Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather and 5 Dream Fights That Never Happened…Yet
As storied as the history of mega-fights in the sport of boxing is, the tales of fights that never happened is just as numerous, compelling and rich.
For every "Rumble in the Jungle" and De La Hoya-Trinidad, there are just as many dream fights that slip through the cracks for a myriad of reasons.
Since the inception of the mega-fight, fans have become all too familiar with outrageous demands, unforeseen losses and purse disputes which have all led to the demise of some potentially all-time great fights.
With another one of these failed mega-fights possibly on the horizon in Mayweather-Pacquiao, here are five dream fights that never happened.
5. Roy Jones Jr. vs. Bernard Hopkins 2: Appropriate Rematch
When they met for the first time in 1993, there was a sense that the best had yet to come from either fighter.
Roy Jones Jr., 21-0 at the time of the fight, was starting to become the deified boxing freak of nature who personified his reign of dominance throughout the 1990's. He had yet to secure the resume necessary to garner pound-for-pound consideration, although many knew it was just a matter of time.
That year, 1993, was also one of great importance to Bernard Hopkins who after being incarcerated and losing his first professional fight, was in the midst of a 22-fight win streak, blazing his own trail up the boxing hierarchy.
For boxing enthusiasts, what you had was a much-anticipated fight between two very good young fighters. For the rest of the public, you had Roy Jones Jr. taking on just another fighter.
The fight had little of note as Jones out-quicked, out-boxed and eventually out-pointed Hopkins to a unanimous 12-round decision. Nothing to demand an immediate rematch.
But what happened over the next 10-12 years is purely a shame as Jones and Hopkins both skyrocketed to Hall of Fame careers, while never facing each other again untill 2010, when both appeared to be on the edge of boxing senility.
A 1995-2002 window of a Roy Jones Jr.-Bernard Hopkins rematch would have made for one of the biggest fights of the 90's.
Too bad it never happened.
4. Aaron Pryor vs. Ray Leonard
While Aaron Pryor may be best known to the casual boxing fan as the fighter who used the bottle that trainer Panama Louis "mixed," he was one of the hardest hitters of the 1980's who was feared for his furious flurries of punches.
Equipped with a take-one-punch-to-land-three style, I've always found it strange that Pryor never was able to muster great fanfare.
So without a loyal backing of fans, Pryor never received endorsement deals from the major networks, forcing him to go on a crusade, calling out all of the days great fighters to little avail.
One of those fighters whom Pryor so seeked out was "Sugar" Ray Leonard.
It must have been intriguing as Pryor would show up to Leonard post-fight conferences and demand that they fight, arguing he beat up Leonard in amateur sparring matches, as well as noting he defeated Tommie Hearns in an amateur tournament. Just imagine Floyd Mayweather showing up to a Manny Pacquiao post-fight conference demanding that they fight.
But as much as Pryor yelled and screamed, Leonard dismissed him as an unqualified opponent and the fight never happened.
Would Pryor's come-forward style and ability to take punches stand up to a bigger fighter like Leonard?
I can't say, but what I do know is that this would have been a huge fight that would have been complete with action from the second the bell rang.
3. Miguel Cotto vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Timing is everything in boxing.
Today, if Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto were to agree to a fight, it would be anticipated, but seen as a forgone conclusion in Mayweather's favor.
After taking several beatings at the hands of Manny Pacquiao and the possibly plastered hands of Antonio Margarito, it's hard to remember Cotto for the feared and top 10 pound-for-pound fighter he was considered circa 2005-ish.
But at the time, Cotto was seen as possibly this generation's Marvin Hagler. A tough, strong, power puncher with an ability to move and box with all opponents.
It could have been a Leonard-Hagler type fight, but Mayweather-Cotto never materialized for whatever reason.
The anticipation would have been immense as you would have had two top pound-for-pound fighters with unbeaten records and in the primes of their careers.
Sometimes fights make too much sense.
2. Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad 2
For all the talk about what the "Fight of the Millennium" wasn't, as a seven-year-old kid, nothing can top De La Hoya-Trinidad.
While there have been other "Super-Fights" since then and a plethora of greater fights, the age at which I was as well as the novelty of pay-per-view made De La Hoya-Trinidad an "event" rather than just another fight.
I can remember it like it was yesterday, planning on spending the night with my Dad and cheering on the "Golden Boy." It added a level of excitement as, at that age, your favorite fighters were superhuman gods and you lived and died with every blow they delivered or received.
After going to the store to buy a "pay-per-view" box, we went to my favorite restaurant to pick up some hot wings and pizza in anticipation of that night's mega-fight.
The pageantry, star power and battle of countries that surrounded the fight made it possibly the most anticipated fight in the history of the sport, as well as the most dramatic lead up to the fight presentation ever by HBO.
While the action and exchanges didn't live up to its "Leonard-Hearns" predecessor, the controversy and storylines—for example, why did Oscar run the final three rounds? I still can't get over that one and I'm sure he hasn't either—surrounding the fight demanded an immediate rematch.
Well,n 14 years later and its safe to say we'll never see this one.
The legacy of De La Hoya-Trinidad remains incomplete.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao
It will shatter all pay-per-view records, rule the sports airwaves for months and, for one night turn, the entire world's eyes back to boxing.
As significant as the careers of both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have been, their lasting impact on the sport may ultimatly be deemed a negative if they can't somehow come to an agreement and fight.
If the NFL owners and NFLPA can reach an agreement and if House Democrats and Republicans can find some common ground (although that's a story for another day.....Teabaggers), then why can't two fighters do what fighters are supposed to do?
The detrimental impact of these two not fighting would be a huge hit for the sport.
The boxing public desires it and the health of the sport needs it.
Mr. Floyd "Harry Reid" Mayweather and Mr. Manny "John Boehner" Pacquaio, please work this out.