Saturday night’s attractive fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, carried on HBO PPV, is a big night for boxing not only because it should see one of the best fights of the year, but also because it could draw a marquee name out of retirement to fight the winner.
Don’t worry, I’m not talking about Oscar De La Hoya, who has thankfully hung up his gloves after clearly losing his fastball in recent fights.
I’m talking about massive boxing draw (and former Dancing With The Stars contestant) Floyd Mayweather Jr., who still has plenty of punch left in his lightning-quick gloves (and his million-dollar mouth).
Boxing (and HBO and anyone else with a stake in the sport) needs one of the fighters Saturday night to look fantastic, enough so that the boxing world can’t help but fall all over the guy with adulation. If that happens, it should rouse Mayweather to come out of “retirement” to try and regain his crown as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game. And cash a huge check.
With the heavyweight division still unable to produce big Pay Per View events and De La Hoya’s huge PPV draw now gone, the sport needs as many marquee names as possible.
Just between us, if I were a betting man I would put a couple of bucks on Pacquiao, but whoever it is, the sport of boxing - and the networks that make money off of it - just need one of the two fighters to look good enough to get another big-time player back into the game.