Things have gotten to the point with boxing prize fights that a lot of the boxing world is beginning to wonder if the top of the boxing card is as cursed as the blue corner (where they put combatants who are supposed to lose, pretty much guaranteeing that they'll lose because they know they have been given the blue corner.)
The sport is rife with evidence that there's a warlock somewhere sticking needles into effigies of boxing's main events. In the last several "big" fights, the action has all been pre-fight buzz, face-offs, and marketing like HBO's “24/7,” not in the ring, a condition epitomized by Wladimir Klitschko versus David Haye, which was all sturm und drang...right up until the fight, which was kind of a dancing lesson.
Mayweather versus Moseley? After the second round, Moseley might as well have watched it from another room with the rest of us. Pacquaio/Moseley? Sugar Shane phoned that one in as well. Mayweather versus Victor Ortiz? The most interesting thing there was Mayweather versus Mayweather on “24/7.” The fight itself? There wasn't one. Mayweather floored Ortiz when Ortiz was confused about what he was supposed to do. The only thing that got knocked out were the people who paid money for that PPV.
There's more: Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah. Zab took a page from Moseley and was outgunned from the first round. Mismatch. Bernard Hopkins versus Chad Dawson? That turned into a bad UFC bout when Dawson threw Hopkins down and apparently separated BHop's shoulder. And then there was last week's big New York debut of Nonito Donaire, who fought Argentine Omar Narvaez. Narvaez looked three feet shorter than Donaire, and won a victory of sorts just by going the distance. The audience was watching the Cardinals on their smartphones. And then we can basically list the last several Pacquaio fights, and put whipped cream on this sundae by noting that the fight that everyone wants to see will probably never happen. Mayweather, as it is generally accepted now, wants no part of Pac Man.
So what marketer would want to stay in boxing? Well, if you're Tecate, it actually makes sense to be in the sport for at least two reasons: first, boxing is huge among Hispanic sports fans, and second -- and this should be first, really because it has a lot to do with the second point -- Mexican and Puerto Rican boxers give their all in the ring. They don't make for good “24/7” histrionics because they save the drama for the ring.
Tecate, as it happens, will be a big sponsor of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Vegas. It is a fight that will probably end as most of Manny's fights have recently, but it's going to be a fight because JMM is one of the greats. As Tecate has for the last several big fights, it will offer a $25 mail-in rebate off of the PPV (with purchase of a 12-pack or larger), cross-merchandise offers at retail, and on-site ticket and product promotions in Vegas during the event. A nationwide campaign includes updates on Tecate's Boxing Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/TecateBoxing) with news, photos and videos related to the event.
Tecate is also sponsoring another fight that will be guaranteed to be...well, not sure "good" is the right word here, because both Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito should probably both call it quits. But their rematch will be Dec. 3 at the MSG.