I’m an idiot. I should have known better but I couldn’t help myself in ordering the pay-per-view Mayweather Pacquiao boxing match. It was, as many of you who did the same thing know, a bust.
It wasn’t just because I wanted Pacquiao to win (because I do think Mayweather is a scumbag) but because I wanted to see a championship fight. What we got was a lot of Mayweather evading, using the calculator in his head and responding with light touches to score points. It wasn’t boxing. It was touch football.
The thing is, I should have known better. Boxing has become horribly irrelevant ever since boxing went to this pay-per-view model because it sets up expectations when you’re paying nearly $100 to watch.
Gone are the days when boxing was a regular feature on network TV so you knew the fighters, your expectations were akin to checking in on your favorite TV drama and watching the big fights was a communal experience.
Now, even though NBC Sports and other outlets are trying to resurrect the sport with regular broadcasts on a lower level, the pay-per-view model sets up an expectation that can’t be met. The Fight of the Century? Please.
My own precepts made me do a silly thing.
There’s a lesson here that goes far beyond Mayweather’s boxing style. (I was warned ahead of time on that too.) Consumers of all types believe that you get what you pay for, meaning that the lowest cost item in any category is believed to be the worst. While a premium price means you are getting the best quality. It is a precept that most of us share.
While that didn’t turn out to be true in the Mayweather Pacquiao fight, it was believed. That’s why the purse for this fight, when you include the pay-per-view numbers, is expected to top $300 million.
We all tuned in because, with that price point, we believed it would be the Fight of the Century.
I believed. Because I longed for the days when I was coming of age in the 70s and watching Ali, Frazier and Foreman on a regular basis. We’re never going to see that again – no matter what I believe when the next so-called super fight comes around again.