Super Saturday Thoughts: Mayweather/Pacquiao, Kentucky Derby, Horse Racing vs Cock Fights,The Rangers, The Spurs, PPV Money & Much More

There are a million May-Pac memes out there, but this is my favorite so far

Welcome everyone to a rare Sunday blog, here on What a long day yesterday was in the sports world. Of course, the Rangers defeated the Capitals to tie their series at one a piece, the Clippers shockingly sent the Spurs to a first round exit, animal abuse was celebrated for the 141st year, the Yankees & Mets playing their division rivals and of course, the biggest fight in the fifteen years of this century, Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao.

For me, the only thing on the top of the list, by far, was watching the Rangers game. You can check out the main page or the archives for my recap on yesterday’s game. I’m not a horse racing guy at all, I actually think the whole “sport” is disgusting. I’m sure many will accuse me of being too liberal on that matter, but for me, horse racing is just a step above cock fighting. I’ll get into why below.

While the Rangers game was must-see for me, for the majority people in the world, the number 1 priority was Mayweather vs Pacquiao. My fandom in pro boxing started with Tuesday Night Fights on the USA network, back in the 1990’s. I would see most of the big fights from that era and watch old footage on the ESPN classic channel or the classics on the MSG network.

I never really had a favorite boxer, as much as I was into the spectacle of big time prize fights. I watched every Tyson fight that I could, even though by the time I really started watching boxing, Tyson was past his prime. My good buddy Raymond was into Arturo Gatti. He got me into Gatti and I really enjoyed his fights.

The problem with my generation, and I’m talking about people born from 1980 and on, is that we never got to see a real dominant heavyweight. Sure, Lennox Lewis was there, but he never had a true rival. The Tyson fights were just trainwreck fights, that people watched out of curiosity. Once Lewis retired, the heavyweight division went to shit. We had the Klitschko brothers but they wouldn’t fight each other. Even when Lewis was around, there wasn’t a flamboyant or charismatic heavyweight like a Holyfield, Tyson or Foreman. We had pure boxers, but not much in the showmanship department.

Love him or hate him, Mayweather draws money

Having a pro wrestling background (If you don’t know, I wore a variety of hats in the professional wrestling world for 10 years), I understand the aspect of marketing big fights or in wrestling, matches. The way to do that is to usually have a guy who is charismatic, does all the right things, wins his fights dominantly and/or brings his nationality into it. Pacquiao has made a career playing up the Filipino card. It applies to any individual sport that charges money to watch it on PPV. MMA and pro wrestling are no exception.

The other way to make money is to be the guy everyone loves to hate. Mike Tyson, who started off as the likeable poor kid out of Brooklyn, quickly turned into the guy people paid to see lose or pay to see what he would do next.

For Floyd Mayweather, he is the rare breed that while he has tons and tons of fans, he also has people who will pay to see him lose. That is what has made him the richest boxer in boxing history. Not only that, he is the biggest draw in the history of PPV. Whether you love him or hate him,  you will pay to see him fight.

In fighting sports, the key to selling PPV’s is to have the casual fans buy them. The hardcores are already in. Mayweather is a house-hold name and if you’re a sports fan, you have an opinion of him. Once again, Mayweather carried PPV to an all-new level. While the WWE can claim that PPV is dead, and start their own subscription based network, Mayweather is proof that PPV is as alive as ever. At the same time, WWE runs 12 monthly events a year, while Mayweather will only fight twice. Separate businesses, but to claim PPV is dead is ridiculous. If there is something big and interesting, the people will come out and pay to see it.

After the fight last night, Beiber was acting like an asshole again, verbally harassing Pac fans behind his entourage

For me, I’m not a Mayweather fan. I just can’t get behind a guy who beats women.

In fact, here’s his complete criminal history from Wikipedia:

In 2002, Mayweather was charged with two counts of domestic violence and one count of misdemeanor battery. He received a six-month suspended sentence and two days of house arrest and was ordered to perform 48 hours of community service.

In 2004, Mayweather was given a one-year suspended jail sentence, ordered to undergo counseling for “impulse control” and pay a $1,000 fine (or perform 100 hours of community service) after being convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery against two women.

In 2005, Mayweather pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge after hitting and kicking a bouncer, receiving a 90-day suspended jail sentence.

On September 9, 2010, it was reported that Mayweather was being sought by police for questioning after his former girlfriend, Josie Harris, filed a domestic battery report against him. Harris accused Mayweather of battery in the past, but those charges were dropped in July 2005 after Harris testified that she had lied and that Mayweather had not battered her.  Mayweather was taken into custody September 10, 2010, but was released after posting $3,000 bail. Mayweather was initially charged with felony theft (stemming from the disappearance of Harris’s mobile phone); on September 16 two felony coercion charges, one felony robbery charge, one misdemeanor domestic-battery charge and three misdemeanor harassment charges were added.

