Sunday, February 22, 2015
The Fight for a Legacy
There have been some big fights over the years, and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao will go down as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, of all time. This fight should have happened 3-5 years ago, but make no mistake about it...this is going to be a war. Was Mayweather afraid of Manny Pacquiao? There are tons of boxing fans, and that includes Mayweather fans that believe he has been. I never believed that Mayweather was afraid of Pac-Man, but this fight was always in Floyd's hands. He blamed it on drug testing, and he blamed it on Bob Arum, so we will never really know why Floyd hasn't taken the fight until now. The stakes are what they always had been. Who will be the best fighter of the era?
The Risk - Reward
I think Floyd has wanted to fight Many all along. I also believe he wanted it his way and he got it his way. The only thing that surprised me was that it didn't happen right after Marquez knocked Manny out cold. There is no doubt in my mind that Mayweather wanted to see a decline in Pac-Man before he fought him. Floyd Mayweather sees something in the fights Manny has fought since the Marquez fight that made him want this.
I see it too. Manny Pacquiao is not the fighter he was in 2010 or 2011. Floyd has definitely noticed this, but there has been a noticeable decline in Floyd's ability also. Maidana gave Mayweather problems that no other fighter had. When you thought Floyd's legs would get him out of trouble they didn't. Maidana got him on the ropes and banged on him like none had been able to do. I think Maidana hit Mayweather harder than Pacquiao will, but Manny is a whole lot faster. He's going to attack Floyd from the same odd angles that Marcos Maidana did.
I've always said that Floyd is one of the most talented boxers I've ever watched. I've also said that he rarely fought the best fighters on his resume at the apex of their careers. Again he isn't fighting Manny when he probably should have, but he's fighting him and it still holds value in 2015.
The time to fight Manny was now. Floyd in my opinion only has a couple more fights in him. Nobody will pay his pay-per-view prices for garbage. I don't think Mayweather wanted any part of Keith Thurman, and fans didn't want to see Floyd fight Cotto again. I'm not saying he didn't have any other options available, and fans were warming up to the idea of Mayweather vs. Khan, but this fight needed to go on if it was ever going to happen.
Floyd Mayweather has done nothing to make me believe he can't beat Manny Pacquiao. Floyd is clearly the better and more technical fighter. At 38 years old Floyd is in the twilight of his career. He's still never given any room for doubt. He can get the job done.
There was a point when Manny was fighting the same opponents as Floyd. He was also beating them more decisively. He blasted Ricky Hatton and punished Oscar De La Hoya. It appeared he was on a collision course with Mayweather, but it didn't happen. I don't think that the fight's delay ever had anything to do with Pac-Man.
Pacquiao might not have the punching power that Maidana has, but he's a lot faster. His hand speed matches Mayweather's and he comes from the same strange angles as Maidana. Pac-Man throws a lot of punches and can easily keep pace with Floyd Mayweather. Manny knows he doesn't have the undefeated record that Floyd does, and he isn't afraid to lose to Mayweather. He's been beat by lesser talent than Floyd. He's not going to be afraid to just go for it all.
If Floyd Mayweather has declined as the Maidana fights indicated then this fight could go Manny's way. Outside of punching power Manny is a better fighter than Marcos Maidana. Pac-Man was knocked out by Marquez and ripped off in the decision with Tim Bradley. Floyd doesn't have the punching power of a fighter like Maidana or Marquez. I don't think Manny believes Mayweather can knock him out, and neither do I.