Lately, whether we like it or not, the boxing world has been wrapped up in the most important non-fight of our time: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Much has been written about the potential matchup—will it happen or won't it? Who would win? How close would it be?
And then the floodgates open. Fans from both sides of the equation chime in, claiming their fighter's superiority. Then others enter the fray and try to present an unbiased viewpoint, and quickly get hounded for swaying too far toward one fighter or the other.
It seems like the debate just doesn't end, and it's possible it never will if the fight doesn't end up happening soon, while both fighters are still in their prime.
However, even if the fighters aren't able or willing to settle it in the ring, they could settle it in other areas, which is where this article comes in. The great Mayweather-Pacquiao debate, from the perspective of the fighters themselves.
It's a helpful guide for people who get stuck on one side of the argument or the other, as well.
So, without further ado, let's introduce the two debaters.
Judge: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our two candidates to the debate table: Congressman Manny Pacquiao and Mr. Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.
Manny Pacquiao: Well, first off, I'd like to thank all the fans and people who came out to see us have this debate tonight.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.: I'd like to thank myself. I'm the biggest draw in boxing, maybe the greatest fighter in the world, and definitely the best fighter in boxing right now.
MP: Objection! I'd like to make a counter-argument. Does anyone second that motion?
FM: Look, we're not in Congress, Manny. You must have forgotten that again. Go ahead, make your point. But make it quick. Time is money, and Money is me, Floyd Mayweather, the cash cow.
The fans are the most important people in boxing, and I'm their champion—the people's champion. I can make a strong claim to being the best boxer in the world. I've beaten almost all of the top contenders in my weight divisions, and I've now won world titles in eight divisions.
But you always fought at a catchweight. I don't need a catchweight. I'm Floyd "Money" Mayweather.
Even if there was a catchweight, you probably wouldn't meet it, since you came in overweight against Marquez. But we'll address that later. It's true, I often fight at a catchweight, but I've still won title fights in eight weight divisions. That's a record, and three more than you, my closest competitor for that record.
But I'm undefeated!
So was Sven Ottke.
Exactly. Sven Ottke was an undefeated super middleweight who made 18 successful title defenses. But nobody cares because he was one of the most protected fighters in history. Nobody cares unless you fight the top guys in the sport. That's why Joe Frazier is more famous than Joe Calzaghe, and why Mike Tyson is universally considered better than Michael "The Lion" Loewe.
But I am not Sven Ottke. I have fought quality guys my entire career.
Then why won't you fight me?
I don't need to. I'm the best. I have won convincingly against everyone I faced.
Well, I beat Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya, just like you did.
I beat them first.
I beat them better.
Well I beat Marquez silly for 12 rounds, not losing a single one. You couldn't handle Marquez.
I agree that I struggled against Marquez more than you did, but you also fought him at a weight division that was just one lower than where you naturally fight, and he had to move up two weight classes. Even with that, you came in two pounds over the weight limit.
As far as me against Marquez, I did get a draw where I knocked him down three times in the first round. Under the old boxing rules, I would have won the fight there, but I agree, Marquez came back strong against me. Even then, we only had a draw because a judge didn't know he could score a round 10-6 if there were three knockdowns. The judge later admitted his mistake.
But I came back and won in my next fight against Marquez. I've beaten him and gotten a draw.
I also beat Shane Mosley, who was a top five pound-for-pound fighter when I beat him.
He was also 38 years old, and Marquez was 36 when you beat him. You have only fought twice in the last three years, and it was against two guys—quality guys, don't get me wrong—but they were old fighters past their prime. But we'll see how I do when I take on Mosley in May.
Morales wasn't exactly a spring chicken either. Neither was Barrera.
Maybe not the last time we fought, but I beat both of those guys twice. They weren't "old" fighters every time I won against them.
True, but you also lost to Morales and drew Marquez. You can't handle pure boxers.
Which of these do you think is the most valid criticism?
I've handled everyone I faced in the past seven years since working with Freddie Roach. By the way you've been fighting, it looks like you can't handle more than one boxer a year. Two fights in three years, are you serious? And by the way, aside from Marquez, name me one pure boxer who I could beat who would satisfy this criterion of yours—name me one "pure" boxer who you wouldn't find a way to criticize after I beat him.
There is only one pure boxer who is world-class. He is the greatest fighter in the world: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Well, let's see how I would do against him.
You don't deserve to fight Floyd Mayweather.
What? Why are you talking in third person?
