It is a new dawn in boxing for the glamorous division of welterweight.
Instead of making it rain in the darkness of the strip club before re-mastering the art of invisible defense and near invincible ring generalship, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21KOs) aims to surpass the reign of Floyd Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) by shining light on a vicious offense and aggression so very effective that it includes affection from the masses.
“The Truth” offers more than false hope allayed by fears of a letdown, evidenced by his beat down of pound-for-pound star Mikey Garcia. But let’s be honest, he didn’t exactly ‘whack up a real welterweight’, as WBA welterweight champion Keith “One-Time” Thurman (29-0, 22KOs) once stated regarding WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford.
WBC welterweight champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17KOs), still more famous for gym wars far, far away in another galaxy with the other WBA welterweight champion and Filipino icon Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39KOs), was barely seen through squinted eyes barely defending his title in front of a bare minimum of fans.
But what is clear in abundance, is that the life of PPV is now almost entirely dependent upon the stars at 147 lbs under the banner of Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions. There is still a relatively new looking #FREEBOXING4ALL t-shirt….
…hanging up in my closet that feels like old “Money” that just won’t go away. It’s better to burn out than to fade away…
As I left AT&T Stadium last Saturday night, I had a brief encounter with PBC wunderkind Sam Watson before bolting into the Dallas night. On the flight back to Gotham, I had a chance to reflect on the direction of the division and PPV with Spence as the new alpha, and how to challenge ESPN+ (which currently sucks and isn’t worth my $5 bucks a month– for now) and DAZN, with its new “Free Boxing” concept (well, the first month anyway, which generally includes what would amount to a “Star Fight” on PPV for about $75).
Outside of Bob Arum somehow doing the rightfully unthinkable and lining up Vasyl Lomachenko Vs Terence Crawford on that sorry ass app (Once again, for now… folks) they don’t have anything to worry about there. But DAZN is and will be a problem that will gain momentum, especially given what I think Canelo Vs Jacobs will be on May 4 in Las Vegas. These are the fights that I’d be lobbying to make in executive offices.
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr Vs Danny “Swift” Garcia
Kate Abdo caught up with a greasy hamburger and fries fiending Errol Spence Jr after mauling Mikey Garcia in a recent PBC ON FOX interview. It got a little more interesting when she brought in Shawn Porter. Head quaffed in a lime green hat and matching pimp juice suit, Porter…
…looked very much like “Showtime”, but you wouldn’t know it by how many tickets he sells– he doesn’t, as Danny Garcia swiftly pointed out during his presser to promote an action fight with Chicago badass Adrian Granados in April 20. “Swift” made a point of noting that Porter barely had 1,500 fans in attendance to see him narrowly escape Yordenis Ugas, in contrast to the over 13,000 fans in Barclays present for his clash with Porter. I think “The Danny Garcia Show” will do numbers at Dignity Health Sports Park near Los Angeles, and will also end in exciting fashion. Spence smartly told Oscar De La Hoya to go fly a kite, and is demonstrating a serious business acumen.
If Pacquiao is “blood and guts”, so is Danny, and a proven big fight performer who is younger and more prone to upset him for more drama. They are both tremendous draws, as I’d venture to say DSG would pull off the same amount of Latino support at AT&T Stadium as Mikey did for even more PPV success. If we’re talking around the July 4th holiday celebration, all I see is fireworks.
Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao Vs Keith “One-Time” Thurman
I was at USF in Tampa for the July 2015 war that featured Keith Thurman Vs Luis Collazo, and recall One-Time’s justified frustration over not being able to secure a big fight, namely, with Floyd Mayweather. Thurman was what Pacquiao is now: the WBA “regular” welterweight champion; Mayweather had arrived at a full “TBE” station in his career, and was the WBC and WBA “super” champion in the division set to face Andre Berto. The problem is, Berto was Thurman’s mandatory, just as Thurman should’ve been Mayweather’s defense. Instead, here we are nearly four years later, and Thurman is still unbeaten and in need of a signature performance against a legend to catapult him into water cooler discussion on a Monday by Joe Blow types. Pacquiao vs Thurman would do that, and would most likely be a serious cliffhanger, given Thurman’s penchant for high seas drama and Manny’s renewed “Pac-Man” gobble-gobble approach even near the zenith. That is the fight that should happen next, as it would allow PBC to justify its long-standing investment in a largely idle Thurman over the last few years, while solidifying its investment with a proven idol on American soil to PPV subscribers. If Pacquiao vs Broner did 300K in buys, Pacquiao vs Thurman easily scratches on the door of 500K in a guaranteed action fight that registers as a ‘Pick Em’ in Vegas.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather Vs “Showtime” Shawn Porter
Socrates once said: “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
I believe that.
