By Raj Parmar: As the dust settles from the May 2 “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the impact of Manny’s loss is clearly starting to sink in on him. Manny has indicated that he cried tears when watching the replay of the fight and is disappointed that he let all his supporters down.
In addition to feeling upset about the loss, Pacquiao has made complaints about aspects the fight which he feels contributed to him not getting his hand raised. Among his protests are that he had a hurt shoulder, that Floyd had too much control of both the in/out of ring details for the fight and that Floyd ran too much in the ring. I will address these three grievances one by one and conclude if these are sore loser excuses by the “Pacman” or if he has a legitimate case.
In regards to the sore shoulder, it was brought up AFTER the fight that Manny had severely injured his right shoulder in training camp about three weeks before the fight. Although no one stated the injury publicly prior to fight night, Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach lowered his prediction from a KO to a decision win as the fight got closer and made cryptic such as “Manny can beat Floyd with one hand tied behind his back” and “we are only concentrating on Manny’s left hand in sparring”.
In hindsight Roach was talking like this due to his knowledge that Manny really only had one good hand, yet for some reason did not seriously attempt to postpone the fight. While it would have been a nightmare for the city of Las Vegas to have the May 2 date changed, Roach and Manny knew the importance of this fight to boxing history and took a chance on trying to beat the world’s best fighter with one hand in limited condition. Manny’s shoulder may have been a factor in the loss, however it was his decision to go forward as he really did think he could win with only one hand. Therefore the shoulder excuse is on his shoulders (pun intended) and he shouldn’t be complaining about it.
Manny also complained that Floyd was controlling every aspect of the fight both in and outside the ring. Manny brought up that for the first time in 20 years, his water and vitamins were banned from his dressing room before the fight and this really bothered him. Mayweather has openly stated as well that he likes to make his opponent as uncomfortable as possible both in and outside the ring, and that he knew every detail going on in Manny’s camp.
Some people view this as dishonorable while others view it as smart tactics. In cases such as forcing Marcos Maidana to wear different than his normal gloves in their two fights last year, it is clear that Floyd does look for behind the scenes advantages that give him a higher percentage of winning his fights. While there is no proof, if Mayweather did in fact play a part in ensuring Manny was not able to follow his regular pre-fight routines for the fight then that also can be viewed as dishonorable or as intelligent. The public however does wish to see fighters perform at their best, and in my view any attempt by one party to throw off the other side prior to stepping in the ring by changing their preparations last minute diminishes the value of the fight and creates an unfair advantage; which Floyd likes to have on his opponents and is a strategy that I (as a viewer) don’t like or agree with.
The last thing Manny stated was that Mayweather ran like a coward in the fight. This is an in-ring advantage Floyd has and in-ring advantages are fair game. Manny was seen as the boxer who could beat Floyd because it was assumed that he had the speed and work-rate to keep up with him. He clearly was not able to and just like the shoulder injury, this is also a poor excuse coming from Pacquiao’s camp.
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