Though his defensive scoring style allowed Floyd Mayweather Jr. to beat Manny Pacquiao on Sunday via unanimous decision, many boxing aficionados believe that the unbeaten American’s hit-and-run tactics could spell the death of boxing.
Boxing fans that’ve paid thousands of dollars for tickets were terribly disappointed when the bout dubbed Fight of the Century did not live up to the hype.
In an interview with ANC-ABS-CBN News Channel, veteran boxing analyst and The Manila Times columnist Ed Tolentino explained the possible repercussion of having a world boxing champion like Mayweather: “Other fighters now may want to follow the route of Floyd Mayweather. Get in, get the money, the hell with the boxing fans, my mug is scratch-free, but people will soon get tired. They will soon lose patience and when it happened you are looking at boxing in its final rounds.”
Tolentino also pointed out how mixed martial arts (MMA) could soon be more popular than boxing.
“The big fights they want to see, the UFC [UltimateFighting Championship] arranges it fast, second they [UFC] offer incentive if the fight is action packed. They also discipline people who gain more yawns than cheers,” he said.
Established in 1993, the UFC was created to identify the most effective martial art used in realistic combat situation. The UFC attained phenomenal growth when it modified its contest rules. Its bouts originally have no time limits, which is favorable to Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters but boring to spectators. The UFC is responsible for the phenomenal growth of MMA today as a combat sport.
Filipino-American MMA fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who predicted a knockout victory for Pacquiao in October lamented on the sorry state of the sport of boxing.
“I respect the science [boxing]… Especially to [its]use in MMA. That being said………the sport of boxing is s_ _t. Your champ can run and win. Congratz Mayweather, boxing is dead.,” Vera posted on his Facebook page immediately after the fight.
In a separate interview, Tolentino told The Times that considering his status, Mayweather is setting a bad example, “The defensive style of Mayweather is likely to trigger an epidemic where future champs will just take the money and run. Eventually, this will turn off the fans and kill boxing as this goes against the manly nature of the sport. If Mayweather’s style persists, we are looking at Lisa Macuja as our next world boxing champ.”
Tolentino suggested that a change in scoring system is necessary to arrest the decline of the sport, “I think the scoring system will have to be overhauled to rectify the perception of the common fan that the defensive fighter is actually getting rewarded over the aggressive boxer. There must be a system in place where aggressiveness is actually encouraged and the safety approach is frowned upon and actually penalized,” Tolentino said.