Why Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao Need Each Other

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIMay 3, 2010

For those of you who haven't read my profile in the past, I am going to start out by saying that I do indeed train at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA.

If that makes me a Pac-Man nuthugger to hardcore Floyd Mayweather fans so be it. I'm not going to go to another joint after 11 years at my gym.

Among those people who have spent time training at the gym over the years are Roberto Duran, Carlos Palomino, Randy Shields, my man James Toney, Michael Moorer, Erik Morales, Antonio Margarito, Vernon Forrest, Bernard Hopkins, Laila Ali and the greatest of them all, Laila's dad Muhammad. 

Oh, yeah. And a couple of other guys you might have heard of lately, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

For those of you who didn't watch Mayweather-Hatton 24/7, the gym that Money May enter at midnight after his elimination from Dancing With The Stars was indeed Freddie Roach's boxing temple in the heart of Hollywood. 

Floyd asked Freddie if he could train there during the run of the show and Freddie gave Money his own key to the building. 

For those who don't get it. Freddie Roach and Floyd, Jr. like and respect each other. Even if they won't say it in the press.

But I digress.

This article is an explanation of why both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio need to fight one another. Despite hard core fans and self interested promoters who claim they don't have to. 

I'll start with Manny first. A year ago it looked like Manny would be able to walk away from this fight without a care. 

Despite the ardent claims of both his camp and his fans, Money didn't have the respect of most top boxing historians. They felt he was too married to his "O" and didn't fight the very best. 

That fact was hammered home when the BWAA voted Manny Pacquiao Fighter of the Decade earlier this year. 

Pacquiao didn't have that problem.

Manny was considered a warrior who took on all comers. His multi-fight showdowns with Barrera, Morales and Marquez in their prime followed by the total destruction of the much larger Oscar De La Hoya.

That fight and it's unexpected result made Manny not just a Hall of Famer, but a boxing icon.

Had he stopped then or even after the wipeout of Ricky Hatton he could have easily rode off into the sunset as one of the greatest of all time.

But he and his people wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 

It looked like it was going to happen. Floyd let it be known through his personal mouthpiece the Grand Rapids Press, that he wanted to fight Manny long before he announced he was ending his retirement.

The first time Pacquiao's people thought they had a deal was right before the Hatton fight. That fell apart when Floyd decided to fight Juan Manuel Marquez.

But after each fighter held serve with wins over Marquez and Cotto, it looked the fight was a sure thing.

It was until drug testing became an issue the fight fell apart.

Which is why Manny needs this fight now.

The drug testing issue wasn't the only reason the fight fell apart. There was a lot of back room non-sense and distrust on both sides leading up to the final breakdown.

Bob Arum also thought he had put Team Mayweather in a box by choosing a top Welterweight in Josh Clottey to fight Manny. 

With Shane Mosley scheduled to fight Andre Berto and Manny having just destroyed Miguel Cotto, it looked like Floyd was left with two very bad options, either a tough fight with the much bigger Paul Williams or a mismatch with a second tier fighter like Paulie Malignaggi.

Then an earthquake hit Haiti, Andre Berto dropped out of the Mosley fight and Pretty Boy Floyd was able to turn the tables on Arum and Manny by staging a the biggest fight of the spring season. 

More importantly, Floyd and his handlers kept up a very smart campaign to go after Manny on the drug issue. It started with comments from Floyd's dad late last year and kept up throughout Mayweather-Mosley 24/7. 

Fair or not it has worked. A lot of casual fans now question Manny like they used to question Barry Bonds. Now Manny needs this fight to clear his name. 

On the other hand, Floyd will claim he doesn't need Manny now that he's beaten a "real" Welterweight in "Sugar" Shane Mosley.

Unfortunately, while that will wash with his hardcore fans Money's victory did little to sway the boxing journalists and historians. 

If you don't believe this, just check out this article by Yahoo's Martin Rogers. He suggested Saturday night's fight was a cure for insomnia.


Ring Magazine, which is owned by Money's promoter called the fight a bore. 

For all of Floyd's bravado, he still hasn't had that great fight that cements his legacy. 

Worse yet, by demanding stringent drug testing prior to fighting an admitted PED user, there are a lot of people re-examining Shane Mosley's credentials as a great fighter.

Last night, Fox Sports Radio personality JT the Brick said the fight showed fans what a former user looks like when he's off PED's.

If that's not an indictment, I don't know what is.

Money May, like Arum before him, may have been too clever by a half.

Making his big statement fight into another case of PBF fighting a washed up fighter well past his prime.

Which isn't really fair. Floyd like any fighter fought some very tough fights to get where he is now. 

His two wars with Jose Louis Castillo were great fights even if no one other than hardcore boxing fans ever saw them.

Many people thought Diego Corrales would be too tough for Money back in the day and he dominated that fight. Knocked Corrales down three times in the seventh round and ended it in the 10th.

But the casual fans never saw those fights. Heck, a lot of boxing fans never saw those fights.

Now I just watched a report from Kevin Iole on this issue. He said he didn't think the fight would happen because there are too many obstacles.

His suggestion was Floyd moving up to fight Sergio Martinez, and while I guess that could be a possibility, it doesn't make sense to me. 

Martinez is a big, dangerous guy who no one outside of boxing circles even knows.

That might win over the boxing purists and finally gain Floyd some respect, but Floyd wants to be legendary.

And you don't get to be legendary fighting the Sergio Martinezes of the world. 

Fighting Sergio Martinez would be like fighting Castillo and Coralles all over again. It would be taking a step back, not forward.

That's why Floyd needs Manny.

If he fights Manny, the whole world will be watching.

If you don't think Floyd cares about what people think.

You should go back and look at how his father was dressed for the fight and all the events leading up it. 

No more sweatshirts and crack addict wear for Sr. It was well, dressed and elegant this time out. 

Floyd wants to be global. A victory over Manny will accomplish that. 

Manny wants his named cleared. A victory over Floyd will accomplish that.

Will the fight happen? I have no idea. 

But it should. It really should. 

Because both men need this fight whether they'll admit it or not.



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