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Monday, March 15, 2010

Floyd Mayweather won't duck Manny Pacquiao forever

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a chicken in my book. A very shrewd chicken.

Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao is the matchup the boxing world most wants to see.

The longer Mayweather puts off fighting Pacquiao, the richer both of them will wind up.

Mayweather, 40-0, was rated by The Ring magazine as the best "pound-for-pound" fighter in the world from July 18, 2005, through June 2, 2008. Pacquiao, 51-3-2, with 12 straight victories since 2005, currently holds that prestigious tag.

Mayweather has won six world titles in five different weight classes. Pacquiao is the only fighter to have won seven world titles in seven weight classes.

Mayweather was The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year in 1998 and 2007. Pacquiao was The Ring Fighter of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Pacquiao was The Ring Fighter of The Decade. Mayweather was second, with the magazine's Michael Rosenthal noting: "Sorry Floyd, but you need to fight the best to be the best."

Mayweather was born Feb. 24, 1977. Pacquiao was born Dec. 17, 1978. Mayweather might be slightly past his prime. Pacquiao has never been better. I think Mayweather knows that.

They were supposed to fight Saturday night, but the fight collapsed months ago when Pacquiao refused Mayweather's demands for blood testing up to the date of the fight. Pacquiao, who vehemently denies he has ever used performance-enhancing drugs, has refused blood tests within 30 days of a fight because he says giving blood makes him weak. He has agreed to be tested immediately after a fight against Mayweather. That sounds good enough to me — and probably to most of you.

Instead of fighting Mayweather, Pacquiao took on Joshua Clottey Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium. Pacquiao totally dominated the fight before 50,994 fans, the largest crowd for a boxing show in the United States since 1993.

Imagine what Pacquiao-Mayweather would draw at Cowboys Stadium. It would be as much an event as a boxing match. Everyone packed into the stadium could see the action on the mammoth screen overhead. I believe 100,000-plus people would pay to be there. Pay-per-view records probably would be smashed — particularly with a few attractive bouts on the undercard. Boxing could use a night like that.

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