Shortly after the November 13, 2010 spectacular boxing performance orchestrated by none other than the pound-for-pound champion Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito went into surgery to repair his orbital bone and calls for the mega-bout Pacquiao-Mayweather began to surface once again.
Mayweather’s temporary hiatus remains the obvious reason the mega-bout has not been made, but we still have the unresolved random drug testing issue looming as a deal breaker if the negotiations ever resume.
I have gone on record as stating that an omission of the mega-bout must be made so that boxing can have absolution, and the process of rebuilding the sport, at least at welterweight, can begin.
As I began to ponder all of the possible match-ups that could occur over the next few years without Floyd, I came to one conclusion—we have a Manny Pacquiao predicament.
Manny is without a doubt one of the best fighters we’ve seen in generations.
But is he the only great fighter in boxing today?
The premise that another potential pound-for-pound contender could meet the Filipino Sensation in the ring is what makes the mega-bout so intriguing in the first place.
Unfortunately, with a small framed champion like Manny Pacquiao in the Welterweight division, and the inexperienced state of current ranked opposition at 140 -147, the chances of that happening are slim to none.
Fighters like Berto, Alvarez, and Ortiz are too green for Manny at this point in their career, and challenging someone as dangerous as Pacquiao this early could prove detrimental to a young fighter’s future in boxing.
On the other hand, tough and experienced pugilists like Williams, Cintron and Martirosyan remain physically too big for Pacquiao, evidenced by close friend and confidant to Manny, Michael Koncz.
"We learned from experience in the Margarito fight that giving away 10 to 15 pounds during fight night is very detrimental to the safety of Manny," Koncz told reporters, adding "Because of those basic concerns we have no intention for Manny to fight at 154. From this day forward, the maximum weight would be 147 pounds."
So we’re left with an electric talent packed welterweight division that has the pound-for pound reigning champion fighting promoter-hyped paper champions who have no real shot at dethroning Manny.
Those who do have the ability to beat Pacquiao are in retirement and are making excuses, or have been genetically excluded, like Sergio Martinez.
It would be naïve for me to think that no other great match-up at welterweight can be made, but the future of boxing stays relative when there is a proverbial “passing of the torch” moment.
I’m hoping that in 2011 we will see the relatively young fighters in the division mature quickly in terms of ring experience and challenge Pacquiao—like Saul Alvarez.
Otherwise the next three years in boxing could look just like the last three.