Friday, March 6, 2009

Curse this recession

Pic: Sportsfile

Crappy news, sports fans, brought to you as ever by your friendly neighbourhood purveyors of doom, the Limerick Leader.
The Andy Lee/Jamie Power Madison Square Garden St Patrick's Day Extravaganza has been cancelled.
Despite the organiser's hopes that an Irishman-heavy bill would bring the Paddys in by the barrel, ticket sales have been poor and the rug has been pulled.
The decline of headline boxing since the mid 1990s, brought on mostly by the disintegration of the heavyweight division, had actually begun to turn recently.
This was mostly due to the eschewing of title bouts as the main draw for promoters in favour of catchweight tussles that brought unlikely styles and sizes of big name fighter into the ring together.
Back in the day, Hopkins-Pavlik and Pacquiao-De La Hoya just wouldn't have happened. But it's an experiment that has worked, and it had even been touted that a Vegas clash between the winner of May's Pacquaio-Hatton bout could even draw Floyd Mayweather Jr, the biggest cash cow of them all, out of retirement.
But when even a headline card at The Garden falls victim of the recession, it doesn't bode well for the immediate future of glamour boxing as a commodity.
As for Andy Lee, it seems his path to the middleweight championship will have to be at least 18 months longer.
He has the talent, and his jab could knock the paint off a fighter jet, but so long as the Bob Arums of this world don't like the sums he won't be getting a crack at Kelly Pavlik any time soon.

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