Mayweather-Pacquiao: Why all the interest?
By Tom Drury: I know this subject just keeps coming up. The opinions, debates and controversies just won’t let up. This fight has been in the making since 2009 and we are no closer to this dream match-up taking place. Personally, I don’t think it is a dream fight and on paper believe it would be and is a mismatch. Without doubt these two men are modern greats and I am not biased in favour of either.
I say what I see and try to keep my articles factual. I have followed both fighters over the years (Manny Pacquiao since he made his U.S debut) and have my own points of view on both fighters. Before I continue, this fight should be made for the sport of boxing due to the celebrity status of both fighters and the interest it attracts from casual fans and the general public not to mention the currency and good publicity this fight would generate for boxing.
Lets talk as hardcore boxing followers and iron out the facts of these two fighters. Manny Pacquiao, the only eight division world champion. A ferocious brawler, great movement, speed and power but as a skilled boxer lets say limited. I am a fan of Manny Pacquiao. I have bought every pay per view card he has headlined and been to his fights against Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez. I have never left feeling short changed he is an entertainer and leaves everything in the ring. There are things Manny Pacquiao and his team have done through his career that I just cant understand as a fan.
Pacquiao in my opinion is the catch-weight king. I personally believe Pacquiao would have done the same demolition job on Cotto and Margarito without catch-weights. He had way too much firepower the catch-weights weren’t needed. When the Mayweather team made the accusation Pacquiao could be involved in the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDS), he seemed to step back from the limelight and refused random blood testing in negotiations for a Mayweather fight. Why? If a man that has been fighting all of his life for peanuts is then offered a guaranteed £40,000,000 sum for proving he is a clean fighter before entering the squared circle.
I cannot understand why he wouldn’t take the test. To me and many other fans it doesn’t make sense.The promotional stable Pacquiao fights under (Top Rank) and CEO Bob Arum are another major obstacles in a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight due to Arum and Mayweather’s very public fallout. This begs the question why is Manny Pacquiao determined to stay loyal to Bob Arum and Top Rank? Mayweather left Top Rank and is now the highest paid athlete on the planet. That speaks volumes. I will say, Pacquiao hasn’t got the brashness and ability to sell a fight like Mayweather. Pacquiao just doesn’t possess that kind of personality. What he does possess is an enormous fan base. He has a whole country behind him (Philippines) and many followers in the U.S.
Pacquiao is the biggest cross-over star since Oscar De La Hoya. One thing is for sure Pacquiao would find life easier and the riches greater if he wasn’t contracted to his promotional company. With the formalities and business decisions out of the way lets talk about Pacquiao as a fighter. It was clear since the early days against the great Mexicans namely Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Marquez, Pacquiao was a ferocious, fast, powerful fighter with a taste for war. Inside the ring while this is great for the fans, “war” is not and never will be the art of boxing. Boxing is art, a skill that very few ever possess and the name of the game is ‘to hit and not be hit”. I don’t take anything away from the great warriors past and present. As a fan watching a war is great, but to watch a skilful, boxing technician go about his business is a different thing altogether and a wonderful thing. Pacquiao has also suffered knockout defeats the most devastating at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012, the K.O punch was delivered with pin point accuracy and timed to perfection. A beautiful punch, some say lucky. The ones who say that don’t know boxing. Pacquiao was nearly back at his best in that fight and was beat by the better man on the night. Fighters that have a taste for war by the law of averages will always suffer K.O losses at some stage of there career as Manny Pacquiao knows only too well.
Lets move on to Floyd Mayweather. An undefeated and undisputed pound for pound king, ring technician, master counter-puncher, defensive genius the list goes on. Let’s start with the formalities. Mayweather has made epic business decisions throughout his career and surrounded himself with a great team. As I’ve mentioned he is the highest paid athlete on the planet right now if he had not made the decision to leave Bob Arum and Top Rank I’m very confident he would not be in the position he is. Mayweather currently stands alone in the sport of boxing with a 43-0 resume and receiving £40,000,000 paydays each time he steps into the ring. Personally I like and enjoy Mayweather’s personality (many don’t). This man has gave his life to the sport and his dedication is second to none. Mayweather deserves credit and the props for his achievements. Fans and others need to look past the sometimes arrogant exterior and appreciate the genius he is in the ring. We are not likely to see it again for a very long time. Floyd Mayweather has dominated all comers in my opinion his hardest fight was Castillo, but watching the fight, Mayweather clearly won more rounds. The other career defining fight in my opinion was against “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Yes, Mayweather won by a landslide but he showed and proved in that fight something he never has before. He showed he could come back from adversity. Mayweather was hit by a Mosley hayemaker in the third round and Mayweather bounced back to totally outclass, school and dominate. By the way, boxing trainers, experts and analysts (not fans) said Mosley was back to his best and would give Mayweather the fight of his life after Mosley’s savage demolition job of Antonio Margarito. My only criticism of Mayweather is his in-activeness and while it was very smart on his part. I wasn’t impressed by the way he finished the fight against Victor Ortiz. Even so it showed the sharp boxing mind that Floyd Mayweather Jr possesses “protect yourself at all times Victor”.
So to the point Mayweather vs Pacquiao would be and is a mismatch. Pacquiao on paper and in the mind of the real sweet science followers just does not have the skills to beat Floyd Mayweather. Yes, he has power but so did Mosley, Coralles, Cotto, Ortiz. Manny Pacquiao’s style is tailor-made for Mayweather. This is why Pacquiao moves up on his toes a lot and is a rhythm fighter. If you have followed and watched Floyd Mayweather, he is never in rhythm with his footwork or punches the reason for this is to make it harder for the opponent to develop there timing. Juan Manuel Marquez exposed Pacquiao and the reason was he knew the Filipino’s rhythm. How he moved and when he threw punches. The difference is it took Marquez four fights to land that perfect punch but it was clear he had the Filipino’s number after there first fight. Mayweather would expose Pacquiao in the early rounds he would keep him off balance with his lead right hands and counter him for 12 rounds. Mayweather is also a great fighter in the pocket complimented by his defense Pacquiao would be eating uppercuts, hooks and jabs all night. There is no area in Mayweather’s fight game that Pacquiao could expose. Forty three have tried and forty three have failed. Also, Pacquiao has been knocked out three times in his career and as boxing fans. Casual or hardcore we all know a fighter cannot be more exposed than when he is knocked out. It was a great thought back in 2009 but it would always be the same outcome a talented boxing genius will always defeat a fighter-puncher. We should be looking forward to a fifth installment of Pacquiao-Marquez, and a fight I would love to see Mayweather bow out of the sport on is a fight against Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez the fight would obviously have to be at a catch-weight but it would make for a great spectacle and even though I believe Mayweather Jr is as near unbeatable as a fighter can be “Maravilla” even at the age he’s at poses a much bigger threat to Mayweather than any other fighter out there.