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Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and What’s in a Head

By Ivan G. Goldman

Question: does Manny Pacquiao really have a big head? As we know, that’s what Floyd Mayweather claimed this week when he alleged performance-enhancing drug use supposedly created an oversized cranium on his arch-nemesis.

Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank

So I checked it out. I didn’t have any versions of Pacquaio’s actual head around, so I studied old photos and YouTube videos of Pacquiao and compared them to recent photographs. My conclusion? Damned if I know. Ask me to detect fake boobs. There I’m much more proficient.

But making using of some things that I do know, let’s put the accusation in context. In previous tirades the Mayweather clan contended that only banned chemicals could have enabled Pacquiao to go all the way from junior flyweight to welterweight territory in the course of his career while maintaining his speed and power, And yes, it’s true that Pacquiao turned pro at 106 pounds when he was 16 and now, by gosh, he still shows blinding speed and paralyzing power 17 years later. But you know what else? Floyd won the national Golden Gloves championships in 1993 at 106 pounds. He was, you guessed it, also16. And Floyd would be the first to tell you he’s retained plenty of speed and power himself.

Please check out my stats yourself if you like. It takes two or three minutes of detective work. You’ll subsequently be able to astound your friends by actually knowing what you’re talking about. What a concept. Most people venturing opinions on this topic, including some of the “analysts” who are paid to know, lack an even passing acquaintance with the facts. They’re too busy opinionating to look them up.

We can assume attorneys for both parties in the slander suit filed by Pacquiao against Mayweather for his original PEDs remarks have also figured out what we know about these supposedly astounding physical changes. When millions are at stake, lawyers tend to look this stuff up too, which might explain why Mayweather’s side has tried to slow the lawsuit down to a crawl. Floyd was even a no-show when scheduled to answer questions under oath for a formal pre-trial disposition. His lawyer Karen Winckler explained that he was phenomenally busy. Doing what? At the time he had no fights coming up, no job, and of course no products to plug because when corporations looks for endorsers they tend to ignore athletes with a history of beating up women and a rap sheet to prove it.

Fighters mature like everyone else, and if they pursue their craft diligently, they can’t help putting on some muscle, which is heavier even than fat. Also, not everybody turns pro at the same age, and fighters from Third World countries tend to make the switch earlier, All this sheds plenty of light on Mayweather’s relative credibility in these matters.

So why did Floyd repeat the slander the very same week he’s going to face Miguel Cotto in a junior middleweight pay-per-view contest? Probably for pretty much the same reason he smacked around his ex-girlfriend again in September 2010. Many of us, particularly Mayweather, say and do things that don’t make much sense.

Floyd’s new rant may bury at last the prospect of an eventual Mayweather-Pacquiao super fight or, as some people speculate, it could serve to hype the attraction and draw in more dollars. My gut feeling now is the fight won’t happen. Mayweather will continue competing against men he believes he can beat. And naturally he will retire. Again. Eventually he may feel he needs more money. And the way he spends it, he may be correct. At that point he will be more agreeable to a Pacquiao match. But Congressman Pacquiao (maybe even president Pacquiao), retired as a prizefighter by then, will tell him to buzz off. Fans will lose out, and history may judge Mayweather harshly over all this even though he might actually believe his unfounded accusations because, for one thing, he feels a need to believe them. But for now it would behoove Mayweather to forget all that and get his mind back on Cotto. If I’m not mistaken, they have some kind of event coming up.

Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE

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