The sport of boxing has not had much of an impact on pop culture or news headlines in the past 20 years, and the latest event may have put the sport down for the count. The heavily-promoted match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has come under serious criticism for how uneventful and expensive it was, and now people are calling their lawyers. Multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed against all parties involved, especially the promoters of the fight itself. The pay-per-view main event charged $99 per household, with Mayweather winning in unexciting fashion; however it was revealed after the match that Pacquiao had a pretty serious shoulder injury. Plaintiff’s claim that they were duped into paying for the fight regardless of the promoters’ knowledge of the injury, choosing to “go on with the show” due to the massive amounts of money each company pulled in from advertising.
While many lawsuits were filed across the country, a lot of heat about the fight is coming down in Chicago. Ironically enough, residents of the Windy City are crying wolf and complaining about major corruption centered around the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Both camps involved took home over $350 million, while paid customers were treated to bizarre ring entrances (featuring Justin Bieber and Jimmy Kimmel) and interviews with intoxicated celebrities. Worst of all, the fight itself was a typical Mayweather bout; Floyd’s style is to outlast the opponent by picking and choosing his spots, often breaking up the action which results in a rather boring event. Pacquiao’s shoulder injury and alleged cover-up also allowed millions of dollars to change hands, and certainly not above suspicion that the entire match was fixed (Las Vegas is the sports-betting capital of the world). Several lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court of Chicago and are seeking refunds from the fight and/or any bets placed on Manny Pacquiao to win.
Sadly, boxing had one more change to capture the world’s attention and leap back into the forefront of sports and pop culture, and essentially whiffed on the punch. The days of Muhammad Ali are far behind, and while Mayweather and Pacquio are both very talented in their own right, the bad taste left in the casual fan’s mouth will never allow the sport to return to prominence. There are already rumors of a re-match, which looks like nothing more than a money-grab by the promoters (although who could blame them?). The lawsuits themselves will most likely not even reach settlement, but the outcries will ring out for years. It appears that the popularity of boxing has been officially knocked out for good, by unanimous decision.