This weekend, the second biggest fight in boxing history will be taking place in Las Vegas.
(Every time somebody mentions that this will be the absolutely biggest fight in boxing history, a little part of me dies inside; after which I watch the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali showdown and regain my joy)
What I do agree with, however, is that this is the biggest fight in terms of sponsorship and money. It is an extremely lucrative match; each boxer is expected to earn more than USD 100 million, (9 billion Kenya shillings), all made possible by factors such as the cost of a court side ticket being USD 360,000. Know what that translates to? 32 million Kenya shillings. A very rich person is going to pay 32 million Kenya shillings to sit at the courtside of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Do you know how much that could do? Do you know how many students can be put theough med school with that kind of money? Can you even begin to imagine what kind of home you can buy with that kind of money?
On a more personal level, do you know how many Air Jordans I can buy with that kind of money? I would be the freshest brother in the hood till I die; who needs a bachelor’s degree when you can have that?
But I digress.
All this is building up to my major point here; is all this necessary? At what extent does this whole hype about the match exceed entertainment and enter into a whole new level of extravagance? Trust me, nobody enjoys a good boxing match more than I do; I have been hooked since I laid my eyes on the ‘When we were kings’ documentary. However, there is too much going on in America; so much death among black people has provoked a discussion as to whether black lives matter after all. All this has culminated in the riots at Baltimore.
Celebrities alike have been sucked into the hype of the match, (black ones, especially), and I do not blame them. However, it is my wish that they do not forget the responsibility that their position in society entails. They need to come out and speak on these issues in order to be the voices of reason as well as uniting black people; nobody is going to be listened to more than they will. Floyd Mayweather recently proclaimed that he is the greatest of all time; of all time, including Muhammad Ali. He is very well entitled to believing in his greatness, but think about it Mr. Mayweather; what would Muhammad Ali do amidst all this controversy and rioting? Would he beat his chest and proclaim that he is the greatest? He probably would. However, would he not also rally black people and attempt to unite them, and thus fighting for what he believes in? Think about it, deeply.
Unless something changes drastically, I am inclined to proclaim that this is the boxing match that the world wants, but not what it needs.
By: Doug L Fresh
Writer and Poet; has an unhealthy obsession with Outkast