If Floyd Mayweather Jr. comes out of retirement (boredom) to fight the new "pound for pound" king Manny Pacquiao, it will be by far the biggest boxing event of 2009. It will also be a relief for those, like myself, who have suffered through the drab that was the 2008 HBO boxing year (HOPKINS-PAVLIK excluded).
As soon as I heard the news that this fight was a remote possibility, i jumped on the web to see what the pseudo-boxing intellects had predicted. To my surprise, it seemed as if people were sincerely believing Manny Pacquiao would win this fight.
Now I'm not a boxer, but I do love the sport and have since age four (in the days of "Macho" Camacho, the second Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson). So I went back and watched every Pacquiao and Mayweather championship fight I could find (thanks to my Uncle George and YouTube) as well as the Pac-DLH fight. And I still can't find a single reason why or how "Pacman" would win this fight.
Firstly, Pacquiao is incredible and vastly improving. However, it was almost impossible for me to find a past Pacquiao opponent that differed from the rest. I mean this man has fought more Mexicans than the border patrol. I know that they were the best at the featherweight and lightweight divisions at that time, but it would have been nice to see him fight a Zahir Raheem (former lightweight champion) or any slick black fighter at least once.
Anyway, most of his fights were agaisnt proud sluggers. The two fighters that actually seemed to have great gameplans and championship skill, either beat him or should have. Lost amongst Pacquiao's "legendary" status is the fact that Eric Morales used pure boxing skills at medium speed to beat Manny unanimously 115-113 on all cards.
Then there's the fact that, just a year ago, Juan Manuel Marquez gave the sensational Pacquaio ALL he can handle in a fight that i felt Marquez pulled out by one point. This fight was three years removed from their first meeting, a fight where Marquez was knocked down three times and still counterpunched his way to a draw. Both Marquez and Morales did good what Mayweather does great, box and counterpunch. Things that no recent Pacquiao fighter (Diaz, DLH) have done.
Now I don't want to seem like a one sided Mayweather fan, but when this guy boxes at 147 lbs., there is no other side to be on. Pacquiao is fast, really fast, as well as an incredibly hard hitting and accurate. But, in the illustrious words of Bernard Hopkins "What will he do when Plan A doesn't work?". I almost had to turn my Ipod all the way up to drown out the Rick Hatton fans who said he would smother "Money" with pressure.
But when that didn't work, he had no back up plan. Nine rounds and a check hook later, Floyd's crying in the corner holding the shiny green belt of importance (WBC championship, the ONLY belt worth anything). So what will happen if (when?) Pacquiao is forced to fight backward a la Cotto- Mosley ( Cotto fought superbly all while back pedaling).
You can ask Gatti or Judah or Hatton if "Pretty Boy" hits hard enough to make you want to back up. Can Pac Man fight backing up? I haven't seen it, but I hope so. Cause there's no way he's going to do to Floyd what he did to DLH (lose 20 lbs and fight the best, REALLY?) and David Diaz (WHO??).
Also lost is the fact the Floyd DOES have better trainers. Roger Mayweather is a former world champion. And Floyd Sr., who reportedly will train Floyd, has turned into a training mercenary, a gun for hire who has trained Juan Guzman undefeated and extended Hatton and DLH's careers like High Mileage oil. Now Freddi Roach is incredible, too. He's trained everyone from Israel Vasquez to Mike Tyson. But a "Mayweather" he's not. They just flat out no boxing. They may not know English well, but they know fighting.
Floyd retirement has lasted about as long as it took for you to read this, so we might as well say it was more of a vacation then anything. The facts are that he's undefeated, a five division champ whose fights at welterweight seem like college basketball games ( UNC vs. Tennesee Chatanooga ). However, EVERYONE seems to want this man to lose, so I believe he can't win on cards. Pacquiao is the man of the hour, but Floyd is still the man. MY prediction: Floyd Mayweather Jr. 10th round TKO.
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