Saturday night, the greatest show between a set of ropes is going down. Victor Ortiz is stepping up to the plate against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now, I hear a lot of rumblings. A lot of people going for the underdog. Some saying he has a chance to win or even knock Floyd Mayweather out. I want you to stop that nonsense right now!
Really?!? Do I need to send someone over to your house to smack some sense into you?
It’s called the fight game. The promotions game. Before Vince McMahon there was Don King. And before King there were mafia bosses and before that the Gangs of New York (the real ones, not the movie). It’s their job. They want you to take the sucker bet. Bet the house on the underdog so that the favorite isn’t so big a favorite that you can’t win any money by betting on him. After all… Who’s going to wager on Mayweather if like now, the current line is -714 (Moneyline). That means if you bet on Floyd to win, which he will, $1000 will only win you $140 in return.
That’s why people hype fights. Are you going to pay for a PPV if you know that the guy is going to get slaughtered? And not Tyson style. This won’t be a flash 30 second knockout. This won’t be spectacular. This will be Floyd going 8-12 rounds and just picking Ortiz apart. Counter-punching everything that Ortiz will throw. That’s not exciting. That’s not money in the promoter’s and fighter’s pockets. If you don’t think the underdog has a shot then you won’t pay for the fight. You won’t bet on the fight. No one makes money and thus the fight is a flop despite the conclusion of the bout.
By hyping the fight. Having spectacular promos. Compelling backgrounds on the fighters and trainers. They weave a tale that makes you believe on any day, and any place, that there can and will be an upset. They tell you about Victor Ortiz. A fighter coming off the greatest win of his career. A win over Andre Berto. A titlist and up and coming star in the making was Berto until Ortiz defeated him. Thus making Victor Ortiz the next great thing. The conveniently leave out the part where he quit last time he faced any major competition. In the middle of a fight… he quit.
The promotion doesn’t end there. It’s one thing to build up a young no name fighter as being a legit threat. But in order to get people believe it then you also have to bring down the favorite and make him seem human and beatable. They tell you how Mayweather hasn’t fought in 14 months. They tell you about his uncle/trainer Roger Mayweather’s legal trouble and Floyd’s own legal issues. They want you to forget that he is 41-0. That in his last fight, while he did get caught early by Shane Mosley, he then went on to completely dominate. The early rocking only served to wake up and anger an otherwise lethargic champion.
So go ahead… Be a sucker. Put your money on Victor Ortiz. Order the PPV (actually you should, it’s a good card). And scream for the upset for whatever reason you choose to support Victor. Could be the underdog role. Could be the insane hatred of Floyd due to his antics and cocky attitude. It could even be because you are an Ortiz supporter. Whatever the reason… Upsets can and do happen. But if you really think that Victor Ortiz is going to beat Floyd Mayweather just go ahead and send me a check for whatever you were going to wager. It’s the same thing. You are just giving away your money.
Sports fanatics and casual fans alike tend to get so wrapped up in the spectacle that they forget that professional sports are a business and the business is entertainment.