On December 21, 2011, a judge sentenced Mayweather to serve 90 days in the county jail for battery upon Josie Harris in September 2010. Mayweather reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pled guilty to misdemeanor battery in exchange for prosecutors dropping the felony battery charge. Mayweather also pled no contest to two counts of misdemeanor harassment, stemming from threats to his children. In addition to the 90-day sentence Mayweather was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, a 12-month domestic-violence program and to pay a fine of $2,500. On June 1 Mayweather began serving his county jail sentence, and was released in August 2012.

Mayweather is a serial woman abuser, among other things. Not only do I not want to line his pockets with PPV money (I watched it at a bar showing it for free) I just can’t root for the guy. That’s why I could only laugh when someone like Mike Tyson, who has a rap sheet longer than Mayweather’s, was calling out Mayweather for his criminal past.

On the Filipino Flip side, Pacquaio is hard to get behind for me too. He’s a guy, who at one time was charged with tax evasion for $2.2 billion in the Phillipines. Of course, money greased that situation. He was also accused of using PED’s and has refused drug testing before. For me though, going into this May-Pac fight, he was the better of two evils.

Is it me, or did Pacquiao look like a lesbian Asian Keri Strug last night?

Despite not really being a fan of either guy, I wanted to see this fight for the spectacle. I know enough about these fighters and have seen enough of their fights to predict what was going to happen. Mayweather was going to win, in a decision. It’s the same shit every fight. As an athlete/competitor, I don’t hate on Mayweather’s skills or ability. He is a pure pound-for-pound scientific and technical fighter. He is a master at his craft. He is exciting doing it? To me, he’s not. He’s the best at what he does, and arguably one of the best of all time, but I rather see a street fight over a Mayweather fight.

There is a reason why Olympic (Roman or Greco) wrestling isn’t as popular as pro wrestling. People love the drama, flashy characters, storylines and all the glitz and glamour that goes with it. Olympic wrestling, unless you’re really into it, is boring. You need to really be into it to appreciate the skill and work that goes into it. That’s what Mayweather is. Can’t knock him for that. For me though, I rather watch Gatti or Hearns or anyone else have a true slugfest, for my PPV dollar.

This fight was three hours of spectacle before even entering the ring. The celebrities. The interviews. The hype. It was what you expected.

The Fight of the Century, if you don’t count Al Sharpton vs Intelligence

I watched this fight with some friends at a local bar/restaurant in my area, Rio Fusion, (Dubbed “The Flying Fist for the night, by Brian Miller) in Island Park. If you’re someone in the area, the place was pretty nice and worth a try, if you’re looking for something new. I can’t tell you about the food (or the soup) but the service was great and everything was moderately priced. With a free admission for the fight, they got me into the building and I will check them out for a meal down the line.
My take on the fight, especially as the announcers were giving their mock score sheets was that I thought Pac was winning all the way. When the announcers had Mayweather crushing Pac, I was stunned. I watch a ton of UFC/MMA and I know the judges are always wacky. However, maybe it was the long day, the twenty or thirty beers throughout the long day (spaced out from 12pm-1am and with a nap sandwiched in after the Rangers game and the fight) but I really thought Manny was doing better.

It wasn’t until after the fight, when they showed the stats. Mayweather landed a shit-load more punches than Pac. Even while Pac was going on his flurries, and he had many of them, they still gave Mayweather the round because I guess he intelligently defended himself. Perhaps the judges give the champion and Mayweather the shadow of a doubt, because they’ve seen this before. In the later rounds, Mayweather seemed to be in better shape than Pac.

What kind of bothered me, and I’m glad I didn’t pay for this, is that after a 12 round, 36 minute fight, where each guy got $158,000 per second, before PPV bonuses/sponsorships and all that, is that both looked no worse than when they started. Give credit for the shape these guys are in, but I mean, there was no blood, no visible bruising, and it barely looked like they broke a sweat. Part of that is due to the extreme conditioning they are in, but man, for $100, you want to see a bloodbath.

The internet was on fire with memes and pictures

For the judge of the sport and for the hardcores, Mayweather won this in a landslide. For the casuals, it looked like Manny did better. When you look at the stats, and because it happens so fast at times, Mayweather was the better fighter on paper. He did enough to win. Was it impressive? No, but it rarely is. The guy just wins and you can’t argue with that strategy. At 48-0 and one fight left in his career (or so he says), there’s no reason to change his style to impress fans now.

