Links to the Sweet Science
No denying that the folks at the head of the boxing business have learned a little about good matchmaking from their cousins in the octagon in the five years since the UFC forced its way into the mainstream sports scene with its monthly pay-per-view shows and star vs. star showdowns.
But this week two of the UFC's top fighters could learn something from a pair of boxers, all of them preparing to throw down this weekend.
As we mentioned yesterday, UFC 155-pound champ B.J. Penn and challenger Diego Sanchez are good friends who have struggled to muster any animosity towards each other before this Saturday's title fight.
But that same night in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO 140 pound belt against mandatory challenger and long-time buddy Lamont Peterson. These two have been friends for a decade, and while they're reluctant to talk trash, they at least are talking like people who are actually about to fight.
"We're both undefeated, which makes for a great fight. Web both have speed and power, and we both have boxing ability," Bradley told espn.com. "But at the end of the day it's my job to teach Lamont Peterson how to lose, and that's what I'm going to do."
See how that's done, B.J. and Diego?
So where will the March 13 megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao land?
Not in Dallas, where Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had wanted to bring the bout to his brand new, $1.2 million stadium. Both fighters' camps have turned down that proposal.
But before you book your tickets to Vegas for fight weekend, consider that another site has put in a bid.
A big bid.
A $20 million bid to bring the bout to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
As Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer points out, the tax issue complicates the case for a fight in California. Specifically, fighters would have to pay taxes in L.A. that they wouldn't face in Vegas or even Texas.
But a decade ago there was enough public interest and money available to stage Oscar De la Hoya and Shane Mosley's first bout at the Staples Center. So it could happen.
Unless, of course, some Las Vegas outfit with a little spare cash and a lot to gain from hosting the fight of the century steps in and outspends them all.
Yeah, that could happen too.