Pacquiao vs. Mayweather Jr. - How did we get here?

By Bryan Brennan: Not too long ago it seemed like after every fight I watched the winning fighter would call out Floyd Mayweather Jr. Experts and fans alike had differing opinions on who should get a crack at the reigning pound-for-pound champ. A little over a year after Floyd Mayweather Jr's retirement and it seems as if everyone agrees Manny Pacquiao is the guy who deserves the shot (or at this point Mayweather deserves the shot at Pacquiao). Did "Pretty Boy" actually help himself out by disappearing for a little while?

The names of Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Manny Pacquiao were all being thrown out there. Not to mention some thought Hatton deserved a second shot at the undefeated fighter. If Floyd hadn't retired would we have gotten to this point?

Here are some big fights that have lead to a Mayweather Jr. - Pacquiao showdown:

December 12th 2008: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton

Mayweather Jr. KOs Ricky Hatton with a perfect right hook to Hattons jaw. Following the 10th round face plant Hatton would still call for a rematch.

February 9th 2008: Carlos Quintana vs. Paul Williams

Quintana upsets Williams by unanimous decision, and takes his WBO title. We start to wonder if Williams was just a bit overrated.

March 15th 2008: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez II

In a spectacular fight Pacquiao walks away with a Split Decision win (many experts and fans thought it could have gone the other way, I had Pacquiao winning). It gives Pacquiao an edge against his arch nemesis with the win, either way I think most look forward to a third encounter.

April 24th 2008: Antonio Margarito vs. Kermit Cintron II

Margarito once again owns Kermit Cintron and KO's him 6 rounds. Cintron has lost a chance at Floyd with this outing. Margarito has the masses talking again.

June 6th 2008: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Retirement

The retirement would cancel the upcoming De La Hoya-Mayweather II bout scheduled for September. Oscar is left without an obvious Mega-fight and has to look outside the welterweights.

June 7th 2008: Paul Williams vs. Carlos Quintana II

Williams erases the only defeat from his record with the one round destruction of Carlos Quintana, Williams is back in our good graces.

June 28th 2008: Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz

Pacquiao successfully moves up in weight and has arguably the best showing of his career by thoroughly dismantling 135lb champ David Diaz inside of 9 rounds. Word on the street is Pacquiao is the new pound-for-pound champ. (Does that sound hip?)

July 26th 2008: Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto

Margarito stops Miguel Cotto in the 11th round of a spectacular fight. Cotto suffers his first loss, and is no longer seen as the unstoppable machine he had looked like in his past few bouts.

September 13th 2008: Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Joel Casamayor

Marquez takes on cagey southpaw veteran Joel Casamayor in his first fight at Lightweight, and takes him out in the 11th of a solid fight. Marquez continues his climb up the pound-for-pound ranks, and stalks a third fight with Pacquiao.

September 27th 2008: Shane Mosley vs. Ricardo Mayorga

Shane Mosley KO's Ricardo Mayorga in the last seconds of surprisingly entertaining twelve round fight. The scorecards were pretty close, and it seemed as if Mosley was finally starting to show some signs of aging.

December 6th 2008: Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya

Pacquiao man-handles the much bigger Oscar De La Hoya, and gets the TKO in the 8th round. Pacquiao sends De La Hoya into retirement, and is now widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. (Many considered him before, but after this fight there was no question).

January 24th 2009: Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito

Shane Mosley puts on one of the best performances of his career and goes almost untouched while delivering an embarrassing beating to Antonio Margarito, stopping him in the 9th. Previous to the fight Margarito was found to have padding in his hand-wraps; it was later revealed those pads were indeed Plaster-of-Paris. This puts into puts into question all of his previous wins.

February 28th 2009: Juan Manual Marquez vs. Juan Diaz

Marquez would put on a stellar performance in what would be a front runner for fight of the year, stopping Diaz in the 9th. Marquez continues his rightful quest to take on Pacquiao for a third time.

April 11th 2009: Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright

Williams completely out hustles and out classes the usually hard to handle Winky Wright, taking home a one-sided unanimous Decision. This was just the 3rd time Williams has fought over the Welterweight limit and his 2nd fight at Middleweight. Williams has been so good at Middleweight, do we really want him to move down again?

May 2nd 2009: Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton

Pacquiao shows the world why he is now called the best fighter in the world. He may have sent his second superstar into retirement, this time with a flush left hook to the jaw in the 2nd round. Ricky Hatton can kiss his rematch with Floyd Jr. goodbye.

July 18th 2009: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

Mayweather will step into the ring for the first time since 2007. He will face off against Manny Pacquiao's toughest foe, Juan Manuel Marquez. If he wins we will all be looking forward (hopefully) to a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown in the fall.

So there you have it, some of the big things that have happened in boxing since the Pretty Boy's last fight. I'm not saying that the other guys don't deserve their shot at giving Mo' his first O, but there is finally a pecking order to the man.

Marquez has his shot, and Pacquiao will hopefully get the winner. Sugar Shane isn't far behind, but let's not forget how much trouble he had with Mayorga, a guy who was destroyed by De La Hoya. Cotto was out, but thanks to Margarito's cinder-block fists and questions as to when the cheating began, Cotto goes to the back of the line, assuming he gets by Clottey of course (no guarantee). Williams is standing next to Cotto, but I think I would rather see him stay at Middleweight. I don't believe Hatton should fight again and don't want to see Margarito ever step into the ring again.

Long story made short, if Mayweather can get by Marquez, the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is the only fight in boxing that MUST happen. Who knew the best way to figure all that out was for Floyd Jr. to retire?

Article posted on 12.05.2009

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