Even If You're Not A Boxing Fan, You Need To Watch Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao
I don't watch football, but I watch the Super Bowl. I don't watch baseball, but I watch the World Series. I don't watch any of the sports in the Olympics, but every four years, I give them a shot.
I am sure all of the sports I don't watch are great, but because I wasn't raised watching them, I cannot appreciate what is so impressive to diehard fans.
But, despite all of that, I love basketball. I've been watching it since I started forming memories. As a result, the nuances of the game keep me interested, even if the outcome is not important.
The way a pump fake is thrown, a charge is taken or a passing sequence is executed can make me giddy, even though it may be uninteresting to a casual fan.
But, for the sports I don't watch, I pay attention when the best in the world are at work because the nuances become more obvious, the actions hotter and the greatness more apparent.
To see a master at work, regardless of his or her occupation, is a sight to behold.
Our generation has been blessed with two mirroring champions in the field of boxing. Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have dominated their sports in radically different ways.
Money is a defensive genius, perhaps the greatest boxing has ever seen. His technique is too perfect and executed too flawlessly for his opponents to land decent punches.
They chase him around the ring as he deflects their best attempts in a ruthlessly casual fashion, waiting for them to tire and expose themselves for a finishing blow.
He is a cocky, wealthy, extravagant heel of the boxing world. His lavish lifestyle and taunting boasts have rubbed many the wrong way.
On the other hand though, Pacquiao is the living patron saint of the Philippines. He's a singer, a congressman and a philanthropist who has done an incalculable amount for his home country.
Pacquiao is slippery like Mayweather, but he is also an unconventionally brilliant offensive fighter.
His southpaw style allows swift punches to come from unorthodox angles. If anyone can crack the labyrinth necessary to hit Money, it is Pacquiao.
This battle has been a fantasy in the daydreams of boxing fans for years, and it has finally come, but some fear it is too late.
Both well into their 30s, these men are definitely on the downslopes of their athletic peaks.
There will be plenty of ballyhoo about what could have been a few years earlier, but there is no use in crying over spilled milk — especially when there is a full glass that still looks pretty good.
The decline of these two chief competitors isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the middle of their primes, Pacquiao and Money may have represented an "unstoppable force meets immovable object" type of scenario.
They would have been so good that the fight might have been a little boring to anyone who didn't understand the beauty of subtle counters.
But, in the epilogue of their storied careers, each of them has lost a half step. The sheen of their dazzling greatness has been dulled.
The slight drops in their flawless forms might force them to compensate with more aggression. They'll have to take the initiative to guide the direction of the fight. Neither one wants to be caught on their heels.
This is a defining boxing moment. It may not decide who is conclusively better, but it is a strong piece of supporting evidence. Legacies are born on the line.
This fight will determine whose name is said first when people discuss boxing at the turn of the 21st century.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is a clash of equal, complementary masters seeking to chisel their names into the marble tablet of sporting lore.
Watch the fight. Your kids will want to know how it went.