By Vitali Shaposhnikov: When interviewed by the Gulf News, former heavyweight boxing champion Larry Holmes (69-6-0) said some interesting things about his thoughts on the topic of recent Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0-0) and Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2) back and forth drama. (http://gulfnews.com/sport/other-sports/holmes-sceptical-over-pacquiao-retirement-talk-1.997230)
“I think Pacquiao and Mayweather will still fight. It may take a little more time and a little more money but I think it will still happen. These latest comments are just to raise suspense,” stated Holmes. Despite various rumors of Pacquiao’s impending retirement, most people share Larry’s belief that the fight will most likely happen, and sooner rather than later.
“It’s a big fight but I don’t think it’s the end of the world if it never happens,” continued Holmes. Sure it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be a very nasty conclusion to the careers of both champions. This is a very lucrative, record shattering, and most importantly history shaping opportunity for both men, thus by not putting in all the effort into making it a reality, these two would be letting a lot of people, as well as the sport itself, down.
When getting to the trendy topic of whose fault it would be if the fight never materialized, Holmes said the following: “If they never fight it won’t be Pacquiao’s fault. Every time they came round to fighting Mayweather put his excuses in. Pacquiao did all he can. He did all I would have done. I think Mayweather just got a little too scared if you ask me. If he thinks Pacquiao is taking drugs so what, he should just say: ‘You take it, you kill yourself that isn’t going to help you, because with my talent and ability I believe I can still beat you.’ But he was scared to take that challenge.”
Mr. Holmes appears to be one of the people who think that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is indeed afraid to face Manny Pacquiao. Larry even touched on the topic of performance enhancing drugs, clearly stating that it shouldn’t even matter whether Pacquiao partakes in the use of steroid, as skills and confidence should triumph in such scenario.
While it would be a good pep-talk to have with Mayweather Jr., I think that Holmes’s idea is shot of utopia: good in theory, bad in practice. Since the sport of boxing is a vicious one, getting hurt is easy; all you have to do is not be attentive. When stepping into a ring against an opponent whose job it is to hurt you at all cost, the last thing you want is for them to have an unfair and more importantly illegal advantage.
To be honest, I am quite surprised by how Holmes dismissed the entire idea of Floyd’s attempt to get Pacquiao to test, and instead pointed the finger at Floyd. While there are numerous reports out there trying to convince the public that steroids do not enhance performance, this is in fact false. While they don’t add to a person’s cardiovascular capacity or agility, they generally do a bang-up job escalating one’s muscle growth rate, strength, and in many cases delay fatigue. Again, I am not implying that Pacquiao has ever used any form of such illegal substance.
What I am surprised about, is how there is a whole cluster of boxers out there, that do not support Mayweather Jr. in his chase of purity and safeguard in the sport, and instead see his effort as a means to avoid facing Pacquiao.
This fight should happen for many reasons, and thankfully, very slowly but surely it has moved in the right direction in the recent past. Who knows, maybe November of 2012 will be the month boxing history will be once again shocked and changed for the ages to come.