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Mayweather fortunate he was not fighting Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny Pacquiao Miguel CottoBy John F. McKenna (McJack): In what proved to be a far better fight than anyone thought possible, former WBA light middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KO’s) gave a very good account of himself Saturday night against undefeated superstar new WBA light middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26 KO’s).

Many boxing pundits were of the opinion that “Pretty Boy” would come out of his latest fight with Miguel Cotto unscathed. His defensive skills in particular, it was reasoned, were so vastly superior to Miguel’s that the fight would be a huge mismatch.

But that’s what horse racing and boxing are all about. One has to put himself out there periodically so that the boxing public can accurately assess how good a fighter he is. There is no other way to accurately gauge a fighter’s talent or the lack thereof. A fighter needs to measure his skills against the very best boxers out there in a given generation.

How can a fighter who fights approximately once every 18 months be seriously considered as the top Pound for Pound fighter in the world? The term of best Pound for Pound fighter in the world was first used when boxing writers, and historians were attempting to figure out where to place boxing immortal “Sugar” Ray Robinson when comparing him to the likes of boxing greats Harry Grebb and Benny Leonard.

Mayweather’s last fight before Cotto was last September when he scored a controversial 4th round KO over Victor Ortiz. Floyd was roundly criticized for taking a “cheap shot” at Oriz when he took advantage of the situation and slugged “Vicious” while he stood with his hands down at his sides after time had been called back in. “Money” May however was well within his rights when he reacted the way he did.

The rule in boxing has always been to defend your self at all times. This writer defended Mayweather at the time he was under attack by many in the media for his actions. By the same token however, knocking out an opponent who gives you a freebie by standing defenseless is clearly not a cause to rate that fighter as the top Pound for Pound fighter in the world as many have done. And the last fight for Mayweather before the Ortiz fight was a full sixteen months prior in May 2010 when Floyd pitched a near shutout over Shane Mosley.

So the question that begs to be asked is, how do you rate a boxer the top Pound for Pound fighter in the world when he has had only two fights in two years when one of those fights had an extremely controversial ending? This from a writer who has gone on record to say that it is his firm belief that Floyd would defeat the other top pound fighter in the world WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s).

It is also this writer’s firm belief that if Floyd had been facing “Pacman” Saturday night he would have been in deep trouble. Everyone would have to acknowledge that Manny is a good bit faster than Cotto. In addition, Pacquiao throws many more punches per round than Miguel does. Manny’s power also exceeds that of Cotto’s. It goes without saying that Pacquiao’s footwork is far superior to Miguel’s.

It is inevitable that boxing fans and pundits will be taking another look at what would happen in the unlikely event that Mayweather and Pacquiao face off against each other in the ring. The results of last Saturday nights contest makes it more unlikely than ever that a contest between the two superstars of boxing will ever transpire.

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