Floyd “More Money More Problems” Mayweather has found himself at the center of attention to boxing sophisticates and plebes everywhere. The fast and boisterous mouth of “Money” has since been slammed shut from allegations of dodging on proportions not seen since 8th grade gym dodge ball. Or should I say on proportions not seen since his last fight.
As many boxing fans have seemed to forget, “Pretty Boy” does not get hit. Not 3 months ago we all understood and argued to our bandwagon boxing friends the true brilliance of Floyd’s performances. We would call him a tenured professor of the sweet science; with a defensive prowess as fierce as a Sonny Liston barrage. We used to confidently remark that the only fighter in history that could be a worthy opponent to the true Champ would have been Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran. Floyd Mayweather had become our living all time great. Then the event known as Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao happened.
Pac-Man had been around a while. We began to know him as “The Mexicutioner”. In the beginning of this century, Pacquiao laid a coup d’etat on the throne of a featherweight class contested by heavy weights. “The Fighting Pride of the Philippians” went 5-1-1 with the Mexican warlords Marco Antonio Barerra, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales. Pac-Man was victorious in the rematch to his draw with Marquez, and he avenged his loss to Morales, twice. Then Pacquiao decided to take over the world.
Manny pushed Dangerous David Diaz off the monkey bars and took his lightweight belt. Then he retired money hungry Oscar De la Hoya, in the same fashion that “The Golden Boy” became a man beating Julio Ceasar Chavez. He continued by knocking off the overrated, but nevertheless tenacious and capable Englishman. If Pac-Man’s worth as a welterweight was in question, the answer was given with a loud left hand that sent a respected Puerto Rican warrior into the ropes and caused referee Kenny Bayless to wave an end to 12 rounds of punishment. Within sixteen weeks, an immaculate conception originated in our minds. A super fight was imminent.
This fight seemed natural. Mayweather, a fighter of endless potential, with an undefeated record. Pacquiao, a fearless firecracker in a barrel of snakes, commanded by famed General Freddie Roach. The angels in heaven would surely be looking down through the clouds for this one.
Reports began coming in abundant and confident that the contract would be signed, and the fighters would be primed for a March 13th battle. While true fight fans looked at the possibility of this meeting with a skeptical eye, the ESPN sport fans began to clamor with anticipation. The greatest show on earth, two welterweight giants, too much, too soon.
The saga of the Mayweather- Pacquiao super fight event has certainly turned into a riddle. The answer to this riddle must contain one of the following components: Money splitting? Weight penalties? Glove weights? It seems like the probable answer must have included random blood testing. Sure, Mayweather wouldn’t compromise on his insistence that he and Pacquiao submit to random blood screening from 30 days before the fight and immediately after. But shouldn’t it also be noted that Pacquiao submitted to similar demands as was specified in his contract for his May fight with Ricky Hatton? Under this context, it is hard for an educated person to believe that this would have been a make or break issue. The answer to this riddle is much more broad – time.
According to the old business maxim, time equals money. The boxing illuminati are well aware of this adage; they pull their puppets to its tune. A two month window before the fight is certainly not as profitable to the suits as a four or five or six month window could be. The truth is, barring an upset; the public’s interest in this fight will only continue to percolate for upwards of a year. You don’t sell a stock if its value is rising.
Mayweather v. Pacquiao will happen, most likely sometime between June and September. In the meantime the people’s Champion, Manny Pacquiao, will keep busy. Freddie Roach prefers to keep his fighters sharp by keeping them active. According to Top Rank’s facebook page, on March 13th Pac-Man will defend his WBO welterweight title against the athletic Joshua Clottey. Clottey is a dangerous match up for the smaller Pacquiao, but good money should follow to the Champs corner.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr is also now in the market for an intermission foe. The field of suitable opponents for Mayweather is limited. Andre Berto and Shane Mosley, two very acceptable candidates, will be lacing up their gloves for the first major boxing showdown of the year on January 30th. Antonio Margarito is stealing candy from children down in Mexico, and Miguel Cotto is still licking his wounds from his encounter with Pacquiao. Vyacheslav Senchenko is looking for his first loss, but Mayweather would be too proud to give it to him. Junior welterweight title holders Amir Kahn and Timothy Bradely could make for entertaining shows, but neither is foolish enough to take the bait. Most likely Mayweather will square up with second tier grease-ball Pauli “The Dead End Kid” Malignaggi. Coming off of a disgusting win over a sad looking college grad, this could be the biggest fight of his career. Malignaggi is a bee without a stinger, and posts no threat to Mayweather, which is why Mayweather will most likely eat this opportunity up.
Fight fans, our super fight will happen, don’t be discouraged. In the meantime I look forward to a great year of boxing. Berto versus Mosley should be entertaining. David Haye is stalking the Klitschko brothers. Edwin Valero is a Tasmanian devil in the lightweight class since vacated by Pacquiao. Valero is 26-0, with 26 knockouts, 19 in the first round. The southpaw will lace up to defend his WBC lightweight belt against Antonio DeMarco a month from now. And don’t forget about round two of the super six world boxing classic which will showcase Andre Dirrell vs. Arthur Abraham on March 6th, as well as Mikkel Kessler vs. Carl Froch and Jermain Taylor vs. Andre Ward on April 17th.
Blake Woodward can be reached for comments at [email protected]