BOXING is fast turning into a party that’s serving up appetizers in bunches.
Manny Pacquiao going up against Joshua Clottey was a farce. It was those little half-toasted sandwich squares topped with tuna dressing. Floyd Mayweather Jr pummeling Shane Mosley? Same sandwich squares, with a little grilled cheese thrown in. And don’t even go into Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez. Bit-sized hotdogs skewered by toothpicks.
Heck, Pacquiao-Cotto had its appeal, but only because it cemented the Filipino icon’s place in history books. After all the hoopla, it was just quiches.
Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions better get the real party started by whipping out the main course. And in boxing, unless, as one now-forgotten boxing writer put it, the Klitschko brothers decide to finally mix it up in the ring, there’s only one relevant fight left in the horizon.
Pacquiao-Mayweather. Pacman-Money. This is it. Pound-for-pound.
There’s an open fight date for both in November. The Cowboys Stadium and MGM Grand will outbid each other to host the event. People will snap up tickets if as much as a rumor floats that they’re available. PPV? Guaranteed blockbuster. And journalists all over the world will drop their pens and stop whatever they’re doing to file for accreditation for this one.
All that’s missing are the boxers.
Mayweather continues jawing about Olympic-style drug tests and says that there’ll be no compromise on that stand. It’s his job, he feels, to clean up the sport.
And the more he talks about it, the more it puts the onus on Pacman to say yes, climb the ring and shut Money’s mouth. It isn’t because people will believe that Mayweather has taken the high road on the issue. It’s just that the more Mayweather talks about it, the sillier it makes Pacquiao look each time he says there will be no drug tests within 24 days of the fight.
Pacquiao says he hates needles. And truth be told, he really does. He’s said it casually before, even when blood tests weren’t an issue yet. I think I was covering his fight against Morales when he was joked about his tattoos and he responded that the only thing he hated about tattoos was the needle.
And speaking of tattoos, it seems perfectly normal for inked athletes to hate needles. If the Mayweather camp feels it’s bullshit, let them tell that to LeBron James (check way down the 11th paragraph).
So no, Mayweather has absolutely no right to dictate the tests on Pacquiao, no matter how the Golden Boy feels about it. But if Pretty Boy’s going to talk about it a lot, then people are going to start being suspicious of Pacman. Before that happens, Pacquiao’s better off taking the damn tests and messing Floyd Jr.’s face.
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The pay-per-view numbers should have Mayweather-Mosley up there right after Mayweather-De La Hoya, which was the biggest non-heavyweight bout in history. Mayweather says that’s because people love watching him fight.
Really? To lull them to sleep? You’ll have to crunch different numbers to know which fighter is really worth watching. And here’s a little interesting math I did after the Mayweather-Mosley fight.
Punch stats showed that the two Americans landed 300 punches—combined—in Sunday’s bout, which went the distance. When Pacquiao made history by nailing his seventh division crown with a 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto, the Filipino landed 336 punches on his own. And that fight lasted 11 rounds and 55 seconds.
Plus, on a night when Mayweather was praised for finally being aggressive offensively, he and Mosley combined for 929 punches thrown.
Against Joshua Clottey, Pacquiao threw a total of 1231 punches all by his lonesome.
The pound-for-pound ranking may be debatable now, but when people ask who is the most exciting fighter to watch in the planet today, let the real numbers speak for themselves.
PHOTOS for this post were nicked from various internet sources, including Yahoo! and other boxing sites.