The King is Dead, Long Live the King (again)
04.05.09 - By Chris Santos: It's beautiful isn't it? Not that Floyd Mayweather announced he is coming back to reclaim his throne as pound for pound the best fighter on the planet, but that in the public eye at least, he has a real obstacle, a real challenge for that crown, in the Monster that Manny Pacquiao has become.
Article posted on 03.05.2009
But does he? Is Manny Pacquiao, or even Juan Manuel Marquez a threat? .
In a word, No.
Unless he has lost something, and something significant, during his relatively short lay off or if he's starting to slowdown, again, significantly, at 32, (both being doubtful), then Floyd Mayweather should, by the end of the year, be 41-0 and telling everyone "I told you so."
First up, Juan Manuel Marquez.
Marquez, despite his warrior mentality and reputation, is really a natural counter puncher and at his best when being attacked...see Juan Diaz and his bouts against Pacquiao...but is there any doubt that on July 18th he'll be forced to comply with Mayweather and be the aggressor? It might take a few rounds, but he'll come forward trying to dig hooks into the body and that will leave him wide open --especially since he doesn't have exceptional hand speed like Mayweather.
In addition he is much smaller than Mayweather--Pacquaio seems to be filling in nicely into the 140-147 lb class despite being just 5'6. Pacquiao IS getting stronger, let there be no doubt. Marquez however doesn't appear that he will fill out the same, won't be stronger at the higher weight or bring power (of which he isn't that gifted with to begin with) up with him.
What he will be is slower. His strength-super accurate with his punching and a strong body attack won't be able to penetrate Floyd's hall of fame defense, and he will be open to multi-punch combination counters. While Marquez is clearly a higher caliber Boxer than Arturo Gatti, he does have a somewhat porous defense, and I see a similar fight as the one with Gatti, ESPECIALLY because Floyd will be wanting to make a statement and stop a fighter that Pacquiao went life and death with twice. Marquez simply won't be able to get anything going and Mayweather will be able to hurt him. Mayweather inside 7, maybe earlier, in as dominant a performance as his win over Diego Corrales. This is a brilliant move by team Mayweather-Choosing a fight that will stir Pay Per View interest because Marquez is top 5 pound for pound fighter but in actuality is a tune-up if not an out and out mismatch do to size, speed, strength and skill discrepancies.
Next then, If Manny Pacquiao doesn't opt for a bout with Miguel Cotto (no lock to beat Clottey by the way) or Shane Mosley first, we will see a fight between two fighters with a true, legitimate claim to the Pound for Pound throne...not just today but possibly of this decade in mid to late November.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao is a dream for both the Promoters and HBO. Fans too. Pacquaio is becoming almost Tyson-esque with his exciting performances , destructive power and aggression....but with the added bonus of being likeable. Mayweather, as well noted by now, is mostly loathed for his brash obnoxious personality and sales will be driven by the possibility of simultaneously watching the Pacquiao legend grow while finally putting Floyd Mayweather in his place. It's a 24/7 dream.
Except for one thing. It's not going to happen.
Mayweather --while certainly in much more danger in this fight then he will be in his bout against Marquez, will fight in that tight shell and catch everything Pacquiao throws on his arms and shoulders while landing sharp hard counter punches all day. He might not get off those 3, 4 and 5 punch combinations on Pacman, but he'll pick him apart. Hell have less of a strength advantage against Pacquiao but he will still be the bigger and stronger man. De la Hoya and Hatton, ultimately, weren't bigger than Pacquiao- not in a boxing sense. But Mayweather will be. Further, Mayweather, though rarely hit clean, has proven against Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Zab Judah and even De La Hoya that when he does get hit, he has solid whiskers. If Diego Corrales cant hurt Floyd, I doubt Pacman can....and even if he can, he wont find the target.
I love Manny Pacquiao. He is this generations Roberto Duran but with a smile not a sneer. In Freddie Roach he may have the best trainer in boxing. He is tireless, fearless and relentless.
But Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter of this current generation and he will shut down Manny Pacquiao and dominate his way to a clear unanimous decision with few anxious moments.
Let the posts fly!
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