Boxing


Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Fans: Where's the Balance? Part II

By Vitali Shaposhinikov: In April of 2011, I wrote an article titled: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Fans: Where's the Balance? (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/654140-pacquiao-vs-mayweather-jr-fans-the-balance-is-exceedingly-uneven), and an interesting fan discussion had followed. At the time, the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather Jr. dilemma was already in full force, and one of the major topics on boxing websites and forums was the direction of blame. Who was to blame for their fight now getting organized?

The performance enhancing drugs were one of the hot topics, and of course the question of whether Pacquiao was trying to avoid them by coming up with various reasons or was simply trying to stand his ground, was another subject matter.

The main purpose of my previous piece, as well as this one, is to look at and demonstrate the tremendous gap between fansí opinion of who to blame. In my previous piece, I looked at a poll by L.A. Times, which was conducted in early 2010. The poll (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/01/poll-who-do-you-blame-for-the-impasse-between-manny-pacquiao-and-floyd-mayweather-jr.html), showed a clear cut opinion of what the fans thought. A staggering 78.3% of the votes held Mayweather Jr. responsible, while only 7.3% thought that Manny was the one holding possibility of the fight hostage. What was interesting is that only 1.5% thought that Arum was to blame, and almost 12.96% pointed their fingers at Floydís promoters and his promotional company.
What is interesting yet impossible to determine, is who those voters are in terms of their boxing involvement? I would assume, safely, that the majority are Pacquiao fanatics, rather than unbiased boxing fans.

It has now been two years since that poll was taken, and since then, there is a very interesting shift in public opinion. There is now a brand new poll on ESPN.com, (http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/post/_/id/7881188/will-mayweather-pacquio-ever-fight), painting a completely different picture. While there are fewer votes, since it is a brand new poll, still the change is apparent. While most people still blame Mayweather Jr. for the fight still being kept from the public, 54% blame Floyd vs. 15% blaming Pacquiao, and 31% think that they are both to blame.
While half the people put the blame on Floyd, it looks like the blame is shifting more towards the unidentified. People are suddenly not so sure that Mayweather Jr. is the only one making it difficult for the fight to come to reality, and that maybe team Pacquiao is not playing ball as well.

In the recent past, there have been numerous statements made by the members of team Pacquiao, which injected doubt into many boxing fansí minds. From Alex Ariza confirming that it is Arumís fault, to Arum saying that he had no involvement when Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. communicated in person, seems like their statements and explanation are becoming more and more convoluted.
At this point in time, it seems as though Mayweather Jr. is going the extra distance to do what he, and many other people think is beyond reasonable, to make the fight happen. We hear from Floyd everywhere: Twitter, radio, video interviews, and online articles, and all he is trying to voice is his drive to make the mega-fight happen.

Of course Mayweather Jr. has also been known to retract, or deny statements that he clearly made, and that have been caught on video. He has been rude and ignorant towards Pacquiao, making racist remarks and calling him names.

Having said all this, many fans are still what they used to be, and that is blind fanatics of a persona, rather than the sport itself. Like zombies, they listen to anything their champion says, and it goes straight to the brain, bypassing any common sense. To be honest, I am at fault for this happening as well, but am trying to learn to fight it. What do you think, out of the posts being made on the topic of Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao, what percentage of the people are strictly fanatics versus knowledgeable boxing fans?

Article posted on 19.05.2012



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