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Boxing fans can rest easy as the proposed Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will, come h*ll-or-high-water take place. The problem for fans and sports/boxing writers alike is that they are impatient and want to hear the news now, not tomorrow, not in a few days but right now.
As reported earlier the signs are very clear that the fight will happen and the announcement, in relative terms, is imminent. The fight will be announced but Mayweather wants the information to come out on his terms and his terms only. As reporters are citing unnamed sources that this or that will happen with this or that timetable and fans see that the this-and-that’s are not coming to fruition a sense of frustration creeps in and then boils over. Check any boxing site and one will find a literal plethora of Mayweather-Pacquiao articles claiming a range of privileged information on the negotiations, the particulars of the agreement and a supposed timetable for things. The cynic might well assume that the current feeding frenzy was calculated by the Money Team well in advance for the express purpose of hyping the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
Information coming out of the Mayweather camp is so scant that journalists with deadlines and a range of demands imposed upon them by their publishers are digging in every hole for unique and exclusive information in order to differentiate their articles from a plethora of like-minded articles.
Journalism appears to go bad when there is a clear and altogether massive taste amongst readers for a specific story or bit of information on same. Analytics, the numbers behind the scenes that show who is reading what, clearly demonstrates that any and all information about the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is being devoured by anxious fans worldwide.
Readers may not know it but writers know exactly what information is selling and what is not. Every time someone surfing the web hits a specific site someone somewhere knows it and after the numbers crunching comes in journalists pounce or like sharks begin a feeding frenzy. This in turn feeds what trends and a vicious cycle producing sometimes low quality articles materializes.
What has been trending now for months is any information one can get one’s hands on about the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. There is an old dictum in journalism that one’s article is only as good as one’s sources. While citing unnamed sources was, once-upon-a-time, frowned upon this practice is becoming the norm. There are so many sites dedicated to boxing and so many journalists trying to make a name for themselves and make a few bucks along the way that the internet is getting over-saturated with identical articles claiming exclusive, inside-sourced information.
Things have gotten so problematic with the reportage and legitimate information so scant surrounding the Money May-Pacman fight that journalists are now attacking each other. Well reputed reporters like Dan Rafael of ESPN and the UK’s Telegraph are being attacked for claiming inside-sourced information that, at least apparently, turns out to be false.
Ivan G. Goldman, a very good writer in his own right has deemed it his responsibility to call everyone to repentance. In a curiously aggressive article that reads more like screed than journalistic apologia Goldman asserts that “Misreporting on the supposed super-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is getting so ridiculous that writers may now be deriving information from visions that come to them in the night.”
In defense of these and other well-intentioned reporters readers may need to be reminded that, while they are deserving of quality information, even reporters like the esteemed and well reputed Dan Rafael are only as good as their sources allow them to be. The current state of affairs with regard to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and the feeding frenzy naturally entailing was in-fact well calculated by the Money Team all along. While this reminder may be a bit self-serving readers need to be reminded of the following four points, especially as it relates to reporting emerging Mayweather-Pacquiao information.
Number one; uncited sources are in fact embedded sources and have information that others do not have. It is clear that Rafael has, like many other journalists, been manipulated by sources with an agenda. Much of the information coming out about negotiations is coming from rogue elements within both the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps. When the information turns out to be false or a distortion of the truth well-intentioned and reputed journalists are unjustly getting the blame.
Number two; Mayweather’s gag-order on information concerning negotiations has forced sources to communicate quietly, sometimes through back channels and always with the request that they not be named. It is sometimes very difficult for journalists to vet authenticity as deadlines loom and the issues and topics that are trending, even within given topics, change so quickly.
Number three; it is true that the fight, in principle, has been agreed upon as many sources confirm. Mayweather gets on national TV and implies that it was not. He is pitting himself against a vast array of sources that suggest otherwise. If one is inclined to ask who is telling the truth it is clear that, from a preponderance of evidence, Mayweather is implying/suggesting what is clearly not the case.
The truth is, that while there is not a literal hardcopy of the contract, said contract is in its final draft stages and will soon be presented for signature by principles. Rafael was given information that is essentially correct regardless of what a self-serving Mayweather or rabble-rousing, disgruntled, agenda-informed Alex Ariza have to say about it.
Number four; Mayweather is extending this drama in order to get maximum exposure for Shots, the social media app he threw down one million dollars for where he plans on announcing the fight. He is all about maximizing his earnings even in announcing the fight and has been willing to drag fans along in torturous manner in order to fill his bank account. The real culprit here is not well-intentioned journalists but Mayweather himself. Fans should consider holding him responsible, not the journalists trying to give them the information they demand.
At the end of the day, Mayweather is himself feeding the current and most unseemly feeding frenzy. Journalists who would normally feed on information are now feeding on themselves. Consumers of journalistic product need to understand that this is all of Mayweather’s making. Michael Koncz suggested a few weeks back that this particular fight, being so high-profile, did not need a multi-country or multi-state tour to sell the fight. What fans are now seeing is the marketing strategy of choice.
That is, as journalists feed on information and now each other, and as readers feed on the principles and the writers themselves, the fight garners massive, even unprecedented attention worldwide. The practical effect is a potential windfall of pay per view buys. Make no mistake, as reported earlier, the current state of affairs has Mayweather and Al Haymon written all over it. If fans get a bee in their bonnet they might consider looking in the direction of those manipulating the cash out of their wallets.
Despite what people who clearly know little about the greed of boxing people and their ability to drive up numbers, the fight is in the pipeline and will be announced soon enough. The more the media and fans alike obsess, the broader the smile on not only Mayweather’s face but on the big wigs who stand to make tens of millions on a fight that should have happened five years ago.
There may end up being a backlash as fans and journalists alike tire of being manipulated for financial gain. Indeed, the Mayweather-Pacquiao feeding frenzy, as unseemly as it appears to readers and fans alike, was and is calculated by the Money Team and come h*ll-or-high-water, they will exact their pound of flesh.
Commentary By Matthew R. Fellows
Featured Image By: John – License
Image By: Hayley Total Heliski – Flickr License