first million pay-per-view customers, that in all likelihood STILL wouldn’t make a ripple in Lake Media.

And how did the Conor v. Floyd fight play out? To say it was competitive would be a bit generous to the loser, though, fans who paid big bucks seem to‘ve been overall pleased with the product, if reports are to be believed (See above; “exaggerated“).

Floyd won by a TKO in the 10th round but ruled the scorecard by comfortable margins nearly throughout the bout, the current co-record holder (Marciano) in undefeated wins (50-0) connecting on 170 punches to 111 for McGregor.

Most interesting is that many casual observers across the nation seemed genuinely interested in the bout, even excited. That hasn’t happened since George Foreman returned to the ring in the 1990s. No high-voltage event like that generated by the Fight of the Century in 1971 when, on March 8th at MSG, Smokin’ Joe Frazier defeated the previously undefeated Muhammad Ali by flooring the former Cassius Clay in the final of 15-rounds to win a unanimous decision. But even so, M&M surely was an electric affair.

The winner was gracious in victory while the loser appeared less than so, partying afterwards like only the money really mattered.

......McGregor.wc.3.30.15.A.Petrucenia.thm.LondonBut with the champion Mayweather now riding off into the sunset and the Hall of Fame his next big stop on the boxing-trail, one has to wonder if the sport made more practical by the Marquess of Queenberry rules (1867) can keep the momentum going?

With boxing having been marginalized in recent decades by changing tastes and a promoters pay-per-view greed-grab that keeps title bouts reserved for only the most devout and financially fluid followers, it’s not likely that ANY individual or clan of boxers (80s Leonard – Hagler – Hearns) could today resurrect the competitions to their former top-tier status enjoyed for over 100 years.

Be that as it may, and regardless of how long young media males push the UFC product, it won’t be MMA that ever steps in and fills the void where pugilism once ruled the hearts of Americans, a peoples who will always be ready & waiting for that next, great boxer or match to light the marquee, if not the actual ring.

......straight_shooter.thmbStevenKeys
StraightShooter
Posted: 8.30.17 @ 7:36p EST; Copyright © 2017
Photo credit: T.Conant-F.Mayweather-S.Posy, wc.cca, SD, 8.21.10; Floyd-Mayweather, wc.cca, 6.29.11, DeWaltPower; Conor-McGregor, wc.cca, A.Petrucenia, 3.30.15, London; Straight-Shooter-produce-label
Reference: thisdayinquotes.com, B.Deis, “Reports of Mark (5.31.15)”

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