Ali vs. Frazier. “Thrilla in Manilla” if you will. Arguably the greatest boxing match in history, right? Is there a chance that we would ever see a fight with that much emotion, action and intensity ever again? Absolutely, but who would have thought that in this day and time, a boxing match would include lawsuits, defamation of character, drug tests and racial comments that would actually STOP a fight from happening? Wasn’t the trash talking and “defamation of character” part of Ali’s package when it came to pre-fight interviews and comments?
Even though the boxing world has lost the glamour that it had in the past, there are two fighters right now who many believe could match that historical bout that took place almost 35 years ago. I’m talking about Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pac man” Pacquiao. By far the two greatest pound for pound fighters in the world at the present. Mayweather boasts a fine 40-0 record with 25 KO’s, with a few of his most notable wins coming against Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya and most recently Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao, on the other hand, holds a record of 51-3-2 with wins over Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya and more recently Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey.
There is no doubt in the boxing world that if and when these two ever meet in the ring, fireworks would surely be going off all night.
So why is it that this fight hasn’t occurred? More importantly, why do we not have a date circled on a calendar in a gym somewhere to where we know the two forces will collide? This fight was originally scheduled to happen on March 13th, 2010. This bout as everyone knows, was unable to happen due to several factors. First of which was a requested drug test from the Mayweather camp to be administered by the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). Pacquiao’s camp had no problem with this test, except for they did not want it done within 30 days of the fight. Of course internet rumors and stories then came about with many different views. One group immediately thought that Pacquiao had something to hide, hence the 30 day window he wanted for the fight, while others believed that Pacquiao would not do this because drawing his blood so close to the fight would affect his energy on fight night. Pacquiao also indicated he would have no problem being tested immediately after the fight. Whichever the case may be, the fight was said to have been “postponed” at this time. After a mediation process in which the two camps presented their case in front of a judge (retired), neither camp was able to agree on a window for the drug test. One camp (Mayweather) agreed on a 14 day no drug testing window while Pacquiao’s camp agreed to only a 24 day window. This went on until January 7th, 2010 when Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum declared the fight was officially off.
Shortly thereafter, Mayweather’s camp, Golden Boy Promotions started firing off accusations that Manny Pacquiao was using PED’s (Performance enhancing drugs) because of his reluctance to be blood tested, although this has never been requested or required through the Nevada state Athletic commission. Pacquiao then filed a “defamation” lawsuit against the Mayweather camp because of statements made not only after the mediation process, but during as well.
Each fighter then went on to schedule more fights in its place. Pacquiao went on to destroy Ghanaian fighter Joshua Clottey in a 12 round Unanimous decision bout while Mayweather is scheduled to fight “Sugar” Shane Mosley on May 1, 2010 in Las Vegas. Mosley has been quoted as saying “I would like to congratulate Manny on his victory Saturday night, even though I think it put most of the fans watching to sleep.” (411mania article posted by Ramon Aranda). Could this be Mosley possibly setting himself up for a future bout with Pacquiao? Maybe, but he also went on to say “Now it's time for the world to focus on May 1 when I promise you nobody will be sleeping except for Floyd after I knock him out and send him back into retirement.” There is no doubt in my mind, that this could be the match of the year, so far.
The question though on everyone’s mind has to be, will we ever see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather? One thing is for sure, that question will not be fading away any time soon.