It’s a natural reaction to want see the best of the best compete against each other. If two teams, or individuals in this case, are superior to their competition then they should always be on a collision course to square off. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have dominated the sport of boxing for more than 15 years. The two have a combined record of 95-3-2, and each have been considered the pound for pound champion in the world of boxing. Yet, with Pacquiao set to turn 33 in December, and Mayweather set to hit 35 shortly thereafter (February 24th), is time quickly running out on this mega-fight?
Earlier this week, Leonard Ellerbe (a Mayweather adviser) came out publicly about Mayweather’s intentions to fight on May 5th of next year. Ellerbe was quoted as saying “we’re looking to make the biggest fight possible and everyone knows what that fight is, the little fella,” (the “little fella” of course being Pacquiao). Obviously, with his November 12th title fight against Juan Manuel Marquez less than a week away, the Pacquiao camp isn’t going to waste their breath on pure speculation. Furthermore, who really cares what Leonard Ellerbe has to say anyway? Certainly not Manny Pacquaio, and probably not even Floyd Mayweather. The truth of the matter is that we’ve been down this road before. Ever since Floyd Mayweather came out of retirement back in early 2009, there has been on again off again negotiations between both sides. Unfortunately, those who have followed these negotiations closely (yours truly) know that unconventional requests by both sides (especially the Mayweather camp) have derailed any potential fight. Thus, instead of already being witness to the greatest boxing spectacle of our generation (with the potential of multiple rematches) we have instead witnessed the obvious. Mayweather has defeated everyone he has faced (Marquez, Mosley, Oritz) and Pacquiao has done the same (Hatton, Cotto, Clottey, Margarito, Mosley).
Next Saturday, Manny Pacquiao is going to defeat Juan Manuel Marquez to retain his WBO Welterweight title, it’s going to happen. Immediately following that bout, fight fans are going to once again be waiting in angst for a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao showdown. At this point in their careers, I think it’s pretty safe to say that both Mayweather and Pacquiao are superior to any other fighters within their weight class. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fault either fighter for continuing to schedule fights against opponents that the general public knows they will defeat. However, the fact of the matter remains that these two fighters will always be linked to each other, especially if they never fight one another. It makes no difference if you are a Mayweather supporter or aligned with the Pacquiao camp. Both parties can unquestionably agree on one simple premise; a Pacquiao versus Mayweather fight has to happen. It may be the last great fight the sport of boxing sees for a very long time.
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