Thoughts on Mayweather / Pacquiao Debacle - Sharkie's Machine By Frank Gonzalez Jr., DoghouseBoxing (Jan 14, 2010)
It’s disappointing that we won't get to see how Floyd would’ve fared counter punching against an aggressive Pacman. This was the most intriguing fight Floyd would ever be involved in. If it’s any gauge, consider their performance against a common opponent, Floyd knocked Hatton out in the tenth round. Pacman knocked him out at the start of the second round after staggering him in the first.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was an interesting fight to handicap, considering the assets of both men; Manny the powerhouse and Floyd the boxing impresario. But somehow, I had a feeling this fight wouldn’t happen, something would kill it. I’m just a bit surprised at how a businessman fighter lets a 30 million dollar fight die. But as a Businessman, this may have been too dangerous a risk for Floyd. Floyd always goes after fading fighters, not guys in the prime and on top of the world. So here’s to the big HBO hype job followed by an equally big let down. And a special notice should go to Floyd for killing the fight.
Unlike other sports, boxing doesn’t have any end of year tournament or playoff to crown a Champion. Our version of the Super Bowl is when two of the most hyped up fighters face each other after tons of promotion, including an HBO series to generate interest with boring asides, training sessions, big talk and the wives of the fighters telling that same story of how they worry when their man is fighting. You see the kids, the Cotto family in the swimming pool, Hatton’s gym antics, Mayweather talking about his favorite subject, himself, etc.
If the current news is right, it looks like the only good thing to come out of no fight between Mayweather and Pacman is that there won't be a "Countdown to Pacquiao Mayweather." At least most of us still have Football's Super Bowl coming up soon (where I hope Rex Ryan’s JETS find a way to win it all!) but as fight fans, all we have to look forward to for now, is a predictable match between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto.
Manny Pacquiao has been groomed into the promotional status of “Best Pound for Pound Fighter” in boxing, which means all his fights are on Pay-Per-View from now on. Of the three, Manny has clearly been the most exciting to watch and most willing to fight tough fights that fans want to see. Roy fought a lot of duds and Floyd picks his own fruits once they’ve long fallen from the tree. Plus, best P4P can’t be a real title if you didn’t even fight the best fighters in your own weight class.
But how did Manny just jump right past Tim Bradley, Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt or even Juan Diaz at 135, then hop over the top dogs at 147 and hit the lottery sweepstakes for richest purse in boxing; a PPV fight against an aged and faded Oscar De La Hoya? His performance against Ricky Hatton was impeccable but Hatton did not possess a major title and was coming off a devastating loss to Mayweather Jr. so he was clearly not the best either. Don’t you have to beat the best to be the best?
Manny is a great fighter, he’s humble, likable and well deserving of praise but in fighting the trio of expiring marquee name fighters he managed to duck a bunch of prime, top level fighters with title belts in his own weight class while becoming the “best P4P fighter in boxing.” How can there even BE a best p4p in boxing? How is that structured and is he going to fight the one of Klitschko brothers next? If there were a legit ranking system and Manny or Floyd beat everyone on that ladder of contention to get to the top, that would be valid but that’s not how anyone gets there these days. It’s clear that Manny’s been groomed so certain people can cash in big on his marketability. Unlike his two predecessors at P4P, Manny has not ducked anybody except avoiding a third fight with J.M. Marquez, who on the books, he has beaten twice.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the “best P4P fighter” but he retired at the start of 2008, right when his 147 pound division was really starting to heat up. Guys like Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto were the inevitable opponents, none of whom Floyd appeared interested in facing. Two years later, when the waters calmed, Floyd bravely returned and decided to take on one of the best fighters in boxing. Too bad it was a guy from a division 15 pounds south of Floyd’s division of Welterweight (147). That was 126, 130 and 135 pound titlist Juan Manual Marquez, who had to move up to the 147 pounds to accommodate Floyd’s conditions to make the fight.
Aside from the obvious advantages Floyd afforded himself, on fight night Floyd showed up a few pounds over the contracted limit, for which he paid a $600,000 penalty to the Marquez camp. Floyd won every round of that boring, one sided Pay-Per-View event. He was too big, too fast and too slick for the smaller man with the big heart.
Floyd may be very talented but his heart came into question after the Marquez fight when at the start of the post fight interview, Shane Mosley jumped into the ring and challenged Floyd in front of the whole damn worldto fight him next. Floyd looked about to wet his trunks and things in the ring got a little weird for a minute, then settled down as Floyd told Mosley not to disrespect him, cause he don’t jump into the ring after Mosley fights to disrespect him. It was a fair point and Mosley was respectful to it but in a standoffish kind of way.
Max Kellerman started the interview talking about Pacquiao but Floyd ignored it. Max ended the interview when Floyd decided to disregard questions about Manny Pacquiao and talk about what he wanted to talk about. Security kept things civil in the tense, crowded ring. But the damage had been done. Never mind Manny Pacquiao, Floyd gave the distinct impression that he’s afraid of Shane Mosley. There’s only one way to cure that.
The official line is that Floyd’s not interested because it’s not a marketable fight, since Mosley isn’t a good enough draw for PPV. What does it require to believe that?
