A date with Mayweather may be on the herizon
As Floyd Mayweather Jr. prepares to make his much-anticipated return to boxing against Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO's) on September 17th, it is his potential match-up with Manny Pacquiao that is always in the back of everyone's mind-including Mayweather's.Both fighters are scheduled to enter the ring in 2011, with both fights being hailed as the premier boxing events of the year. Pacquiao is set to rematch long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th, in what would be the third meeting between the two popular fighters.
Although Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO’s) is a formidable opponent who Pacquiao should not take lightly, a win over the future Hall-of-Famer is likely considering Pacquiao’s edge in speed, power, age and new-found ability to move out of harm’s way-something he did not possess in their last two encounters.
If Mayweather scores a victory against up-and-comer Ortiz, and Pacquiao takes care of business as usual against Marquez, the dream fight the world has been waiting for will finally come to fruition for a few compelling reasons.
Floyd has grown tired of ducking and dodging accusations
Mayweather, despite having never been beaten in a boxing ring (41-0, 25 KO’s), has had to hear accusations of ducking and hand-picking opponents for years. He has said all along that he is boxing’s premier star and “cash cow,” and that he does not need a fight with Pacquiao to cement his legacy as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
In the court of public opinion however, Mayweather’s legacy has taken a beating with many observers unwilling to give him credit for a long and productive career in the spotlight unless he fights the Filipino champion.
In a recent press conference in New York City to promote his fight with Ortiz, Mayweather was asked point-blank if he would be willing to fight Pacquiao in which he responded “Do I want the Pacquiao fight? Absolutely.”
He further went on to say “I want fans to know this and everybody else who is watching live, Floyd Mayweather Jr. don’t duck and dodge anybody.”
Clearly Floyd is upset with all the negative criticism he has received over the years, and seems bent on proving all his detractors wrong.
Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO’s) is a Congressman in the Philippines, and has made it clear that he intends to retire after a few more fights. If he thinks his November match with Marquez is tough, it may prove to be even more difficult to find another worthy opponent.
That is, unless he finally agrees to take on the elusive Mayweather. Despite bad blood between the two which has resulted in a subsequent ongoing lawsuit, Mayweather is the only fighter who is considered to be anywhere near Pacquiao’s stature and may be the only one left who the public is truly willing to see fight.
Having come off a less-than-stellar showing against Shane Mosley that left many fight fans wanting more, the list of opponents who the people will pay to see is dwindling faster than a Pacquiao left hook.
Pacquiao may have lost a step against Mosley
Although Pacquiao, 32, and Mayweather, 34, are not over-the-hill by any means, they are also quickly approaching their mid-30’s. This is the time when many boxers begin to see a decline in speed and skills, something which even the best fighters have trouble coming to grips with (see: Jones Jr., Roy and Mosley, Shane).
Pacquiao’s lackluster showing against Mosley caused some critics to question whether the Pac-Man had lost a step. On the same note, Mayweather is not getting any younger and could face problems going toe-to-toe with the much younger and more aggressive Ortiz, 24, who claims to have wanted to fight Mayweather since he was just nine years old.
It is important that both Pacquiao and Mayweather fight each other at or near the peak of their respective careers, as anything less will be thought of as too little, too late.
MMA is quickly becoming a fan-favorite
Fight fans are becoming increasingly drawn to the world of Mixed Martial Arts. UFC Pay-Per-View fights are becoming highly-anticipated events that are taking many fans away from the sport of boxing.
That being said, it would serve in the best interest of both fighters to get in the ring and put boxing in the forefront for one last hurrah. If the fight doesn’t happen and both fighters retire without giving the public what they have been waiting so patiently for, the sport of boxing may never recover.It is highly unlikely that there will be another set of boxers more popular and polarizing than Pacquiao and Maweather in the near future.
No fight in history has the potential to make as much money and break as many viewing records as Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. A mega-fight between the two would almost certainly break the all-time PPV record of 2.4 million buys set by De La Hoya vs. Mayweather in 2007.The two fighters have tried several times to negotiate a deal, only to have it fall through due to issues regarding Olympic-style drug testing and the split of the purse.
On top of that, Mayweather has had a volatile relationship with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who just so happens to promote Pacquiao as well as several other fighters Mayweather has refused to fight over the years.
In 2009 it was reported that both fighters agreed to a 50-50 split of the purse, but of course that never ended up becoming a reality.
In truth, the reality is that a fight between the two could net somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million each, which would be more than enough to give Pac-Man the funds needed to help his country. It would also provide Mayweather with some extra cash to fight his many lawsuits and continue living his lavish lifestyle.