By Ivan G. Goldman
If Floyd Mayweather will stand and fight against Miguel Cotto, he’ll do it against anybody, even Manny Pacquiao. Floyd did an awful lot of fighting off the ropes Saturday night, but he did an awful lot of damage there too. And when he got caught flush, which was rare, he tagged his man back. He didn’t take those little backward steps that made some of his previous fights look more like a video game than a boxing match. He knows his body, and at age 35 he can’t dance the night away, at least not in the ring.
Photo:Tom Hogan/ Hogan Photos/ GoldenBoy
Meanwhile, the night’s events revealed other truths and created new ones. Here are some of them.
No, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez isn’t ready for Mayweather, but he’s progressing nicely.
And though Sugar Shane Mosley came up short against the hard-driving wunderkind, he also showed us how a prizefighter of substance conducts himself. He takes on the best opponents he can the best way he can. Mosley erased the memory of his terrible outing last year against Pacquiao, when, after tasting Pacquiao’s power in round two, he spent the rest of the bout trying to touch gloves and be pals.
Clearly Mosley saw the tapes of that fight, despised what he saw, and resolved to erase that memory. He did. Now he should do us all a favor and retire. Searching for the remnants of the polished warrior he once was is like combing through the ruins of a lost civilization.
Speaking of Pacquiao, we see he remains very much on Floyd’s mind. I expect there’s only one fighter out there who wants Tim Bradley to kayo Pacquiao even more than Bradley does. That’s Mayweather. It would end his inner turmoil. Sometimes when we fear hard choices we wish exterior events would make them for us. Not this time, Floyd. You’ll have to solve this one yourself.
And here’s a question: will Floyd even get to see the Bradley-Pacquiao fight as it happens? He’ll be in the clink as of June 1, serving his 90 days (it will no doubt be shortened) to satisfy his plea bargain deal and once again escape a felony conviction.
I’ve never heard of a county detention center that orders pay-per-view fights for its inmates, though honestly, Clark County might make an exception in Floyd’s case. The court already delayed his term so the card could go on unimpeded.
Floyd, while cozying up to Larry Merchant (the apology was in fact commendable, but a failure to apologize would have been unforgivable) spoke about his approaching jail date as though he were martyring himself for some great cause. He wouldn’t have to overcome this “obstacle” as he put it, if he’d just learn to stop beating up his ex-girlfriend. But I have to hand it to him. Floyd looked so innocent I never would have guessed he’s got a rap sheet as long as a Vegas buffet line on a big fight weekend.
Also, Mayweather’s version of negotiations with the Pacquiao camp is like Fox News’s version of “fair and balanced.” There’s no quarrel over PEDs testing. Manny has said yes to everything.
I like the friendly Mayweather that emerged Saturday night with his arms around Jim Lampley and Emanuel Steward. Maybe he’s trying to prepare himself for the year of anger management classes the court imposed on him as part of his sentence. On the other hand, who wouldn’t be friendly and cheerful after earning approximately $40 millions for forging an impressive victory?
We shouldn’t ignore the fact that Pacquiao stopped Cotto while Mayweather didn’t. Mayweather won’t ignore it either. Pacquiao hits harder.
Dear Larry, 14- and 16-ounce sparring gloves feel like bricks. I guarantee you that 10-ounce gloves are not big cushions.
All in all, not a bad night. I expect June 9 will be a better one.
Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE