The ever amiable Harold Lederman, giving not a slim hint that his tussle with cancer is getting him down, chatted with NYFightBlog the other day during the news conference at Madison Square Garden to hype the March 17 showdown between Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin at the MSG Theater.
First off, you're nothing but a Grinch with a pea-sized heart if you don't go "aww" when you see Harold interacting with his wife, Eileen, during events such as this. They've been married since 1963, and any couple would be lucky to enjoy such a rapport as theirs after the decades. She still seems to laugh at all of his jokes!
The veteran HBO analyst talked my language when we started rapping about Floyd Mayweather. "In my opinion, if I was Floyd Mayweather and wanted to cement my legacy," Lederman said, "I'd insist on a fight at Madison Square Garden. He's never fought here! You can't be the greatest fighter in history and never fight in Madison Square Garden. Both him and Manny have enough to give some extra to Governor Cuomo!"
I mean, I guess you can, but the fact that the top two pugilists in the world today, Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, have never fought here, is a minor crime.
As Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum points out, the taxes on an independent contractor in NY are exorbitant compared to many other regions, so that keeps some matches away from here. But, c'mon, at the end of the day, doesn't a man of substance spurn an extra mill to soak up the vibe at MSG, where the legends did their thing? Is it all about revenue these days? Couldn't a moneyed angel step based in NYC step up and tell Mayweather and Pacquiao that he or she will make up the difference lost to the NY taxman?