Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. will ultimately happen next year
By Jenna J - The talk of boxing right now is centered around one man, a fighter that is not afraid to offend anyone that he feels offended him. That fighter is Floyd Mayweather Jr. and he is coming off a controversial fourth round win over former WBC Welterweight champion Victor Ortiz in a fight that has upset a lot of fans and followers of the sport. The controversy centers around not whether a punch was illegal, but really questions if that legal shot was sportsmanlike from arguably the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the game. In the fourth round of what was shaping up to be another one-sided boxing exhibition for Mayweather, the action shifted a little bit and Victor Ortiz mounted an offensive outburst that had Mayweather retreating to the ropes and on the defensive, when out of nowhere an illegal and intentional headbutt came in from Ortiz which left Mayweather cut on both the inside and outside of his lip, and Victor Ortiz on the receiving end of a point deduction for the foul. As things turned out, this would be the beginning of the end for Ortiz. When Joe Cortez called time in, Ortiz still feeling apologetic came in looking for acknowledgement from Mayweather, received a small gesture from the former champion, followed by a quick left hand, and shortly thereafter by a powerful right. Victor Ortiz crumbled to the canvas, and was unable to beat the count issued by the referee, losing his WBC championship in only his first defense.
The aftermath of the fight has brought plenty of discussion from fans and critics alike, and it also became the focal point of my recent post fight radio show. My views on the fight have not changed, and I still believe that Mayweather did not do anything wrong. He did what a fighter should do, and that is if your opponent shows you weakness that you should punish him for his mistakes. But after the events of this past Saturday night, the biggest question still remains, and that is whether or not this fight has brought us one step closer to the matchup we as fans have long wanted to see, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao. It is without a doubt the biggest fight that can be made in the history of boxing, and a match that can bring life back to what has been a struggling sport. To date, the fight has not taken place with the reason being more in relation to the fighters’ camps, then the politics of boxing. There have been two occasions that a fight between the biggest stars of the game have been in serious discussion, with each man being to blame for the match not happening till this point. Manny Pacquaio seemingly cost the first negotiation with his feelings on Olympic style drug testing, when almost everything else had been agreed upon. In the second attempt it was Mayweather Jr.'s outrageous demands preventing the bout taking place by the end of 2011.
At this point Manny Pacquaio still has some business at hand, as he is scheduled to return November 12th for his third match with rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Few expect Pacquiao to have the same problems with Marquez that he had in their first two encounters, and many are predicting that the size difference is going to much for Marquez to overcome . Assuming that Pacquaio comes away with a victory, his options afterwards are quite limited. The only potential opponent that can be marketed besides Mayweather Jr is the soon to be Top Rank signed Timothy Bradley, who was regarded as the best 140lb fighter in the world before his recent promotional problems prevented a unification match with Amir Khan. While he is a legitimate opponent, he is not one that boxing fans desire to see in there with Filipino star. Mayweather Jr.'s options are just as limited, with only Amir Khan sitting as a fight that could be sold to the public. Many observers wonder if Khan would be even ready to take that matchup, and its marketability in the United States does not have the same value as it does overseas. Both Mayweather and Pacquaio have built a potential super fight to its absolute peak of interest, and both men don't have too many roads left that don't involve each other.
With the new year vast approaching one wonders if we will ever see this fight, but I myself having been around boxing the way that I have, know that the biggest fights don't always get made, but when there is this much money on the table for one bout, it doesn't matter how many obstacles have stood in its way, it will eventually happen. I think that this time around superstitions and egos will take a backseat to common sense, because with each passing fight, Mayweather and Pacquiao leave a little of themselves behind and it's something they can never get back. Both men know that time escapes no one and with Pacquiao turning 33 soon, and Mayweather advancing to 35 next year, they don't have much time left to face each other while still at their best. I believe the next fight for both men is a fight with each other, and in May 2012 I think we will finally get the bout the world REALLY awaits.
To hear my full views on the Mayweather-Ortiz fight from this past weekend, listen to our special 2 hour post-fight edition of "On the Ropes Boxing Radio"
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