Saturday, May 16, 2015

We Owe You An Apology

On second thought...we should probably say we're sorry

You're going to have to give me a minute here. My mind is completely blown. I just rewatched the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, this time with the sound off, and guess what? It's a completely different bout from the one I experienced watching on May 2nd.

Truth be told, I didn't want to rewatch the fight. Like many viewers, I found it less than interesting the first time around. My friend Spenser, however made it clear that he thought I should. What's more, he told me upfront that he thought Pacquiao had won. I can't lie, I thought this was a bit outrageous. Still, being a friend, I promised to watch the bout again, only this time with no sound, so that I couldn't be influenced by anything other than what was before my eyes.

Man, what a different fight it actually was compared to the one I thought I saw. First, and foremost, it was close. Very close. I still had Mayweather winning, but only by a single round. What's more, I wouldn't mind seeing a rematch now. In fact, I want to. And I don't care if the general public wants to see it or not. They'll still make millions off of part two catering to serious fans.

Yet there's another point here that I feel the need to address:

I owe an apology to those who have listened to me or read my words up until now on this Mayweather-Pacquiao matter. In fact, most of us who are writers and analysts of the sport of boxing do. You see, we watched the fight as "experts." We  oh-so-seriously took into consideration how many times Pacquiao missed his target. We considered Floyd's retreating tactics "just part of the game." In short, we saw the whole thing as a chess match rather than what it was - a boxing match.

To make matters worse, we convinced all of you it was a chess match rather than a boxing match. Not cool. Boxing isn't fighting but it's the closest thing to it out there in the world of sports. Yet we didn't make that point clear. Instead, we "experts" focused on nuances rather than on the big picture.

And when some of you said you thought Manny won, we just shrugged and told ourselves you didn't know what you were talking about. Now, though, I see that we were staring intently at trees rather than at the entire forest. And because of that we convinced you the fight was boring - even when it wasn't. This was especially true for those of us who broadcast the fight live and for those of us who provided a running commentary for the people we watched it with.

Yeah, you may indeed have thought the fight was boring - but that may be in large part because we presented it to you that way. Had we all said what we should have - that it was very close all the way down until the last two rounds, you may have seen things differently. Sadly, we didn't do that. We influenced each other and then influenced everyone else as a result.

Don't get me wrong - Floyd still won the fight as far as I'm concerned. Yet up until the eleventh round, it was anyone's game. Manny may not have landed a whole lot of punches, but he took the fight to Floyd in a big way and that should have counted for something. Floyd's reluctance to engage should have counted for something, too.

Hopefully, we'll all know better next time. The question is, will any of you want to pay attention to such a bunch of loud mouths again? Either way, that's on us.

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