MORRIS: Boxing can go without Bieber
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Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Floyd “Money” Mayweather went 12 rounds in the ring this Saturday, but before Mayweather was even able to land his first jab, boxing once again showed us how far it has fallen since elite fighters like Muhammad Ali and George Foreman graced the ring.
While the fight was entertaining for the most part, boxing certainly did a disservice to itself by allowing Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber to accompany Floyd Mayweather to his corner. Lil Wayne walked this walk for the second time in as many years, rapping a six-year-old song (“A Milli”) with a confused-looking Bieber walking beside them.
For reasons unbeknownst to boxing, you’ll never see LeBron James run out of the locker room with Drake prior to a Miami Heat game or see Alex Morgan run onto the pitch with Lady Gaga before a Portland Thorns soccer match. It takes away from the sport, and boxing is in no position to allow it.
While some people may have preferred to see Canelo fight Bieber or Bieber fight Lil Wayne, the actual reason for their showing is up in the air. Mayweather certainly didn’t need to come in via rap concert with every 16-year-old girl’s favorite heartthrob at his side.
Boxing has been on a steady decline in the popularity department in recent memory, and tailing Mayweather with Lil Wayne and Bieber is certainly something that could do more harm than good. Boxing has its fair share of loyalists, but this dog and pony show is a blemish on the face of a sport that needs more than Bieber’s Proactive-using face.
Mixed Martial Arts has seen a rocket-like rise in its popularity in the last few years, and it’s hard to deny the effect this sport has had on the other. While boxing is the more traditional way of fighting, many are drawn to the ring that hosts boxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and many other forms of organized fighting. Fights are held more frequently, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been able to grow its sport at an impressive rate.
Mayweather may have just wanted to make an entrance on Saturday night, but he also may have wanted to show us that short people can make money too. No matter what the reasoning was, boxing as a whole should steer clear of situations like these. People pay good money to see a fight, and when the story before the fight is the people outside of the ring, boxing has a problem.