The State of Boxing

WWF Superstars, 6/2/12

“Ladies and gentlemen,” says Mean Gene Okerlund, “I’m standing backstage with World Wrestling Federation heavyweight champion Manny Pacquiao, and his manager Bob Arum. Manny, next week you’ll be defending your World Wrestling Federation championship against Timothy Bradley on Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC, in a match where if you lose, you get an automatic rematch at the Survivor Series pay-per-view Thanksgiving week – ”

“I’m not going to lose, Gene,” Pacquiao interrupts. “I’ve beaten everyone they’ve thrown in front of me for years, and I’m not going to go down now.”

“Well, Mr. Pacquiao,” Okerlund continues, “you’re going up against a former Intercontinental Champion that hasn’t lost a match in the World Wrestling Federation. Are you concerned about the challenge he poses compared to what you’ve faced in the past?”

“I’m not worried,” Pacquiao replies. “He’s never faced anyone as tough as me.”

“Everyone wants you to fight Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, Manny,” says Okerlund. “What do you think are the odds of that happening once he returns from his suspension?”

“If it happens, it happens,” says Pacquiao. “Right now all I can worry about is my match against Tim Bradley at Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

“One last question, Mr. Pacquiao,” says Okerlund. “It’s been reported that your contract with Bob Arum ends at the end of this year, are you going to – ”

“I’m just worried about my match with Tim Bradley, Gene,” says Pacquiao as he walks off.

Later that night, Okerlund conducts another interview with the challenger Timothy Bradley, but only gets one response out of him before Bradley walks off:

“Don’t believe the hype,” Bradley says. “I know how good Pacquiao is. But trust me, there will be a rematch at Survivor Series. I guarantee it.”

Saturday Night’s Main Event, 6/9/12

Pacquiao comes out like a man possessed, whipping Bradley from pillar to post. Bradley can barely get any offense in against the champion, and at one point Okerlund begs the official to stop the fight. But the fight continues, and Bradley starts to come back, getting more and more offense in, eventually getting Pacquiao in his Desert Storm submission move. Pacquiao begins struggling to break the hold… and then the bell rings.

“Did he tap?” asks Okerlund. “I don’t think he tapped!”

Pacquiao looks incensed as Bradley quickly grabs the belt from Arum and runs off with the official raising his hand in victory, boos raining down from the rafters and garbage being thrown into the arena. Pacquiao looks around for Arum, who takes off like a rocket through the crowd. Pacquiao spits in his general direction, then storms off in a huff as Okerlund expresses his astonishment at the spectacle we have just witnessed.

WWF Superstars, 6/16/12

Okerlund informs the audience that WWF Commissioner Jack Tunney will not investigate what happened in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight at Saturday Night’s Main Event, news that does not sit well with the audience in the arena or with Rowdy Roddy Piper, who expresses his displeasure at the outcome in rather colorful language before introducing Pacquiao as the guest of his Piper’s Pit segment. Before he can get a question out, however, Pacquiao grabs the mic from him.

“I don’t want questions, I want answers,” says Pacquiao. “I want Bob Arum to come out here right now. I want him to answer for what he did to me last night.”

“Manny,” says Arum, “I’m as upset about this as you are. What happened to you last night was an outrage, and I have an official complaint in to the WWF Board of Directors. In fact, I’m not going to allow there to be a rematch at Survivor Series until there’s been a full and thorough investigation, I assure you of that.”

Pacquiao ponders these words for a few seconds, then steps up and embraces Arum… before giving him Pac-Man Fever and dropping him through a table, then ripping his shirt off as the fans go wild.

“April 7th,” yells Pacquiao into the microphone. “Me and Floyd Mayweather are gonna have the Fight of the Century at WrestleMania and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it!”

The crowd goes nuts and Pacquiao soaks in their adulation as his theme music plays.

Okay, maybe that’s not what happened, but doesn’t it say a lot that it’s close to what people THINK happened?

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