The already battered sport of boxing took another body blow when
Why was it a setback? Because for many casual fans, a fight involving Mayweather is the only fight worth watching.
The thing is, it's not.
Taking nothing away from Mayweather -- who promotes as well as he fights -- but the fact is that "Pretty Boy" Floyd had become little more than a boxing mercenary over the last two years. Beginning with the overmatched
But for the misguided fans, there is a dangerous and high-profile fight lurking out there:
By now you have probably heard of Pavlik, the blue-collar, Youngstown-born-and-bred undefeated middleweight king who rose to the top of the division with two wins over
Abraham is a little more anonymous. The IBF middleweight champion, "King" Arthur is also undefeated and coming off a decisive victory June 21 over
Two big, talented, powerful, undefeated middleweight champions. So tell me: Why isn't this fight locked down right now?
Several reasons. For one, Abraham is a relatively unknown commodity. Before fighting Miranda in Hollywood, Fla., the Armenian-born Abraham had fought primarily in Germany and had never been in a U.S. arena. Without an American fan base, Abraham becomes less attractive to network executives (read: HBO, Showtime). If the networks pass, that would leave promoters with the prospect of putting on a risky pay-per-view.
"We would like to raise his profile," Top-Rank and Pavlik promoter
Money is also an issue. Before the Pavlik-Lockett fight, Pavlik's trainer,
"A fight with Pavlik will have nothing to do with money," Abraham told SI.com. "I want to be the best. He is considered the best."
Then there is the matter of mandatory challengers.
Both fights would be a mistake. Marquez, a former super welterweight champion, was once a talented fighter, but at 36 he is years past his prime. And while Mora has a strong fan base, his lack of quality opponents (his most noteworthy win came in his most recent fight, a less-than-convincing decision over
Pavlik and Abraham need to fight now -- not 12 months from now. Arum and Abraham's promoter,
The middleweight championship has long been one of the most glamorous titles in boxing, dating to the days of