'Call Em Out Fridays': No Mayweather/Pacquiao, No Problem - From The Best To The 'Next'
by Vivek Wallace: As the recent news of yet another failed attempt at negotiations between Team Mayweather and Team Pacquiao began to spread, despite outrage from the radicals who support these two larger-than-life phenoms, a look at the aftermath tells us that there were actually a few households around the globe that celebrated this anticlimactic moment for the sport. A few inquiring minds out there may feel compelled to ask "who would dare celebrate such halted moment of potential progress for the sport? For the answer to this question, one need not look any further than one block south, as the flooded jr. welterweight division seems both prepared and poised to seize the moment.
Article posted on 23.07.2010
California native, Timothy Bradley, Great Britain's Amir Khan, St. Louis' Devon Alexander, and Argentina's Marcos Maidaina are widely known as the leaders of the pack; but beyond that quad-squad, the division itself is loaded with some of the best talent the sport has to offer.. When you get beyond the jr. welterweight division, a quick skim over the names between 147lbs and 168lbs display the fact that there's not much of a drop-off in talent there either, as the likes of everyone from Ward, Berto, Williams, Kessler, Angulo, and even the returning James Kirkland stand eager to put their print in the sand.
When you think about all of the talent around the world of boxing, and all of the potential showdowns that loom, it really makes you wonder how is it that two men have been able to hold the sport captive for so long? Granted, nowhere in the sport will you find a more fundamentally sound fighter than Mayweather, or a more spirited warrior than Pacquiao, but talent aside, these two men have done little more for the sport than give it bad press over the past 7 months. Some would argue that Mayweather displayed great skill in his hard-fought victory over Mosley, and that Pacquiao has continued to dominate in the way he always has, but considering their level of greatness, there's simply no better fight to see these two greats take part in than one that involves each another. Anything less would be an absolute failure to face the best, which is something the aforementioned group of fighters seem to all have in common. They simply want to fight the best to become the best.
The famed Super-6 Super-Middleweight tournament was in many ways the best thing that could have happened to the sport, but in an odd way, it could also be viewed as the worst. At first glance, it's nothing short of amazing to see the best of any division face the best; but have you stopped once to ask yourself how is it that we've grown accustomed to seeing anything less than this to begin with? The sport of boxing has wallowed for quite some time in the stench of an era that made it common place to pair a champion against a slew of cupcakes, racking up monumental stats like a young Michael Jackson at the Grammy's. How things reached this stage can be both attributed to a lack of parity, and a surplus of politics. Currently, such an argument can't be made, as clearly there's a ton of equal talent, and despite the politics, there's enough desire to be the best amongst the given talent to defeat such an argument.
When it all boils down, considering the sports recent past and a subpar present, there's no better time than now to shape the future! Why continue to force the spotlight on two men who clearly don't want it, when we have a ton of 'young guns' that are desperately willing to step up and take it? With both LeBron James and Floyd Mayweather jr. recently under the spotlight in anticipation of their "Decision", there's been quite a few parallels recently between the NBA and the world of boxing. Bringing that little streak to an end, perhaps there's no longer a need to couple the two vastly different worlds, as in the NBA the old moniker is "who's got next"? In the world of boxing, there's no need to ask such a question, because with or without a formal request, I'm afraid they've already lined up! I say out the 'best', and on with the 'next'!
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, FACEBOOK, (954)292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), and Myspace).
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