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1/11/10 - Bye Bye Boxing

Professional Boxing - This week the sport of boxing was dealt its fiercest overhand right hook as the pending bout between Manny Pacquiao & Floyd Mayweather was scrapped because both sides supposedly couldn't come to an agreement on the specific doping test protocol that would lead up to their planned March fight. While rumors had swirled for weeks about each fighter and their reasons for dodging the fight or changing the rules, no casual boxing fan seemed to think that this fight wasn't going down because it just seemed like too big of a draw. As a reflection of the heightened fan interest this fight was supposed to draw an estimated $200mil, making it probably the greatest payout in the sports history. Beyond the financial win for both fighters, the promoters and just about anyone involved was the concept that this was the fight of the decade and a bout that could draw a massive international audience back to the once great sport. There was a time, not so long ago, when the heavyweight champion was regularly the most recognizable sports figure in the world, but now even a serious sports fan would have a hard time naming half of the guys who lay claim to that title. The sport of boxing, over the last twenty years, has done itself a terrible disservice by associating with unscrupulous characters who were hell bent on a quick buck, which resulted in a complete de-unification of titles, no standardization or proper TV contracts and a limited set of promoters owning small stables of moderately popular fighters. While both Floyd & Manny are two of the best the sport has ever seen and their match up would have drawn a massive payout, this lack of uniformity, resulting from the sports lack of interest in pleasing fans more than their short term wallets, pretty much spells the death of the sport. As MMA gets bigger and draws a much better, younger audience thats bred for a future, boxing appears much like the woozy, punch drunk aging fighter entering his last round - and just when it seemed like he had an opening to throw one last haymaker he tripped and stumbled and very well my be down for the count.