Boxing


Scoreboard: Mayweather 1, Pacquiao 0

by Geoffrey Ciani - When negotiations for a proposed mega bout between Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao fell apart, the boxing world was outraged and not without good reason. After all, this could have been the biggest fight in boxing history. That Mayweather and Pacquiao were unable to reach an agreement is inexcusable—especially when one considers they had already come to terms on the purse split. If the fight had fallen apart over money issues it would almost be understandable, but instead, negotiations collapsed because of Mayweather’s unprecedented request for Olympic style drug testing.

As a result, three general schools of thought have emerged. The first group consists of people who blame Mayweather. Since Mayweather asked Pacquiao to go beyond what the rules and regulations require, he was being unreasonable with his demands.. People from this school of thought tend to believe Mayweather was afraid of Pacquiao and that he requested this stipulation knowing full well it would be rejected which enabled him to weasel his way out of the fight. The second group blames Pacquiao. If Pacquiao was clean, then he should have taken the tests in order to bring fans the fight they craved and deserved. They believe Pacquiao was either reluctant to face Floyd or that he had something to hide. The third group blames both fighters equally. Regardless of who was at fault, a compromise should have been reached—one way or another.

When the dust from this fiasco had finally settled, the battle was over. The war, however, was just beginning. Following the opening stalemate, despite being disappointed, fans were eager to know what was next for the world’s two best fighters. Since Pacquiao and Mayweather were not squaring off, each was destined to be defined by his following fight. We soon learned that Joshua Clottey would be next for Manny Pacquiao. Clottey represents yet another dangerous test for Pacquiao. He is a solid fighter, and many observers believe he deserved the nod in his fight against Miguel Cotto. To quote legendary trainer Emanuel Stweard, “Clottey is a fighter I would not want any fighter to fight. He would have been a rough fight for Sugar Ray Leonard, for Tommy Hearns, and for any other welterweights in history.”

On the other hand, Mayweather was left with few available options. If he did not take on a big challenge, his reputation was slated to take a huge hit. After all, following their failed negotiations, Pacquiao immediately jumped into a tough fight with Clottey. Mayweather needed a big fight to save face and keep pace. When rumors surfaced about the possibility of Mayweather squaring off against the unheralded Matthew Hatton, scorn and ridicule soon followed. Fortunately for Mayweather, an unfortunate event helped pave the way for a new opportunity. Following the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, a scheduled unification bout between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto was cancelled. In a statement to the press, Berto (who represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympic Games) stated he was “physically and emotionally unable to prepare”—and understandably so.

The tragedy in Haiti opened the door for a Mosley-Mayweather showdown. This is a fight Mosley was eager to make happen. He immediately agreed to the Olympic style drug testing that Pacquiao refused, and the two quickly came to terms financially. Even still, Mayweather was reluctant to sign—but in reality, he had little choice in the matter. A fight against Mosley simply had too much upside for Mayweather to refuse. For starters, it would allow him to get one up on Pacquiao. Although Pacquiao is facing a tough challenge in Clottey, Sugar Shane Mosley is a bigger name and a better fighter. In addition, taking a fight with Mosley would help silence critics who accused Floyd of never having faced a legitimate top welterweight and it would also put an end to criticisms that he has been ducking Mosley in particular. Furthermore, Mosley is also widely regarded as the true welterweight champion so a victory would further solidify Floyd’s claims to greatness. Mayweather’s reputation had everything to lose in refusing this fight and everything to gain should he take it and win.

Mayweather ultimately did the right thing and signed to fight Mosley. This makes Floyd the winner of his second battle outside the ring with Pacquiao because there can be no doubt that Floyd is facing the tougher challenge. Mayweather deserves credit for taking this fight, even if it means he will ultimately suffer his first professional loss. Make no mistake—Sugar Shane Mosley is going to beat Floyd Mayweather. Remember, this is not a fight Mayweather actually wanted. Rather, it was a fight that was forced on him by circumstance. Mayweather is probably regretting the fact that he ever played hard ball with Pacquiao in the first place, because Pacquiao was at least a winnable fight for Floyd. At the end of the day, Mosley is going to show the whole world why Mayweather was always so reluctant to test himself against the best welterweights. Not only is Mosley going to win against Mayweather, but he is going to do so with surprising ease. This, however, is the subject for a future article.

The good news is if Pacquiao beats Clottey as expected, a clash between Mosley and Pacquiao seems inevitable sometime later this year.

***

To contact Ciani:
ciani@eastsideboxing.com

To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:
http://www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

Article posted on 16.02.2010



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