by Paul Strauss: Over the years, Floyd has been the brunt of a lot of criticism. Some have criticized him for the careful management of his career, which is a nice way of saying he’s avoided certain fighters, because they might prove damgerous. He also has been criticized for his style of boxing. Many consider it a less than fan friendly. A translation would be he’s not willing to take chances, which means less excitement for the fans. He is often methodical and calculating, setting his opponent up, willing to win by decision. He also has been criticized for engaging in double talk, having at times given the impression (leaked misinformation) he was planning to do this or that, only to later deny having said any such thing. And, of course he has been strongly criticized for allegedly being involved in soap opera like episodes outside of the ring ranging in everything from shootings to charges of abuse and assault. Apparently our legal system felt there was some truth to these allegations, because, he was incarcerated for a short time.
In recent months, those types of criticism have quieted, primarily because he has remained out of the limelight. There have been rumors about him possibly fighting this fighter, or that fighter especially come this May. However, until recently those rumors haven’t been much more than that, rumors. That has changed. Now contracts have been signed by him and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. Out of all this manuevering and intrigue, Mayweather has made something clear. He stated unequivacably that he will not fight Manny, unless Manny avenges his two most recent losses. Those of course were to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez (JMM). The first one was a controversial decision loss to Bradley. Everyone knows Pacquiao won that fight, but the fact remains, on paper Bradley got the “W”. The second loss was the unbelievable kayo he suffered at the hands of JMM in their fourth fight.
As Professor Higgins said, “I think he’s (she’s) got it.” The criteria Mayweather requires before he and Manny meet is reasonable, and is one that could breath new life into their possible matchup.
Specifically, he feels Manny has to avenge those two losses, even though everyone under the sun knows Manny won the Bradley fight. Floyd still feels the record needs to be set straight in order for there to be a proper build up for their fight. The same is true of the loss to JMM, but avenging that loss is much more important. If Manny wins that one, the demand for a match between Manny and Floyd will be back at the high level it was before the set backs.
Of course, life is never simple or predictable. The Ghost could shock the world and beat Floyd. If he does, it’s unlikely it will be the type of sudden one shot heard (seen) round the world that occurred in the JMM vs Pacman fight. No, it’s more likely to be a mauling, maybe a bad cut, or injury of some type that brings a close to the action. That would mean no Floyd vs Manny fight.
Much more likely than the Ghost’s chances, are Manny’s against Bradley. There’s a good chance he could walk away with victory over both Bradley and JMM. The question is does Manny still has enough left to beat Bradley (again)? Obviously, there’s no guarantee. The fighter known as “Desert Storm” is no pushover. But, let’s say Manny is victorious, and then seeks bout V with JMM. Don’t be surprised if random blood tests are demanded before and after that one, which will obviously have a bit of irony to it. Fight number V is much less likely to include a “perfect punch” ending like the one in IV. In the fourth fight, Manny was laying some pretty good hurt on JMM, with the exception of the knockdown in the third. Manny shook off that punch pretty well, and resumed his attack. Of course, JMM is most dangerous when hurt, and you can never count him out, But it would be a risky bet for JMM fans to place their hopes on JMM landing a similar shot in V.
If an orgaization like VADA is allowed to do random blood testing, it would throw an interesting twist to the whole series of fights leading up to the ultimate match between Manny and Floyd. First of all, and depending upon test results, it might possibly satisfy and quiet Mayweather fans. Secondly, there were more than a few people who were suspicious about JMM’s new body and new found ability to withstand Manny’s punches. Those critics aren’t buying the idea that his Adonis like appearance came from training in high altitudes, improved diet and strength development techniques, or the bizarre “cup vacuuming” process. In other words, if JMM comes away victorious again, it would shut up his critics as well. Unfortunately, the big fight between Manny and Floyd would be gone as well. The same interest is not there for a JMM vs. Floyd rematch, as the first one was so one-sided.
The whole scenario has the potential to be like a three act play that even the snooty critics would be drooling over. And, if you were listening, credit would in a big way be owed to the craftiness of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. So, just like the disappointed fisherman, who thought the big one got away, it might still be there to land. There just needs to be a little more “trolling” and the possibility of changing bait a time or two. Let’s hope father time doesn’t stick his nose in the middle of things and ruin it for everyone.