I watched the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
As a feminist, hearing about Mayweather’s history of domestic violence should have driven me to boycott the match. Unfortunately, as a fight fan, knowing about Mayweather’s behaviour also made me want to watch the fight; I really wanted to see him be defeated.
While I disagree with Pacquiao’s hard line stance against birth control of any kind, it was easy to root for a guy who consistently pours the money he wins back into his community and a variety of charities. Reportedly, Pacquiao will even be giving away half of the prize money he earned from his fight with Mayweather.
Like so many others, I was caught up in the fight that had been framed as a battle between good vs. evil. While many journalists and bloggers called readers to boycott the fight, “early reports indicate that Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was the most-watched PPV event of all time”. For those of us who caved and watched the fight anyway, Mayweather’s behaviour during and after the fight only helped boost the case against him. Boxing fans were angry about his sportsmanship in the match, where he alternated between avoiding Pacquiao-
and holding him close so that Pacquiao couldn’t make any punches.
Following the fight, Mayweather flashed reporters his first cheque, for $100 million, while fans boiled from home. The acquaintance who hosted us for the fight referred to it as “the crime of the century”, and equated it to “daylight robbery”.
Between his shameful history, boring fight, and crowd-angering personality, did Mayweather just drive the last nail in the coffin of boxing? Maybe. But if a domestic abuser is going to be the face of the sport, I’m not really sure I care.