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Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2015: Could the choice of commentators derail or delay superfight?

Joseph Herron Updated
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It's become common knowledge on a global level that Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, HBO and Showtime Sports are currently in advanced stages of negotiating a mega-fight deal that could yield both fighters an unprecedented payday for a single, 36 minute meeting in the squared circle. The size of the ring, purse split, host venue, brand of gloves, drug testing, and order of ring entrance...all of the aforementioned factors could come into play when determining whether or not Mayweather vs Pacquiao eventually materializes.

While most fight fans won't fully appreciate how each issue may or may not equate to a mental or physical advantage for either fighter, there are many crucial elements of the proposed deal that could drastically alter public perception of the fight's outcome.

One future Hall of Fame prizefighter ostensibly recognizes the importance of influence, perception and presentation.

It was recently reported by Dan Rafael of ESPN, that "Money" Mayweather has several pending concerns with the telecast of the projected event, which were allegedly discussed and resolved during meeting with boxing counterpart Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

"Floyd Mayweather went to Manny Pacquiao's hotel suite and had a private meeting," stated the renowned boxing scribe on ESPN.com. "They spent about an hour plus together, talking about terms for the proposed fight that everybody hopes will take place in Las Vegas, on May 2."

"Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser, told me that most of business discussed was about two broadcasting issues Floyd had. People should know that if this fight takes place, it will be a joint PPV telecast between HBO and Showtime. And so Floyd voiced two particular issues to the Pacquiao side...which have been reportedly taken care of and resolved."

It's no surprise that Floyd has often expressed his preference that the fight should be broadcast on his network affiliate, Showtime Sports.

The pound for pound fighter is wise enough to realize that a pro-Mayweather broadcast team could drastically influence the way most fight fans view the action as it unfolds in the ring.

Although most mainstream sports broadcasts intentionally try to maintain a certain level of objectivity, without bias towards a specific team or athlete, most networks don't have a vested interest or a relationship with one particular athlete or sports franchise like HBO and Showtime currently has with Mayweather and Pacquiao respectively.

And due to the subjective nature in scoring a prizefight, the activity that ensues within the squared circle can be and often is interpreted and described with different but equally valid points of view by those selected to call the action from ringside.

When one considers what both fighters and networks stand to gain or lose financially with this joint endeavor, the chosen crew calling the fight could prove to be an integral part of how the overall fight is viewed by the real bosses of boxing, the paying customers.

Because the probable "Mayweather vs. Pacquiao" match-up won't be scored like an amateur contest, in which judges tally the number of "clean" punches landed by both fighters, the two network crews will undoubtedly argue which respective fighter's work is the more consequential and most effective, should the fight go to the judges' scorecards.

When subjective factors like power, consequence, ring generalship, and effective aggression, ultimately determine the winner and loser of a twelve round prizefight, how those same intangibles are viewed by the broadcast team will most certainly influence the general fan perception as well.

Should commentators like Al Bernstein, Paulie Malignaggi, Jim Lampley, and Max Kellerman be trusted to call the action without an obvious slant in favor of their respective network's fighter?

To maintain an optimal level of integrity throughout the global event, given the projected mainstream audience, both commentary panels should be assigned to call the "Mayweather vs. Pacquiao" super fight, alternating with each successive round.

Without the benefit of a clean and decisive knock-out, the chosen commentary team could insite more unnecessary debate to the already controversial sport of boxing without some much needed parity on fight night.


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