THE BLOG

Mama Said Knock You Out

05/08/2015 10:05 am ET | Updated May 07, 2016

Even if you're not a boxing fan, tune in for this column.

It's not so much about boxing.

It's about men.

Men love fights.

We're competitive on an instinctual, visceral level.

And we're also laydowns when it comes to really good marketing.

So when they told us this would be the fight of the century, three million of us (not your correspondent, mind you) plunked down 99 bucks to watch the fight we had all been waiting for.

Even if we hadn't thought about it in the least.

Fights of the century come along, on average, about every 11 years.

The hype machine goes crazy. All the stars have to be ringside.

And all the rest of us have to be in front of the TV, no matter how much it costs. We just love that stuff.

There's a certain excitement about watching two men beating each other up in the ring.

A man can live vicariously through the fighters and experience the glory of victory and the despair of defeat without risking injury.

Big fights don't come along that often, so when they do, many of us -- a lot of us -- want to participate, if only from the safe distance of our living room sofas. So three million of us ponied up the $99 for the pay per view.

What did we get for the money?

In this corner, the bad guy, Floyd Mayweather, who is famous for three things: boxing; beating up girlfriends; and being very wealthy.

In the other corner: Manny Pacquiao, who is famous for being the greatest boxer the Philippines has ever produced, beloved of his countrymen and an all-around nice guy.

If any of us had qualms about the wealth transfer to domestic abuser Mayweather, who earned more than $200 million for his night's work, we got over it pretty quickly.

People on the arena booed him lustily, which basically means that they took a stand against domestic abuse. In a cheap and meaningless way, of course.

And everybody cheered mightily for Pacquiao.

There's only one problem.

Pacquiao couldn't fight.

He landed approximately half of the punches that he had been expected to land. Why? Turns out he was apparently fighting with a seriously torn rotator cuff, the same injury that has kept Kobe Bryant out of his Lakers uniform since last fall.

It's really hard to punch somebody when your rotator cuff is torn.

It now turns out that Pacquiao had re-injured his rotator cuff two weeks before the fight and thought about postponing it, but decided not to, possibly for fear of losing the big payday.

He made $80 million for losing.

So who's the bad guy now?

Fight fans have actually banded together to form a class action suit against Pacquiao.

They want $5 million for their troubles -- for essentially watching a fight that Pacquiao knew he couldn't win.

The Nevada State Boxing Commission is looking into seeking perjury charges against Pacquiao, who failed to disclose his injury on the relevant form before the fight.

And of course Pacquiao is claiming that if only he'd been healthy, he could've won.

So there's a lot of outrage and splutter going on right now, because -- who would believe it? -- the boxing world ripped off the patrons.

Well, the sad thing is that we men are such an easy target.

We think we're tough and smart and cool.

But along come two knuckleheads, one who went to jail for 60 days for domestic violence and the other who lied to his entire fan base.

And together, in Casey Stengel's immortal words, they trimmed the public one more time.

The fight of the century was not between Mayweather and Pacquiao.

In fact, the fight of the century had Mayweather and Pacquiao on one side, and men with credit cards on the other.

Guess who won.