Since the early days of boxing, when bare knuckles and unlimited rounds was the norm, fighters carved an image of themselves for the public. The spectators picked their favorites by character, boxing ability or both. As boxing progressed and the science of it was further developed, more and more men entering the ring became more effective and thus, entertaining. Raw power and ability to withstand pain was no longer the selling point. Instead, skill was now ahead on the cards. Boxers became more technical and a wide spectrum of various styles were developed over time by the fighters and their trainers. Proper stylistic match-ups became the way to provide more entertaining and exciting bouts.
As time went on, better then average boxers began popping up all over the world. Boxing went from being a raw rule-lacking brawl, to a beautiful sport and furthermore, a well paying job. Over many decades, legendary fighters were performing and entertaining their fans. They became iconic in the eyes of the public and were worshiped by many fans and future boxers. We all remember those unforgettable fights, such as Ali vs. Foreman, Gatti vs. Ward, Barerra vs. Morales, Trinidad vs. De La Hoya, Robinson vs. Turpin, Hagler vs. Hearns and many more. What we don’t remember and unfortunately never will, are those fights that we hoped to see, but never came to fruition.
It’s the fights that never were that not only spark a never ending flame of curiosity, but also leave an empty space filled with unanswerable questions. When I scavenged for what those fights might be on numerous forums, I found the following results to be dominant: Lewis vs. Bowe, Lewis vs. Ibeabuchi, Tyson vs. Bowe, Tyson vs. Tua, Foreman vs. Bowe, Briggs vs. Holyfield, Duran vs. Arguello, Morales vs. Hamed, Trinidad vs. Chavez, Leonard vs. Pryor, Frazier vs. Norton, Hagler vs. Qawi, and several more that were passionately discussed.
I would pay big bucks to see any of the above mentioned fights, but unfortunately, they never did and never will happen. Only in the fantasy of our own minds can we run through what could have possibly happened if the two fighters were to go toe to toe.
Now we are at a crossroads yet again, possibly in the process of letting one of the biggest fights in boxing history slip away–Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Compared to all of the fights that I have mentioned above, this fight is just as historically important and just as exhilarating as they would be.
Taking into consideration what Manny Pacquiao has achieved inside and outside of the ring, his name is now carved into boxing history forever. At this very point in time, he is an active fighting legend and we should all feel lucky to be there to witness his performances. Pacquiao has moved up in weight and showed heart and charisma throughout his career. Paired together with Freddie Roach, they have been dubbed ‘the Dream Team of Boxing’ on numerous occasions and I would undoubtedly agree. Pacquiao is like a freight train that makes no stops, running through his competition with force and absolute domination. Fight after fight, he seems unstoppable and almost inhuman. The energy that he brings into a boxing ring is unlike any I have seen before. When Mike Tyson displayed his overwhelming aggression along with a burning passion in the ring, I was impressed and that’s an obvious understatement. Manny Pacquiao in the recent past reminds me of the young Mike Tyson–ready to rumble anytime, anywhere.
Like all heroes in all stories, Manny Pacquiao has a ‘villain’ of his own: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Floyd is a currently unbeaten, cocky and self centered boxing virtuoso. His technical skill and ring smarts make him the only, in my opinion, real threat to Pacquiao.
Their fight has been the ultimate hub, the very axis on which the current boxing news lives and revolves. Articles and discussions on their proposed fight significantly outnumber any other. Who would be the winner? What makes this fight so demanded and necessary is the fact that this question cannot be answered with any solid confidence by any fan, writer or boxing analyst. For both men, this would be the ultimate career defining and possibly ending, bout. Financially, it would also break all records in personal and global aspects. Millions of fans would have their hard fought arguments put to rest, with an answer we have all been waiting for.
If this fight never happens, will this be the biggest fight that boxing history up to this date will miss? Will it be in your top five?