As far as where either guy goes from here, Mayweather has already announced that he plans to vacate his 454757474757474 championships and have one more fight in September. Pac looks like he is trying to get a rematch, saying he was hurt before the fight and letting his camp say he was robbed.

For the sport of boxing and for the promoters, the best thing would’ve been for Pac to win, to set up a rematch. With the win, in what many boxing circles are calling in easy fashion, (And really it’s so sad this fight didn’t happen five years ago when both men were in their peak) Mayweather has nothing left to prove. Fighting Manny again does nothing for him. This fight was boring, outside of a few flurries from Manny. Who would spend $100 on this shit again?

With Mayweather on his way out, and Pac not too far behind, boxing is going to have to find a new star or risk another dark age. It should be interesting to see who emerges and from what division.

The Kentucky Derby

From animals in the ring, to animals on the track, let’s switch topics and look at the Derby. For some reason, people are fascinated with horse racing. Whether it’s the gambling, the funny hats, whiskey mojitos or the smell of horse shit in the air, people really get into this. For me, I hate it.

I don’t think I’ve hit it on these blogs, but I’m a big animal guy. I donate to ASPCA. I’m against fur or using animal products for vain purposes. I’m against puppy mills. I’m a bit of a hypocrite though, because I do eat meat. I guess I justify it by saying that it is the food chain and goes back to survival of the fittest.

I won’t go long here, with a long liberal rant, but horse racing at this time of year, is big in this country. I just don’t get it. What is the thrill of seeing midgets kicking their feet into the ribcage of a horse? It’s 2015, who gives a fuck how fast a horse goes? Go get a gas guzzling car like a normal American.

If you ever truly examine it, and I’m not the guy to go to, google articles and watch documentaries, horse racing is a barbaric sport. Even when HBO did that TV show on it, “Luck”, horses were dying there too. Maybe 5% of all horses, being prepared to race, actually make it. The other 95% are killed off and used for spare parts. The ones that do make it are pumped with drugs and don’t live a natural life.

People in the sport aren’t trying to have horses to attack other horses, which is why I consider horse racing one step above cock fighting. I just find it funny that people who find cock  or dog fights deplorable (especially the Mike Vick stuff) are the same people who have fistful of OTB tickets and are in 3843838384 pools.

So wow, a horse whose name you won’t remember, unless you bet on it, won a silly race in redneck central. Yippee.

Kreider could kick Mayweather and Pacquiao’s ass!

Just wanted to add in a few more Ranger thoughts. Again, check out yesterday’s blog on the main page:

– The only way the Caps have a chance of winning this series is if everything goes right. Ovi has to get hot. Holtby needs to match or outplay Lundqvist. Caps have to be more physical. Caps have to outplay the Rangers in the special team department. We saw that in game one. In game two, the Rangers were fired up. Ovi was still hot, Holtby played to Hank’s level, but the Rangers matched Washington’s physicality. They also matched them special teams wise.

– What really makes you nervous is this was the 9th NYR playoff game in a row to be decided by one goal. That needs to stop. Can’t the Rangers ever just blow out someone and not stress us out?

– The series is now a best of five. The Rangers have been great on the road all year and won both road playoff games in the Pittsburgh series. They seem to always get up for big games and it wouldn’t shock me if they won one goal games in Washington. At the very least, I expect a split.

–  I get the Rick Nash criticism, but it is tiresome. He’s not Ovechkin. However, Nash has assisted on some goals, screened goalies on others and has a good job keeping the puck in the offensive zone.

– If Chris Kreider could ever figure out how to play the way he played in Game 2 on a consistent basis, watch out NHL.

– I’m very impressed with the maturity and the level of play the Rangers rookies are playing this year. Watching Kevin Hayes play, I feel like Mr. Belding at the end of Saved By The Bell, when he gave Zack Morris his diploma. He’s got tons of potential and I can’t wait to see what happens when he lets it all out.

One of the greatest franchises in the NBA

The San Antonio Spurs, after leading their series 3-2, lost a Game 7 to the Clippers in the first round on Saturday. I’m sad to see the Spurs too. I don’t watch the NBA as much as I used to, ever since they started to embrace the hip-hop culture and the length of games extended, but I will watch the playoffs. In the first rounds, I’ll watch a few games and then just try to catch the final 30 seconds of the rest of them, since that’s all that matters and it takes an hour just to do that.

We may have seen the end of an era last night, with the Spurs eliminated. Like Mayweather, they were a fundamental team. Unlike Mayweather, they were classy guys that did everything right. It’s a shame to see them out of it. I’ll still take Duncan over Kobe any day of the week.

Game 3 of the Rangers/Caps series is tomorrow night. I’ll have my full recap up here tomorrow. Enjoy the weekend.


Sean McCaffrey

@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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