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I don’t care about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao & neither should you

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Credit: HBO Boxing

Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao is a Bust:

Although I doubt I am the only pundit in boxing who truly feels this way, I may very well be the only one willing to put it as plainly as this: I have next to no interest in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao superfight. Frankly, I don’t think fight fans should be even half as excited as they seem about this fight, and I’ll tell you why.

Expired and Anti-Climactic, Anyone?

The window of time when a showdown between welterweight superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is a very well-defined one. Both fighters became stars in the 140-something weight classes in the tried and true method of the time, by beating Oscar de la Hoya (2007 and 2008 respectively). Then both defeated British brawler Ricky Hatton too (2008 and 2009 respectively). With those two high profile wins, all anyone could talk about was a fight between what were now the two most famous active boxers in the world, and that was when the window opened.

The window remained open until November 12, 2011, the night of Pacquiao vs. Marquez III. In the wake of Pacman’s dramatic leap to welterweight superstar, boxing was abuzz with how the Filipino dynamo had put the flaws in his boxing style behind him under the tutelage of Freddie Roach. As Pacquiao went from big win to big win at a weight 17 pounds heavier than when he last faced old rival Juan Manuel Marquez, and as Marquez was whipped by Mayweather in 2009, most observers thought Pacquiao would win a clean victory over the Mexican if the two should ever meet again.

It didn’t happen that way, with the third encounter being just as close as the previous two. If anyone needed further convincing about how Pacquiao was still the same fighter he always was, Marquez knocked him out in their fourth (and probably final) encounter.

Credit: Will Hart - HBO
Credit: Will Hart – HBO

We should rightly discount Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Timothy Bradley, since most everyone believes Pacquiao didn’t lose that night. Likewise, Mayweather’s easy win over Marquez is meaningless in analyzing Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, since Dinamita jumped two weight classes for the fight and hadn’t grown into a welterweight yet.

Yet even after eliminating those points from consideration and factoring in that Mayweather has clearly lost a step, it’s a stark fact that Pacquiao looks beatable and Mayweather doesn’t. Thus what made the fight such a salivating prospect between 2009 and 2011 in no longer true. Add to that the sheer fatigue of the speculation about making this fight happen running for five years now, and the whole thing smacks of too little, too late, and not very exciting.

What If Frazier and Ali Had Done This?

joe frazier punches aliTo help illustrate why Mayweather vs. Pacquiao has all the qualities of a carton of sour milk, imagine how boxing history would look if Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali had gone the route of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao for their first fight, and the “Fight of the Century” in 1971 never happened.

Frazier would have defended his title until he met George Foreman in 1973, and he still would have been dribbled around that Jamaica ring like a basketball. More than likely Ali would have had an even fiercer rivalry with Ken Norton before beating Foreman in 1974.

Now let’s say Frazier and Ali finally met in Manilla in 1975 for the first time, four years after they initially should have. Ali is riding the crest of his Foreman victory, while Frazier is looking very beatable. Even if the changed circumstances had no impact on the fight, and even if those two gladiators still found it in themselves to put their very lives on the line that night, I somehow doubt the fight would have generated half as much excitement as it actually did, at least prior to the event. There would have been no rivalry adding drama to the evening, just the dominant champ versus a seemingly faded ex-champ.

Think about that last phrase — Just the dominant champ versus a seemingly faded ex-champ. That is exactly what Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is.

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