Saturday night, THE ENTIRE WORLD will be watching one of the biggest boxing events in the history of the sport, Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao. Well, perhaps not the entire world, but a whole lot of people will be tuning in to see who is the best fighter of their generation. With a fight of this magnitude, news outlets that otherwise place boxing right below Women’s Water Polo and Ultimate Paddleboarding have actually been giving the sport some love.
But it’s not all good news. Along with watching the insufferable assholes like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, we’ll each get our own localized versions of each — guys who are convinced that the sport died when Mike Tyson got knocked out by Buster Douglas, or when “the Russian German brothers or whatever” started dominating the heavyweight division.
To that end, here’s a guide to surviving the night sitting next to Timmy The Know It All Dickhead.
- Resist the urge to pound beers. I know. I know what I’m asking. But seriously, nothing good will come from you trying to reason with a guy who thinks Marvin Hagler would have murdered Mayweather and Pacquiao on the same night when you’re nine beers deep. Use a clear head to explain calmly that they aren’t in the same division and move on.
- Be prepared to answer really, really stupid questions. No, Oscar De La Hoya is not still fighting. That De Niro movie is about a real person. He’s actually still alive. There are two Sugar Rays. Yes, TBE stands for “the best ever.” No, he is not. Just take solace in the fact that you’re the one with the answers.
- Have a response ready for the “this fight should’ve happened five years ago” guy. Yes, of course it should have. But a lot of things should have happened in boxing. Pacquiao should have gotten the nod over Timothy Bradley in their first fight. Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson should have fought. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. should have stopped eating and smoking weed. Peter Quillin should have fought Gennady Golovkin. Ditto Miguel Cotto. Laurence Cole should have been quietly shown the door around the time Joe Cortez left. Showtime should have rethought their entire 2014. Roy Jones, Jr. should’ve refrained from sending those phone pics. Andre Ward should have assessed his value. 50 Cent should have stayed home. Just counter with all of that, and it should end the discussion emphatically.
- Vent on Twitter. That’s what that shit is there for, to chat with assholes you barely know about the assholes you know really well. Log in during the early bouts and let er rip. The catharsis will be good for you.
- Handle the UFC guy. There’s invariably going to be one in every group. You will get asked at some point, “How do you think Mayweather would do against Jon Jones?” Your response should be to first stare incredulously at the person who directed the question, and then respond with something like, “about as well as Roger Federer would do against LeBron in a game of one-on-one.
- Ignore the buddy who thinks he’s in one of the fighter’s corners. It will be hard. You’ll grit your teeth when you hear “He’s not throwing his jab enough,” or “JUST FUCKIN KNOCK HIM OUT,” depending on his level of drunkenness/stupidity. Just tune him out, and tune into the soothing sounds of Jim Lampley.
- Enjoy your status as the technical wizard for the night. Depending on how many casuals you’re surrounded by, chances are that nobody else is going to have a fuckin’ clue about the sport. So use that to show off. Mention Marcos Maidana’s 221 punch output in his first fight with Mayweather. Cue up footage of Juan Manuel Marquez practicing his picture-perfect counter right hand in sparring before the last Pacquiao fight. Go ahead and be pompous. Nobody is going to give a shit after Saturday anyway.
- Remember: This is only for a night. While there are big fights coming up, this is the only one that mainstream media has incessantly droned on about like they actually know what’s going on. It’s annoying, and we hardcores can do nothing but grin through the whole thing. The shine of having our sport take the spotlight for once wore off pretty quickly, right around when this happened. Take a deep breath, it will all be over in the morning…
- Explain to the idiot who is wondering WHY IS THIS SO BORING??? that this is boxing. Blood and brain fluid don’t spew forth out of the ring like a Tarantino film during every fight. This is a huge fight because it involves two brilliant fighters who’ve long dominated the scene. It isn’t because these guys throw caution and cognitive thought out the window in favor of bashing skulls. It may be a cat and mouse game, and THAT IS OKAY DAMMIT.
- You know what? Fuck it. Throw out rule one. Pound as many beers as you need to in order to make it through the night without shanking someone in your living room. And when it’s all over with, throw back one more for me. You made it. It’s finally over.
Until the rematch.