Monday, May 3, 2010

Money vs. Manny

By Tony Mangia

Mayweather Win Brings Talk of Pacquiao Matchup...Again

Now the real fight begins. They'll be lawyers, doctors and fight officials throwing words, reports and regulations at each other like jabs and hooks in the ring. Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s dismantling of Shane Mosley on Saturday backed up Mayweather's claim that he is the true welterweight champion. Manny Pacquiao's camp has boasted that title was his after he soundly beat Joshua Clottey in March. Really, both of these fights were only semi-finals leading up to what the people consider the real championship fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. The only thing holding back the biggest payday in boxing history is whether or not Pacquiao will submit to Mayweather's demand of taking blood and urine tests on his timetable.

After getting rocked by a Mosley right in the second round in Las Vegas, Mayweather proved why experts claim he is the greatest "pound for pound' fighter in the world. His decision over "Sugar" might have tilted that unofficial title in his favor. Luckily for boxing fans---and boxing-- -both men can fight in the same weight class, so maybe we can finally lay to rest all of the debates and see the real thing. Or can we?

Oscar De La Hoya---who has fought Mayweather and Pacquiao and lost to both---said, after he saw Mayweather's precise 12-round decision over Moseley, that he thinks Mayweather (41-0) is the best fighter of this generation and maybe of all time. Many said the same thing about Pacquiao after he battered Clottey. Critics of Mayweather rail that he has never defeated a legitimate welterweight but now the victory over Mosley, a three-time champ clams them up. Clottey was outclassed by Manny and 'turtled up' the whole fight leading many to agree Mosley is a superior fighter and competitor. Still Pacman diehards will suggest that Mosley was 38 years old and on the exit ramp out of boxing. He did have Mayweather in trouble in the second round but claimed his "neck tightened up" and "couldn't finish the job." By the seventh round, Mosley looked his age, leaving "Money" dominating the next ten rounds.

To Pee or Not to Pee

The pressure now seems to be squarely on Pacquiao's shoulders. Mayweather will not fight him without Olympic-style testing and that is final. Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, said he will not agree to drawing blood within 24 days of the fight because Pacquiao believes that any blood drawn will leave him "feeling tired" because is smaller in size. He has agreed to blood tests before the 24 day cutoff. "If Manny takes the test we can make it happen," says Mayweather," If he doesn't, we don't have a fight."

Saturday's fight was a huge draw and---no small fault of Mayweather---Money lived up to his nickname and made close to $40 million. Mayweather proved his drawing power along with his fighting power. He proved he can take a punch from a strong fighter and recover. Pacquiao was a cat toying with a ball of yarn in his decision over Clottey--outpunching his opponent an incredible 1200-256--and proving he has amazing stamina and energy. Now he can prove his greatness by fighting Mayweather and exploiting Money's rare, but occasional lapses in defense.

Mayweather stepped up and backed up his bravado on Saturday---he boasted that he is better than Sugar Ray Robinson AND Muhammed Ali. He can't fight them but, immediately, there was that familiar murmur of a fight with Pacquiao, possibly in November. Talks fell through last December because of the blood-testing requirements and people became suspicious of Pacquiao's refusal to test and blamed his interest in campaigning for senate in his Philippine homeland while the media claimed Mayweather was ducking Pacman by using the blood testing as a excuse. Right now, Mayweather has the edge by virtue of beating a more substantial opponent.

Both fighters don't need each other---or the cash. Mayweather seems content with taking his "Experience" on the road. Japan, Dubai and England are only a few of the places where he could fight for millions. Pacquiao has his political aspirations to keep him busy. Boxing really needs this fight. It is the most hyped event that never happened. The purse would be staggering---the largest ever. The welterweight division is loaded with good fighters---Andre Berto, Miquel Cotto--- and in the midst of them all rise Mayweather and Pacquiao--two different boxers with the interest of fans and the fight game in their hands. The solution should be simple. There must be some sort of middle ground. How much blood actually has to be drawn? Test the fighters up to 24 days before and directly after the bout. Just don't leave the fight outside the ring in some medical lab or lawyers office.

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