Baltimore Orioles fans hold up signs during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game was moved from Baltimore because of the unrest, and it proved to be more exciting than the big boxing match later in the night.
Baltimore Orioles fans hold up signs during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game was moved from Baltimore because of the unrest, and it proved to be more exciting than the big boxing match later in the night. (Chris O'Meara / Associated Press)

Yesterday might have been the mother of all sports channel-surfing days, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region. Saturday afternoon featured the final rounds of the NFL draft and a very exciting Game 2 of the NHL playoffs between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals, and that was barely an appetizer.

The Kentucky Derby lived up to the billing, with American Pharoah charging home for a dramatic victory, and Game 7 of the NBA playoff series between the LA Clippers and defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs became an instant classic when Chris Paul made an acrobatic, fall-away bank shot with one second left in a fourth quarter full of dramatic twists.

Advertisement

Even the Orioles delivered a big performance in their second home game on the road, with Miguel Gonzalez pitching a terrific game at Tropicana Field to pull the O's back to .500 after a very strange week.

Which brings us to the most anticipated boxing match in recent memory -- the long-awaited showdown between undefeated Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao -- which is reputed to have generated about $400 million in pay-per-view and gate revenue.

They billed it as the "Fight of the Century" and -- yawn -- it wasn't even the second-most exciting major sporting event on Saturday.

Obviously, it was going to be tough to live up to all that hype, but they could have tried a little harder. Pacquiao smiled all the way to the ring and laughed all the way to the bank. He reportedly will make more than $100 million for 36 minutes of work. Mayweather will make a lot more than that.

No wonder they kept tapping gloves during the fight and smiling as they walked back to their corners at the end of some of the rounds.

Mayweather bobbed and weaved and basically just popped a jab every few seconds while Pacquiao tried unsuccessfully to corner him. Give the congressman/fighter credit for pressing the action, such as it was, but all he succeeded in doing was prove that this fight came five years too late.

The only thing they didn't do was wink at the camera after every semi-dramatic moment. It seemed like Job One was making sure nobody got hurt before they could start spending all that money.

What they may have done was make sure nobody ever makes that much money for a boxing match again. The hope was that such a huge and star-studded event would help revive boxing, and it might on a lesser level, but Manny and Mayweather may have killed the golden pay-per-view goose in the process.

Lost in the shuffle was a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit about Wednesday's fan-less game at Oriole Park, which also was much more entertaining than the fight. You can see it here, thanks to NBC and Mediaite.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement