Franchise Thoughts: Why I'd Rather See Jones-Silva Than Mayweather-De La Hoya II

It may not yet be officially official, to coin a phrase, but it's all but certain that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya will meet for a second time in September. At this point, all that remains is for i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed.

Financially speaking, it only makes sense. Why wouldn't the two biggest names currently in the sport want to face each other again? People will watch, though maybe not quite as many as the first time they fought.

Mayweather is the most talented fighter in the game, and De La Hoya is a former multi-division champion still in possession of most of his tools. They fought to a fairly close (though undeserved, in the eyes of this fan) split decision last year. There's no question the fight will be contested at the very highest skill level.

What it won't be, though, is particularly compelling. Despite some chatter about the "new and improved" De La Hoya after his win against Steve Forbes and promises from the Golden Boy camp that they have a game plan to win, there isn't any reason to think he'll fare any better this time around.

And if you thought the Forbes fight looked like a sparring match at times, there's bound to be more of that come September. Since Oscar and Floyd are doing business together, it's just hard to believe there's any real enmity left between them. On top of that, neither man is likely to put himself in real jeopardy, since Floyd is notoriously risk averse and Oscar is looking ahead to life after boxing.

The Mayweather family circus will add some entertainment value, but otherwise this is a bout without much in the way of drama, of questions to be answered. Meanwhile, there's a potential fight that doesn't look like it's going to happen which would be chock full of just those qualities.

I'm talking about Roy Jones Jr. and mixed martial artist Anderson "Spider" Silva, both of whom have expressed interest in fighting each other. UFC head honcho Dana White seems determined to keep it from coming together, and Yahoo! Sports writer Kevin Iole, whose opinion I really respect, says it "would be a freak show."

Maybe so, since Silva has fought only two pro boxing matches. Iole doesn't even think a state commission would approve him to fight Jones due to his inexperience. I'd like to think his other fighting experience - he's at or near the top spot on every MMA expert's pound-for-pound list - would count for something.

Whether Silva could make a smooth transition from the octagon to the ring would just be one of the storylines that would create interest in the fight. There would also be a question of how much gas Jones had left in the tank, and whether fighting for the honor of their respective disciplines would bring out the best in both men. And, of course, the big one: who would win if a highly skilled boxer and an equally talented MMA fighter went at it?

It's foolish to think one match would settle that question, but that wouldn't stop people from tuning in. Even in the twilight of his career, Jones may be the third-biggest draw in boxing, and Silva is a big name in his sport. Pay-per-views would be sold and plenty of money would be made. Boxing could get that little bit of reassurance that it's still relevant and MMA could continue its reach into the mainstream consciousness.

The purist in me may cringe to admit it, but a Jones-Silva fight would have plenty of hooks to suck me in. A lot more, as it turns out, than a Mayweather-De La Hoya rematch. Sorry about that Floyd and Oscar.

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