HBO has fully embraced the use of the internet and especially YouTube to promote their big fights and they're doing the same with the promotion for Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Victor Ortiz's September 17th clash. Unfortunately, there seems to be something somewhat "off" when it comes to the promotion of this fight. And it's more than the lame attempt to force the "Star Power" meme on the boxing world.
It feels like one of those times where boxing is presenting its product in a way that simply feels dated and, frankly, a little dishonest.
We start with the HBO PPV Fight Preview video:
Scott Christ at Bad Left Hook has been one of the most thorough de-bunkers of the Victor Ortiz "I dreamt of beating Floyd Mayweather when I was nine years old" thing. And, despite the fact that it's basically an obvious, impossible to debate lie, HBO and Ortiz himself continue to push the idea that he was dreaming of beating Mayweather during the first four months of Floyd's professional debut.
Then you have lines thrown in the video about how an undercard featuring two Mexican superstars is "unprecedented" and how Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has "never truly been hurt."
While it's true that Floyd has only rarely been hurt, you only have to go back to his last fight to see Shane Mosley stun him with a right hand that forced Floyd to hang on and recover. Or you can go back to DeMarcus Corley cracking Floyd with a looping shot and hurting him badly:
It's the usual problem that HBO has with promoting Mayweather fights. They refuse to tell the story of a great, undefeated fighter who has rarely been in trouble, instead forcing the idea that Floyd has dominated every second of every fight he has ever been in.
Just like they are glossing over the true interesting story of Victor Ortiz's career. Yes, his upbringing is tragic and it's a good story to tell. But what is most relevant to this moment in Victor's career is the story of a once top prospect, thrown into the garbage pile for a moment where his heart appeared to fail him, who has earned a shot at one of the biggest stars in the sport through blood and sweat in the Andre Berto fight. Instead, choosing to sell the tale of his upbringing and the idea that he has always been a can't miss star.
HBO released their "Star Power" video also, covering the main event fighters:
Ignoring the hideously campy opening to the video, you can see the continued missing of the mark on the fighters. They do point out that Floyd was hurt against Mosley, but still ignore the redemption story of Ortiz.
It simply is an easy fight to sell, if HBO would go to the basic stories of the fighters. The brash champion who has yet to taste defeat takes on the once written off star now risen to heights previously though impossible. Instead, HBO is taking the cheesiest path possible, forcing a meme and pretending this is a battle between two flawless fighters.
Things like this erase any curiosity on why boxing has gone from pulling 7.5 million viewers on HBO to the network bragging when they manage to pull 1.5 million.