Boxing

Pacquiao-Mayweather - Will Mayweather Avoid The Unavoidable Fight?

Floyd Mayweather Jr.by James Slater - First of all, let's all be thankful that Ricky Hatton is fine physically. Taken to hospital immediately after suffering the most brutal KO seen this year so as to be given a brain scan, Hatton was given an all-clear. Second of all, let's congratulate the man who just might be the finest lower-weight fighter of his era, in the sublime Manny Pacquiao, for doing such an amazing job.

Sure, some fans will be saying right now that they knew all along "Pac-Man" would do to "The Hitman" what he did last night at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas; and that the result is not worth getting all that excited about. And maybe some fans did predict the fight spot on. This writer, however, does not mind admitting he did not see Pacquiao annihilating Hatton so quickly. And what a brutal left hand shot to the chin that was! Has Manny ever scored a more chilling KO?

Yes, "Pac-Man" was the favourite, but the way he handled Hatton like no other fighter ever has was truly shocking to at least myself. I never saw a 2-round stoppage coming, not at all. What we all did see coming, though, was the ring return of the also-great Floyd Mayweather Junior - who announced his ring return yesterday, also in Las Vegas. Knowing he would miss the spotlight, it was a good bet indeed that the 32-year-old "Money" would not make his December 2007 retirement stick. But is Mayweather coming back to do what we all want him to? Will he face Pacquiao in the fight all of boxing wants/needs to see?

In the history of this great sport there have been a number of must-be-made fights; pairings that simply had to happen. Without going overboard, Pacquiao Vs. Mayweather is a fight that must be ranked right near the top of such a list. Mayweather claims he is the finest fighter of his era, if not of all-time. To make people come anywhere close to agreeing with him he must fight and defeat the deadly Filipino southpaw who carries lethal power and almost sickening speed of hand. As for the humble and gracious 30-year-old who would take the fight in a heartbeat simply because he fears no man, if he were able to defeat Mayweather, especially by stoppage, his place in history would perhaps reside in the top-twenty or so greatest fighters of all-time.

It's clear to see, then, how huge, how important, and how vital this fight is. What we are talking about is a battle that would decide who the finest lower weight (say featherweight to welterweight) boxer of the last quarter century or more was.

The fight should be one that is not too hard to make. Mayweather has agreed to box Juan Manuel Marquez at 144-pounds in his July comeback fight, therefore there is no reason he could not make a similar agreement regarding a fight with Pacquiao. 144 would not be a step too far for "Pac-Man" and, as he has shown by already agreeing to box at the weight, 144 would be no step too low for "Money."

Everything's peachy, then, right? Well, as we all know, it's rarely as simple as that in boxing. But, as has been proven in the past, if two fighters really want to get it on - and Mayweather and Pacquiao will surely not have lost the importance of their meeting up - they find a way to do so. It really would be an absolute travesty if these two boxing masters did not clash. With so many factors to debate when picking a winner, the build-up to this one would generate literally millions of opinions, articles and rabid arguments. And then we would have the actual bout to sit back and enjoy.

Power Vs. Speed, speed Vs. speed, southpaw Vs. orthodox, brash Vs. humble, skill Vs. skill. What's not to like about this fight?

Right now, the only thing I can think of is the thought of it not happening.

Article posted on 03.05.2009



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