By Sean Crose
“The fight itself is very intriguing.”
With the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao super fight Saturday Night, Boxing Insider had the chance to speak to someone who knows what it means to step into the ring for a major matchup.
Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, the former lightweight king – and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee – took time to talk about Mayweather-Pacquiao, the sport of the boxing and how times have changed since he himself was in the ring.
Boxing Insider: What advice would you give to Floyd Mayweather?
RAY MANCINI: Floyd’s a special fighter. I’m picking Floyd, but I hope I’m wrong. I’m picking Floyd for traditional reasons: bigger, faster, stronger. He’s bigger, faster, stronger, but Manny’s a bad style for him. Fighters don’t make fights, styles make fights. Floyd has a flaw, it’s leaning to his right.
Boxing Insider: What advice would you give to Manny Pacquiao?
RAY MANCINI: I mean, you have to attack. You have to come in. You have to make the fight, because the other guy (Floyd) isn’t. You have to go after greatness. It ain’t coming to you. Manny (should) jab to the shoulder, slide over to the left. It’s a bad style.
Boxing Insider: How do you feel about Mayweather’s claim that he’s The Best Ever (TBE)?
RAY MANCINI:That shows such disrespect to Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran. He would never have beat Ray. Benitez would have had him spinning in circles. These guys fought fifteen round fights. Mayweather hasn’t. Twelve rounds – if twelve rounds were all that counted, I would have been undefeated.
The reason this fight wasn’t made five years ago wasn’t because of Manny. If you really want to be the best, you fight the best.
Boxing Insider: How do you feel about the current state of the sport?
RAY MANCINI: Right now the state of boxing is an interesting dynamic. Network television is back in the game. That’s a good thing, but when I fought it didn’t matter what network you were on. You got to fight each other. If you wanted the fight you got the fight. What’s going on right now, to me, it’s ridiculous.
There’s no (future) stars. There’s no star. Gennady Golovkin, what I love about this kid is he’s calling out everyone from Mayweather to Ward. He’s smart. He’s got a plan. He’s cornering the other guys (in the middleweight division by staying so active).
Boxing Insider: Who do you admire in the game right now?
RAY MANCINI: There’s a lot of great people. Ray Leonard is a friend of mine. Mickey Rourke is a good friend of mine.
Freddie Roach, he’s everything that’s good about boxing. He deserves everything he’s got. He came from nothing. Very few trainers make money, period. He earned everything. Someone told me this fight isn’t just about Floyd fighting Manny, it’s as much about Floyd fighting Freddie than anyone else in boxing. In a way, that’s true.
Floyd (basically) trains himself. Manny trusts Freddie. Freddie knows how to break guys down. When he says he’s got a plan to beat Mayweather, you’ve got to believe he’s serious.
Boxing Insider: Going to the fight?
RAY MANCINI:I actually got invited but I had to turn it down. Honestly, I wouldn’t have gone anyway.
Boxing Insider: Who was your greatest opponent?
RAY MANCINI: Alexis Arguello. A real gentleman.