Let’s end this piece with a case for Mayweather Vs Porter, preceded by a little backdrop for clarity. From this vantage point, good writing is always clear thinking made visible; so let’s be clear– I do not hate Floyd Mayweather. But as the previous article suggested, apparently, “The Truth” Hurts for real. There was tremendous vitriolic backlash in some social media fight forums or circles in response to that article, and after watching Spence appear on “Speak For Yourself” with Marcellus Wiley and Jason Whitlock, I decided to re-think my position on Mayweather in a way that still won’t please much of the public, but who cares? Business does not give as much consideration to emotion as it does logic, nor does it measure what [has been done] as opposed to what can be done. That said, why leave “Money” on the table?
When I suggested it should be Mayweather facing Spence instead of Pacquiao, sycophants of the sensitive legend from Grand Rapids, MI started chiming in about how “old” he was now and that he was “retired”. But these same sycophants had no problem with a much rumored Mayweather Vs Pacquiao II, initially slated for late 2018. They certainly had no problem with Floyd grown-manning a child…
…in Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve; a fighter Floyd insisted could not use any of his MMA discipline while strictly fighting under the rules of boxing (who KOs someone in an exhibition except Ivan Drago?). Anyway…
So Pacquiao, considering the aggregate damage he’s sustained over the course of his career, is considerably more than that of Mayweather despite being two years younger (let’s not forget the devastating KO loss to Marquez, the kind of which NEVER leaves a fighter), is more suited to fighting Spence than a Mayweather parked in neutral over the last four years? Really?
Put the very marketable history between Spence and Mayweather aside while considering a few important comparative facts. Mayweather went above and beyond “Money” by referring to himself as “TBE” (which, for the uninitiated, means “The Best Ever”); even riding alongside ESPN bloviator Stephen A. Smith during the build-up to his “superfright” with Pacquiao and dead-ass stating: “I am better than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson”. Doesn’t that mean at age 42, that he should be better than Bernard Hopkins? All B-Hop did at 42 was manhandle Antonio Tarver to capture the light heavyweight IBO and RING titles, after wanting to strangle me at Tampa International Airport for suggesting he was crazy to take that fight. Which brings me to Shawn Porter.
Let’s say the braintrust behind Pacquiao rightfully switches gears and insist on a Thurman fight instead of a Spence fight, presumably, leaving us with Spence Vs Porter instead. But as mentioned, Porter, despite a new pimped out and flamboyant marketing strategy, isn’t going to be anymore of the zero draw he is now by July (when Spence wants to return). Only Mayweather could help him exacerbate the potential of what he could be to the public, as arguably boxing’s hardest working fighter in the ring. With Odell Beckham Jr now bringing his ostentatious act to Cleveland, Mayweather Vs Porter around the start of the upcoming NFL season in Cleveland would be “Money” (pun intended folks).
Besides, Mayweather and the WBC welterweight championship go together like peanut butter & jelly, and if you don’t think Floyd couldn’t find a way to apply his “7 to 5 Theory”, as presented by Keith Thurman during his post fight presser after surviving Josesito Lopez– you’re crazy.
“TBE” would dial up “Money” during the championship rounds – and even put “Pretty Boy Floyd” on the line – to sneak past a pesky Porter he’d turn into a star, while going out with the type of glory reserved for Purple Heart recipients of war.
If he never fought again, everywhere he goes he’d be gold.