Let me say it again in case you weren't listening, since you don't even speak English: You don't deserve to fight me.
Then who does deserve to fight you? If you ask most fans, most columnists and even Ring Magazine, who has me ranked higher than you, I am the fighter who most deserves to fight you.
If anybody deserves to fight me, it will be me who chooses. I am the biggest draw in boxing, and I have the pay-per-view numbers to prove it.
Your fight with Oscar De La Hoya was the biggest pay-per-view ever in boxing, it's true. Congratulations on holding that record. However, it seems like a lot of that had to do with Oscar De La Hoya, because overall, you and I are quite well-matched in pay-per-view numbers, especially after I had 1.2 million buys in the Margarito fight. It's not about the money, it's about the fans and how well you box in the ring.
And I do it better. I'm the cash cow. I'm the dog. I'm the gorilla. I was the greatest fighter in boxing, and you just filled the void after I retired undefeated by knocking out Hatton. Now, since I've come back, people seem to forget just how good Floyd Mayweather really is. Isn't that right, your honor?
Wow, you seem to know this courtroom pretty well, Floyd. Have you been here before?
Don't you start with that nonsense! Are you trying to disrespect me?
No, I was just pointing out the fact that the closest you've come to boxing in the past seven months is assaulting your ex-girlfriend. How can you be the sport's biggest fighter and not be a good role model for the people? I work hard every day for my countrymen and my constituents.
Man, it was a BS lawsuit, which is why I'm not doing time for it. Nobody can stop me, even the courtrooms. It was an argument over a stupid iPhone, and then a security guard that got in my face about something when he should have known who I am. But that ain't no thing. I'm gonna be fine. I'm just taking a vacation right now. I deserve it. I've had a great career.
Yes you have. I give you credit for being a great boxer.
Wow, so you ain't wrong about everything! How can you say you're the greatest boxer in the world, though? You've lost to Erik Morales, drawn Marquez and lost to two chumps I've never heard of. Who was that, Singsurat? Rustico Torrecampo? These guys ain't nobodies. I've never been knocked down, I've never been knocked out, and I've never lost. You didn't start facing anyone I've heard of until your 36th pro fight.
Yes, but that's because I was in the smaller weight divisions. I was already a two-time champion by the time I faced Agapito Sanchez. Even then, it has been 22 fights since then. It's only been 23 fights since you faced your first recognizable-name opponent—Genaro Hernandez in your 18th pro fight. So by the time I face Shane Mosley in May, we'll both have been near the top of boxing for the same number of fights.
So what else do you have that makes you think you're better than me?
Well, I don't use steroids.
Neither do I. That's just a crazy rumor you and your people made up.
Then why didn't you take my blood test offer?
Because, I already always agree to the standard blood testing procedures for all my fights. But I don't like having my blood drawn so close to the fight. The last time I did that was in my first fight versus Morales, and I was drained and ended up losing the decision.
So the last time you had real, Olympic-style blood testing, you ended up losing the fight. That's suspicious.
Well, they test you a few weeks before the fight, and then in the locker room after the fight. I couldn't be hiding anything.
Juicer. You know that you can't win against me if you don't cheat.
Well listen, Mr. Mayweather: I agreed to do blood testing up to two weeks before the fight, and then you just changed the deadline again. You're moving the goalposts because you are afraid to step in against me and risk your undefeated record and your legacy.
Plus, who does Olympic-style blood testing in pro boxing, anyways? There are standard procedures that have been used for 99 percent of the fights in boxing recently, and you don't seem to think that's good enough. I don't want to keep talking about things that are unreasonable.
Unreasonable!? The only thing unreasonable is the fact that you think you can beat me!
Well, let's prove your theory. Sign a fight with me. We can do a 50-50 split and have it in the welterweight division. It will be the biggest fight in history. You want to be a part of that, don't you?
I already have been. My win over De La Hoya set the record for pay-per-view buys.
I'm pretty sure a fight with us could be bigger than that, and we could settle the question for good. The people want to see the fight, and that's the most important thing in boxing.
Look Pacquiao, you're not important enough to face me, and fans already know Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter in boxing. So let me have my vacation! It's not easy being the most important athlete in the world. So you go have your Chinese food and prepare for Mosley, and my people and I will get back to you after I've had some rest and relaxation. Then your people can talk to my people.
Judge: OK, this court is in recess until further notice. We'll continue with this discussion at a later time. Until then, witnesses and the jury are free to weigh in on the message boards and discuss the points that have been raised.
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