“Who Should I Fight Next?” Pacquiao Twitter Poll Doesn’t Include Spence
By: Sean Crose
“Who should I fight next?” Manny Pacquiao asked on Twitter last week. The list of options included some of the biggest names in the fight game. It did not, however, include the one person many around the boxing world wish for the man to step into the ring with. Floyd Mayweather, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, and Shawn Porter were all named as potential foes in Pacquiao’s poll. And the results ended up appearing in that order, with old foil Mayweather earning 73% of the vote. Keith Thurman earned 13%, while Garcia and Porter earned 9%, and 5% respectively.
Missing from poll, though, was Errol Spence Jr., the undefeated IBF welterweight champ who recently invited Pacquiao into the ring with him after he beat Mikey Garcia in one sided fashion at AT&T Stadium outside of Dallas. Spence made it clear right then and there that he was eager to have Pacquiao as a foe. Pacquiao, mild mannered by nature, essentially said that sounded fine with him. The poll on Pacquiao’s Twitter page, however, told another story. Of course, it may well be the case that Pacquiao isn’t the person who actually created the poll. There’s no guarantee that he doesn’t allow people to post on his page.
The wide consensus among fight fans and analysts is that Pacquiao’s best ring years are behind him. After a stunning rise into the mainstream with a defeat over Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, Pacquiao went on a tear, taking out big name after big name. Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosely, and Juan Manuel Marquez all ended up earning losses against the fast fisted Filipino. After being knocked out by Marquez in stunning and brutal fashion late in 2012, however, Pacquiao started to be regarded as being on the downside on his illustrious career. Even the 2015 superbout between Pacquiao and Mayweather was widely considered to have gone down years after it should have.
Spence on the other hand, looks to be boxing’s future. A big, hard hitting welterweight, the Texan proved he was more than just a power puncher when he clearly outclassed the smaller Garcia in Dallas. Although he’s now bested big names like Garcia, and also former IBF champ Kell Brook, Spence has never met anyone with near the status of Pacquiao. Add in the fact that Spence has been seen as being avoided by his contemporaries, it’s little wonder why he’d want to get in the ring with a future Hall of Famer. Yet, having just beaten Adrien Broner in a successful pay per view event last January, Pacquiao isn’t viewed as an easy out for anyone.
The Cold War Between De La Hoya and Mayweather
by B.A. Cass
In August, Oscar De La Hoya took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.
As a man of principle, De La Hoya was disgusted. He felt Mayweather was degrading the sport of boxing. Many boxing fans agreed.
How is it then that this man of principle could turn around not three months later and challenge McGregor to a fight? De La Hoya should be called out for his hypocrisy.
De La Hoya has made some ridiculous assertions in the past two weeks, such as he the idea that he’s in the best shape of his life. He also claims that he’s “faster than ever, and stronger than ever” and that he has been “secretly training.” His comments have prompted some Twitter users to question whether De La Hoya has had a drug or alcohol relapse. His behavior seems very erratic.
It’s no coincidence that several days after De La Hoya challenged McGregor to a fight Mayweather released a training video.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) November 20, 2017
This video prompted people to speculate whether Mayweather was contemplating a return to the ring. He later made an emphatic statement reiterating his commitment to retirement. So then why tease people by releasing such a video? I think it’s obvious why. He’s trying to upstage De La Hoya.
This isn’t the first time Mayweather has teased us with a video of him working out. He released a similar video on October 18.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) October 18, 2017
Perhaps this is something he does about once a month as a way of getting out of his Vegas strip club and staying relevant in the boxing world. But here’s an interesting fact: Mayweather posted this video the day after the press conference for the Cotto vs. Ali fight, which De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, happens to be promoting. Coincidence? Not a chance.
Their feud goes back a long way.
In his prime, Oscar De La Hoya was one of the biggest draws in the sport. He was a recognizable name, and he was very handsome. His fights attracted thousands upon thousands of fans and made the people who promoted his fights lots of money. Floyd Mayweather at 135 pounds—then still “Pretty Boy Floyd and not yet “Money Mayweather”—was a brilliant and often dangerous fighter. When he jumped up to 150 to fight Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather did so knowing that De La Hoya would be the naturally bigger man. But Mayweather needed that fight, needed it way more than De La Hoya. Just by putting himself in the ring with De La Hoya, Mayweather elevated himself in the boxing world and gained more attention than he had ever had before.
In the lead up to their fight, Mayweather pulled a lot of antics—antics which would make McGregor’s recent antics seem boyish and dull. Mayweather did everything he could to taunt and confuse De La Hoya, including showing up to a press conference with a chicken who he said was De La Hoya and who he called the “Golden Girl,” alluding to the fact that De La Hoya was caught wearing women’s clothes at a sex party.
Mayweather won the fight handily. Over the years, De La Hoya has made every attempt possible to minimize Floyd’s obvious talents.
The two met in the ring again in 2013, this time by proxy. The fight I’m referring to is Mayweather vs. “Canelo” Alvarez. By this time, of course, De La Hoya was retired and running Golden Boy Promotions full time. Canelo was, and still remains, Golden Boy Promotion’s biggest draw. If De La Hoya could not beat Mayweather himself, then perhaps the number one fighter in his stable could.
That didn’t happen. Mayweather schooled a very youthful looking Canelo.
Win number two for Mayweather.
Mayweather and De La Hoya have since exchanged barbs. The animosity between them is palpable, even if they have been able to work together to promote fights. I’d like to posit that even though Mayweather has gotten the best of the De La Hoya at least twice, he has never liked the idea that the De La Hoya was at one time the bigger star. Mayweather chose to craft himself into boxing’s leading villain and De La Hoya, even after his many scandals, remains more beloved among boxing fans. And I think it’s obvious that De La Hoya has never liked the fact that he was beaten by Mayweather twice—once in person, once by proxy. He can’t seem to let it go.
Mayweather can’t seem to let his grudge go either.
Mayweather, as we all know, is not just a boxing star but a powerful figure behind the scenes. Mayweather promotions certainly had a say in determining when the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would take place. And they chose a date just three weeks before the already scheduled fight between Canelo and GGG, which was one of the most anticipated fights in boxing. How can we view the date that they selected as anything but an attempt to upstage De La Hoya and Golden Goy Promotions fight between Canelo and GGG?
What’s going on here is nothing more than a battle between two middle-age men who can’t refrain from acting like little boys. They’ve never liked each other, and now it seems they’ve engaged in a cold war of sorts, a passive feud that no one really cares to witness.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch