When Floyd “Money” Mayweather took a brief retirement to concentrate on promoting, we all knew the reason. He saw how much money Oscar De La Hoya made off the 2007 super fight, and wanted in on the action.
Mayweather looked out across the boxing landscape and, after delivering a TKO to Ricky Hatton, didn’t feel that there was anyone who could offer him a real challenge. Four years later and that challenge arrived; and his name is Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather reclaimed his WBC and Ring Welterweight belts after dismantling Juan Manual Marquez in September and soon after the fight, rumors about a Pacquiao-Mayweather brawl began to hum like a parked car.
After Pacquiao’s utter decimation of Miguel Cotto two weeks ago, the boxing community stood up on its feet and demanded the super fight. We’re mere days away from the official announcement, and it certainly could not have come at a better time.
Though boxing isn’t as often in the limelight as it once was, it doesn’t take much for guys to cram into bars to watch people punch each other in the face. The lingering truth about boxing is that there simply isn’t the draw there used to be. We have to wait months to see a great boxing fight, and yet only three weeks between UFC events.
The fact that the Klitschko brothers are so reluctant to fight (and who could blame them) for the heavyweight belts certainly hasn’t helped but, to be honest, neither of the Russians are big enough household names to revive the sport. Right now, no two stars in fighting are bigger than Pacquiao and Mayweather , and fans across the world are just waiting for a reason to care about this sport.
The proposed date for this super fight is March 13th or May 1st, but there are tons of obstacles in the way to get the fight signed, sealed, and delivered. The fight needs promotion, a venue, and if the fight happens in May, it will coincide with Pacquiao’s second run at a congressional seat in his home country of the Philippines.
Yet while the nitty gritty details are ironed out, there are five things fight fans have to consider about this match.
1. What would a loss mean for Pacquiao?
Pacquiao is currently the top ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and his performances as of late have done nothing but bolster the immense hype behind his name.
He’s become so prolific that even my grandmother was asking me who he was (and she doesn’t even really understand what the Internet is). In the last five years he’s destroyed fighters like Cotto, Hatton, De La Hoya, Marquez, and Erik Morales. He’s been—in a word—unstoppable.
If he loses to Mayweather in any fashion, it almost completely derails his popularity, and there’s actually a lower chance of this becoming a trilogy than you might expect.
2. Is Mayweather in it for the money?
The last super fight that came across our plates was the tilt between De La Hoya and Mayweather.
But instead of a super fight, it was just super boring. De La Hoya danced like he was in a salsa class, and remained virtually untouched the entire fight. He seemed resigned to losing the fight, and more concerned with how he was going to spend the money he generated off the gate for promoting the event.
“Money” has bankrupted names like Hatton, De La Hoya, Castillo, and Judah. Could Mayweather , who's now in the promotion business himself, be doing the very same thing? This is a guy who whored himself to the WWE for $10 million. If he stands to make over $50 million for one night’s work, would he even care if he won or lost?
3. What would it do to Mayweather’s legacy?
Mayweather is one of the rare talents to avoid defeat in his 40-fight career. Considering that he is just coming out of a two-year hiatus and is currently the only athlete on the planet peaking higher than Pacquiao, Mayweather's record could very well fall to 40-1.
4. What are the chances of a trilogy ?
Let’s be honest here for a moment. If Mayweather loses this fight, there is little to no chance he would step in to the ring again with Pacquiao, instead of choosing retirement.
If Pacquiao loses the fight, there’s a high chance that Mayweather would refuse a re-match and try to keep his perfect record intact. If this trilogy doesn’t happen, there’s not much left on the docket for boxing fan.
The next three top fighters include Shane Mosley (who’s 38), Juan Manual Marquez (who has lost against both men already), and Bernard Hopkins (who’s 44). The rest of the best aren’t even close to the pedigree that Mayweather and Pacquiao thrive in. It also doesn’t help that Roy Jones Jr. just got KO’d in the first round of his much anticipated fight against Danny Green.
So what would be next for boxing without a trilogy? Absolutely nothing.
5. Is Mayweather even capable of Beating Pacquiao?
Let’s put aside the money, the pride, and the importance this fight has to the sport of boxing for just one second. If you’ve seen Pacquiao fight, he moves faster than Tiger Woods in an Escalade. Simply put, this guy may be too fast and strong for Mayweather, especially considering he’s a southpaw.
Pacquiao is younger, quicker, stronger, and thriving in his prime. Again, if Mayweather wants to tarnish his perfect legacy, stepping in the ring with Pac-Man is the only way it will happen. That being said, we’re still in wait-and-see mode with this fight. There is almost too much on the line for Mayweather’s legacy for him to risk getting blasted by The Fighting Pride of the Philippines.
Then again, the sport is always bigger than any athlete. Boxing as a mainstream sport is eating the dust of entities like the NFL, UFC, and NBA. As a sport, boxing needs this fight to happen. It would be the biggest fight since Mayweather and De La Hoya, and would very well receive the type of insane media attention that Tyson-Holyfield did.
If it even remotely lives up to the hype, it could very well match the historical relevance of Ali-Frazier. However, as I’ve said, do enough people still care about boxing for any of that to matter?