HBO boxing’s Jim Lampley appeared recently on the Rich Eisen Show and discussed Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, and MMA vs. boxing. Lampley was particularly not impressed that Pacquiao fought with an injured shoulder.
“It was a cynical enterprise to begin with in certain ways and now seems even more so,” said Lampley, as transcribed by Nick Schwartz? for USA Today. “I feel terrible [for those] who spent four figures on a ticket, I feel bad for people who spent 89, 90, 100 dollars on pay-per-view who were not given proper information in advance on what it was they were seeing.
“I think there may be a constituency of people who think it’s in some way noble and brave for Pacquiao to go ahead and enter the ring with an injury and try to perform, but I think that the only way that would wash is if the public had known in advance, and to have gone ahead with the enterprise when one of the fighters turns out to be damaged goods.”
“For all of the advertising and promotions to have continued to base itself on the notion that this was the fight of the century and the best combat that boxing could offer. To fans and uninitiated fans who only know a little about boxing and see it from the surface level buy in at the level in which they bought in are bound to feel somewhat cheated today.
“I just really think it’s highly unfortunate for our sport, I think it’s bad for Pacquiao’s image and taints his great and noble career, and I could go on and on about the ways in which this is unfortunate for boxing and for the audience. I can’t imagine, even under these circumstances, that a rematch would illicit anything other than an embarrassing response compared to what they got the other night.”
Lampley has a long record of making disparaging remarks about the UFC, but he appears to coming around, albeit in a back handed manner.
“[UFC] make the top people fight against the top people,” said Simmons, as transcribed by David St. Martin for MMA Fighting. “It’s more like the NFL model where any given Sunday top guys are going to fight top guys. But of course what that eliminates for them is the pinnacle event. When everybody has four to five losses you can’t put together Mayweather-Pacquiao because the public wants to see people rise up way above the normal universe and then get together in some sort of summit meeting and that’s when you get the million buy Pay-Per-View, or in the case with Mayweather-Pacquiao the 4.4 million buy PPV.
“UFC will never be able to construct an event like that as long as they use the model they’re using. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I think there are intelligent reasons for them to do what they do, but we’re always going to have the bigger showcase events when they happen.”
Simmons pointed out that the UFC holds high-level events far more consistently, and Lampley returned to his usual form.
“That’s why they’re doing so well,” said Lampley. “It’s a lesser amount of rounds and shorter rounds and it’s more violent so it suits cyber-era attention spans better than the 12-round fight does. There are a lot of reasons why for young people at this moment the UFC is probably more popular that boxing, but we’re not going away.
“We’re not evaporating from the landscape. We still have a certain cache which goes with 125 years of gloved prize fighting existence and all the socio-political impact that our fighters have had.”
As is his habit, Lampley was of course factually incorrect, literally not smarter than a 5th grader. Pro MMA rounds are longer, not shorter.