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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Floyd Mayweather Vs Manny Pacquiao: Cutting Through the Hype

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Mayweather vs Mosley
By Geno McGahee

Manny Pacquiao has a record of 51-3-2, 38 KO’s, and owns the WBO Welterweight Title. In his last defense at “The Event,” the Pacman easily outworked the challenger, Joshua Clottey, winning every single round en route to a decision. It’s difficult being Pacquiao because the easiest thing to do is to tear down the opposition. Oscar De La Hoya was spent, Miguel Cotto was mentally shot, Ricky Hatton was never that good, and Joshua Clottey showed up for a payday. All that aside, Manny still won and forced some good fighters to quit.

There are two fighters currently battling in the public for the right to be called “Pound for Pound Best in the Game.” The more popular at this point is Manny Pacquiao and he makes a good case. He has beaten some of the best fighters in the game, sending most of them into retirement. He has beaten Erik Morales (2 out of 3 times), Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Juan Manual Marquez, De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, and Clottey. He has done what a fighter in his position should be doing and that is to fight the best available opponent.

The other pugilist with a case is Floyd Mayweather, JR., 40-0, 25 KO’s, currently gearing up for his May 1st meeting with Sugar Shane Mosley, the only other big name in the division outside of Pacquiao. Floyd will win this fight. Shane had his back and forth with Cotto in 2007 and scored the knockout over “Hands of Plaster” Antonio Margarito in early 2009, but other than those two outings, he has looked less than spectacular.

In 2008, he stopped Ricardo Mayorga in the final round in what was an even fight at that point. This is the same Mayorga that Oscar De La Hoya easily destroyed and the same one that Felix Trinidad battered. Mosley should have dominated the fight, but he had trouble and Floyd is going to present a whole lot more of it come May 1st.

As popular as Manny is, Floyd is still the man to beat. He’s never lost, dominates his opposition with ease, and has beaten his fair share of great fighters including Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Genaro Hernandez, and Zab Judah. Some question the record of Floyd, but when you examine it, you have to be impressed. He is the modern day Pernell Whitaker…a genius in the boxing ring.

Pacquiao stated that he wanted the winner of Floyd/Mosley next, which means he wants Floyd, but the fight fell apart on one occasion…it’s possible that it might fall through again considering the demands of both sides.

The big steroid scandal destroyed the chances of the two meeting on March 13th, giving Clottey the chance to step in…a chance that he elected to throw away by not fighting. Now we move on and the public demand is higher and will skyrocket when Floyd is victorious. There is a great deal of money to be made with these two colliding and style-wise, it’s a great fight.

The relentless aggressor versus the smart boxer.

The majority of the public will be picking with their hearts rather than their minds if the two great fighters can iron out the details and sign to officially fight. You will see most picking Manny to win, most Pacquiao die hard fans will pick him to win in the first or second round, and then some groupies posing as writers will pick him to win just to get the approval of the masses of Pacfans out there. Manny has a very good chance to win, more so than any other fighter that has ever faced Floyd, but realistically, he is still an underdog going in.

HBO has found a cash cow in Manny and they are going to do whatever they can to keep this money express on the tracks, including Jim Lampley screaming “Bang,” every forty seconds during the Clottey fight. What was that about?

Because of this incentive, there is a great deal of overplay. Manny is a great fighter without question, but much of his great wins were over guys on the way out. He is a knockout threat at nearly any weight, has the will to win, and will be a hard man to beat, but all of this talk of Floyd Mayweather, JR., being beaten down and stopped by Pacquiao is hard to imagine.

Floyd is painted as the villain. He is a thug, Manny is humble…well, that’s the sale. Floyd sells tickets as the bad guy that you want to see lose. He talks big, flashes money, and even refers to himself as “Money Mayweather.” People want to see him lose, so it translates into Manny winning. This sort of thinking is rampant with boxing fans, especially those that are considered “die hard” or live vicariously through the athlete.

Pacquiao has a chance to win when he eventually clashes with Floyd. He’s quick and hits hard, but getting through the defense of Floyd and overcoming the precision and timing is going to be a hard thing to do for the “Pacman.” Most will want to see Floyd lose and some will even pick Shane to beat him, but he has been flawless in the ring thus far and will not panic like Clottey did and will not come in terrified.

With Pacquiao getting by Clottey, that leaves Floyd to beat Mosley and when he does, the two will negotiate again and hopefully sign to fight in the biggest fight in the past 10 years, but Floyd remains the man to beat. What is so exciting about it is that Manny will have the best chance thus far throughout the career of Mayweather, and if anyone can do it, he can, but the odds are still against him. At least both parties seem eager to settle the score and the public demand is so high that it will most likely happen.

Although there will be many Pacquiao fans upset the day after, more than likely, the fact that he has become this force in boxing is impressive, winning fights that not many would have predicted. Perhaps Floyd will prove to be another example of that.

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