Mosley has a few losses on his record but he’s shown that he’s still a great fighter. If Floyd’s so confident, why wouldn’t he jump on the chance to fight the very famous “Sugar” Shane Mosley? Could it be because of the way Mosley threw that wicked beating on another guy Floyd didn’t want to fight, named Antonio Margarito? A win over Mosley would be HUGE for Floyd. It would automatically give Floyd wins over Margarito and everyone else on Mosley’s resume that Mayweather fans thought Floyd shouldn’t have to fight because Mosley already beat them, and Floyd beat Mosley. That’s how it works, isn’t it?
And yet, who knows what Shane’s straw has been a stirring? He looked better against “dirty gloved” Margarito than I’ve ever seen him. That was strange, considering how drained and aged Shane looked after his twelve round last second knockout win over a clearly past his prime Ricardo Mayorga. Mosley was a year younger then and there was talk about whether he was closing out his career. But all the BALCO stuff aside, we all know Mosley’s clean. So why won’t Floyd fight him? He fits Floyd’s criteria perfectly, he’s a big name at the twilight of his career, what’s the problem? My guess is he’ll fight Andre Berto… after Mosley beats Berto. And Floyd will remain… the best P4P fighter in boxing. What will we be?
Aside from his hard to like personality, Floyd is an amazing talent on defense and offense. I’d love to see him take on someone like Mosley or get really bold and call out Paul Williams to show the world that yes, he is the best in boxing and has the rocks to prove it. Whatever anyone thinks of him, he has great reflexes and defensive boxing skills. I’ve only seen him lose once, and that was in a close fight with Jose Luis Castillo, who used pressure to check Floyd’s superior agility and boxing prowess by forcing him into continuous defensive postures, where Castillo was able to land to the body often and dictate the terms of engagement. At the end of that one, the Judges had Floyd’s back and Castillo was dealt a Loss by Decision.
There was a lot of buzz afterwards, questioning Floyd’s win that Floyd agreed to fight a rematch with Castillo, where he easily out boxed him for twelve rounds. It was a strange rematch, since Castillo didn’t look like he was there to win but just collect a big payday. Castillo did that against Ricky Hatton too, so who knows?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have a point about drug testing for Manny Pacquiao but the Nevada State Athletic Commission already uses a drug testing method that were okay with Floyd in the past but suddenly, is not good enough to fight Pacman. While watching Friday Night Fights on ESPN, Teddy Atlas weighed in on this issue of Floyd and Manny and how the fight is now officially OFF. He told how Manny’s camp is suing Mayweather’s camp for defamation of his character, as now, fans are talking about Manny being a possible user of performance enhancing drugs. Freddie Roach was on the show too and he said Manny is 100% clean. Teddy also remarked that a source of his said they had seen email exchanges between the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps asking what would happen if Manny did test positive.
Manny has never officially tested positive for steroids or other illegal substances in the past. Manny did not impose any dramatic conditions on Floyd in order to make this fight. Floyd did make unusual demands that did kill the fight. I doubt Floyd ever wanted to fight Manny. After the Marquez fight, Kellerman wanted to talk about Manny but Floyd wanted to change the subject.
Floyd started this whole illegal substance debate by his insistence that Manny undergo Olympic style testing, which is more through than the NSAC methods and are spontaneously administered. It does raise questions about Manny’s reluctance and Floyd’s insistence. Mayweather has been known to use hand-injected painkillers in the past, like Xylocaine, which is illegal in some states. Legit arguments will rise about Floyd’s own use of enhancers or illegal substances that, at the least, addressed his hand problems. It’s none of my business what anyone puts into their bodies. I’m against the imposition of forced drug testing butI’m not a prize fighter putting another man at serious risk with extra human strength. Taking pharmaceutical enhancers in sports is cheating and unacceptable. Boxing must do what it will to enforce rules that at least give the appearance of legitimacy.
So, instead of talking about Manny vs. Floyd, we’ll be talking about Manny vs. Josh Clottey instead. Hey, it’s not a great fight but it’s decent. Clottey has good skills and has hopefully has learned from the Cotto fight that appealing to the ref instead of appealing to your opponents face with your fists will not get it done where you’re the visiting team. Clottey will need a knockout to get a win against Manny in the USA. Many, including Manuel Stewart of HBO, think Clottey beat Cotto and have good arguments as to why. But Clottey, for all his skills and toughness, is not a good finisher. I’m picking Manny by TKO late.
But I’d much rather see Pacman vs. Tim Bradley at 140 pounds for their titles. But we’re not supposed to think about that. We have to “Unthink” like they say in those stupid, mind numbing KFC commercials on TV. Unthink and accept.
I’m not surprised to hear who Mayweather is considering fighting in place of PacmanPaul Malignaggi. Wow, that should be exciting. Of course it will be on PPV, just to make it that much more exciting. My prediction; Floyd by decision. Yawn.
Floyd would do much to improve his standing by manning up and accepting Mosley’s challenge. Financially, he only stands to make a fortune fighting Mosley, win or lose. But if its heart he wants to show, I’m sure Paul Williams would love to fight Floyd on PPV. If Marquez could come up 15 pounds to fight Floyd, Floyd can move up seven pounds to fight Williams at 154. And since money is his primary motivation, think about this, what fight fan on Earth would miss Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. vs. Paul “The Punisher” Williams on PPV? That’s a lot of money.