It was over five years in the making. Even though they are only welterweights, people who just watch the marquee fights saw this as Tyson-Holyfield or even the reincarnation of Ali-Frazier. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally got in the ring against each other, but nothing happened.
If you wanted to see this edition of the so-called 'Fight of the Century', you had to shell out $99.95 to your cable company or satellite provider. Many of the sports bars and restaurants weren't showing it (I thought that was because of some copyright law but a friend who has a friend who owns a bar told me it's because they charge businesses about a thousand dollars, and many weren't sure if they could make that money back by charging admission). I wanted to see this thing, but there was no way in hell I was going to shell out a hundred bucks to my cable company, so I did something even more expensive. Road trip.
Reno is only a couple of hours away, and they let you bet on the fight, so it figured they wouldn't charge you to see it, but they did. You could wager without watching, but tickets into a large banquet room with two mega-screens cost 29 bucks (with two drinks included). Even with gas and mileage, that's better than the hundred to sit home. A couple of drinks, about 200 or so people (I'd guess split 60-40 in favor of Mayweather) to enjoy the event with, so what the hell.
Now I admit I don't know all the ins and outs of boxing, but the judges and commentators didn't seem to be watching the same bout that I was. Neither fighter was really doing anything, but Pacquiao was the aggressor, always pushing Mayweather near or into the ropes. Pacquaio would throw several punches, Mayweather would block them, and then somehow win the round. I'm not saying that Pacquiao should have won the fight, but it seemed a lot closer than the judges decision.
I bet on Pacquiao, but really only because Mayweather was really the one that held up what was supposed to be this classic for so long. I also had a little side bet on a Pacquiao fourth-round knockout (40:1). That obviously didn't happen, but it was actually Pacquiao's best effort. He landed a few punches, but again, Mayweather just took it. The guy next to me in the room said this was Mayweather's strategy, to make Pacquiao tired, and then lay into him at the end.
But Mayweather never struck back, and it turned out he didn't have to. He looked like someone who was there just to collect his check, and with all of the $99.95''s, betting money, sponsors, and everything else, who could really blame him? According to reports, the latest estimates are $180-million for Mayweather, and $120 million for Pacquiao. Not bad for 47 minutes of not much.
Mayweather is 37, Pacquaio is 36. We should have gotten to see this bout when both were more in their prime. Boxing is a dying sport and this fight was supposed to revive it. Instead, it may have killed it. If there is a rematch (yikes), do you think people will shell out a hundred bucks for it? Many probably will, but not like this. It's tough to completely agree with a convicted rapist, but Mike Tyson tweeted “Five years for that #underwhelmed”. What he said.
Clippers shackle Spurs: The final 30 seconds of Saturday's Clippers-Spurs game seven had more action than the fight. While waiting to go into the fight room, I saw the end of the NBA playoff series, and LA's Blake Griffin with a monster dunk with a second to go. That's the only NBA action I've seen all year, but a dramatic ending to maybe (what I've heard) the best first-round series ever.
Derby Daze: The problem with the Kentucky Derby is that often times, you don't really know how spectacular the race is until weeks later. Who knew right after last year's race that California Chrome (with an owner from Yuba City) would be going for the triple-crown? This year, favorite American Pharoah won it. Victor Espinosa, who rode California Chrome last year, was the jockey for owner and now four-time winner Bob Baffert. Onto the Preakness in two weeks, and the Belmont three weeks after that.
Baseball bit: The first manager firing of the season came yesterday, and it comes with some local ties. Ron Roenicke was let go by the Milwaukee Brewers with Craig Counsell given a three-year contract to replace him. Roenicke and his brother Gary both played in the big leagues, and Gary lives in Grass Valley, and is always seen at Nevada Union football games. Gary's son Josh is with the Brewers' Triple-A club in Colorado Springs, and was hoping to pitch for his uncle this year. Josh Roenicke also went to UCLA, and played summer ball against the Gold Sox in 2004.