In sports, people want to see the best taking on the best. So naturally, moments after another scintillating performance from Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez, the names Pacquiao and Mayweather were brought up as future opponents for the middleweight champion. I really like the idea of the Floyd Mayweather fight, for both guys. It's a dream scenario. Floyd's chance for redemption in the eyes of all his critics who complain about him cherry-picking opponents, and Sergio's chance to rocket into mainstream glory, facing a master tactician with the skills and speed to give him fits.
A Mayweather-Martinez fight at 154 would be HUGE. Unfortunately, Floyd has some other issues to deal with and it looks like his boxing career is indefinitely on hold.
Thus, Manny emerges as the only active top pound-for-pound guy within striking distance of Sergio's weight class. Aye, there's the rub. Pacquiao won the belt at 154 lbs, just one division beneath Martinez (160), but the so-called championship fight was contested at a catch-weight of 150 lbs. Pacquiao weighed in shy of 145. He won the the junior-middleweight belt fighting below the welterweight limit. Simply put, Martinez is way too big for Pacquiao. The old adage, a great big man will always beat a great little man, would never ring more true.
On the other hand, say Pacquiao does offer Martinez a fight, but at a 150 lbs. catch-weight. That's nine pounds lower that what Sergio weighed against Dzinzurik. Can he drain himself to make 150? At what risk of diminishing his physical abilities and comfort in the ring?
If that kind of scenario ends up happening, sure I'll watch it, but it's not ideal. You cannot discount the effect of a natural middleweight like Sergio moving down almost two weight divisions. For the money and exposure, you'd have to believe Martinez and his camp would strongly consider going that low, despite insisting he would go no lower than 154.
At 150 lbs, I certainly wouldn't rule Sergio out, but again, it would be a serious disadvantage to force a man to come down that much from his standard fighting weight. I think it would be a tremendous disservice to fans to sell that fight as the number one vs. the number two best fighters in the world, without acknowledging the number two guy, a legitimate champion at his own weight unlike Manny, had to drain himself ten pounds from his usual division.
One thing is for sure, if this fight does not happen, you cannot criticize Manny Pacquiao for not insisting on the challenge. Sergio Martinez is out of his weight class, it's as simple as that. I would never expect a man who shows up at 147 to fight a guy who comes in pushing 170 on fight night. I
t's a fantasy matchup, two fighters on a world-class level, huge hearts, dazzling skills, relentless aggression, but it's exactly that...a fantasy. In reality, you're talking about Bernard Hopkins vs. The Klitschko Brothers. Nonito Donaire against Marquez. The size advantage is too big, even for Manny.
To sway things back his way with an uncomfortable catch-weight, the only possible way this fight ever does get made, would be another example of the big name in Boxing dictating unfavorable terms to his opponent, something it would seem Manny should be above doing, and something a great champion like Sergio Martinez, with his stellar accomplishment the past year, does not deserve.