The going back and forth and accusatory tone between the Pacquiao and Mayweather factions seems to be endless. On top of that, everyone who’s ever watched a fight or hit a heavy bag seems to know what it’ll take for the fight to be made and who will win it if and when it comes to fruition, if ever.
And now Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, just weighed in with a real dozy.
Recently Arum said, “what Mayweather hates is Manny’s right hand. Mayweather has no chin and Manny will knock him out. Pacquiao and Mayweather is a three or four-round fight. Period. And who knows that best? Mayweather. The one thing Mayweather has had throughout his career is he knows boxing. He understands boxing and Mayweather can not compete with Manny. It’s the right hand of Manny that is preventing that fight from happening. If Manny agreed just to jab with the right hand the fight would be made in 30 seconds.”
Things must really be looking gloom for the fight being made, at least in Arum’s mind. Because that remark about Manny’s right hand instilling so much fear in Mayweather to the point that he fears tangling with Pacquiao really came out of left field. The fact of the matter is, if Pacquiao is going to beat Mayweather, it’ll be because of his left hand. Floyd can handle Manny’s jab and offset it with his own. Pacquiao’s hook off his right jab only works if he touches Floyd with his jab. No Bob, it’s the left hand delivered from some very unorthodox angles that Pacquiao throws from, that if it gets through it’s capable of stunning and freezing Mayweather due to it’s shocking power. Sure, he throws it behind his right hand, but Pacquiao has shown that he can be off with the right jab and still bring the left home. And if he freezes Mayweather with his explosive power that he carries in his left hand, it’s plausible that he can then go in and finish Mayweather.
“Once Manny demonstrated that fearsome right hand there was no chance ever that the fight would happen,” Arum said. “None. Don’t kid yourself. I know Mayweather, everything else is bulls—.”
I’m just not buying what Arum’s trying to peddle and sell. Mayweather has his reasons as to why he’s reluctant to fight Pacquiao, but it’s not because he fears his right hand, or even his left for that matter. He doesn’t fear his power or his speed or his boxing ability. Mayweather’s fears now have to do with his own falsely inflated legacy: he has built himself up to such a degree that he lives in fear of anyone who can take his self-image away from him. He doesn’t fear any fighter per se. Since he’s now mythologized himself, his fears of anyone else who might be mythologized. Actually, I don’t believe he fears Pacquiao, period.
The reasons Mayweather isn’t jumping at the chance to take Pacquiao down is because in spite of him being supremely confident that he can be more successful boxing him than Erik Morales was during their first fight, he knows inside that a fight with Pacquiao will be the most dangerous of his career. And Floyd knows his legacy is spotty and he still hasn’t scored a signature win without someone saying, “but.” Even if he beat Pacquiao, some will say great, his signature win came against a fighter who gained notoriety as a featherweight, who then moved up in weight and cleaned out Mayweather’s division and beat fighters Floyd refused to go near (Cotto & Margarito) when they were at their peak circa 2006-07.
Mayweather knows Pacquiao is good enough to beat him and possibly embarrass him. Think about what a legacy killer that would be. The last thing a great fighter wants at the end of his career is to be more remembered for his losses than his wins. As great as Thomas Hearns was, he’s remembered by many fans for his losses to Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. No, that’s not fair, it’s just the way it is. And with all due respect to Hearns, at least he fought them and showed that he was every bit the man and fighter from a character vantage point as they were. Mayweather can’t say that. His career will be defined by one fight, Pacquiao. If he lost that one, how many fans will talk about his fights with Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Sharmba Mitchell, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah and Juan Manuel Marqez? That would be none. And the same thing applies if he beats Pacquiao, that’ll be the fight everyone will talk about 10-20 years from now.
Floyd has managed his career exquisitely, he’s made a fortune and should never have to worry about paying a bill the rest of his life. But he could spend all of the money–who’d be surprised by that?–but the legacy will endure forever. That’s why he’s in such a bind. His legacy is being undefeated, so of course he’ll be remembered for the Pacquiao fight being Manny is considered the best fighter he’ll have confronted during his 15 plus year career.
That’s why Arum is acting like the fool. Mayweather doesn’t fear Pacquiao the man or fighter. It’s the pressure of his career being defined by one night and fighter. That’s weighing on him and that’s why he must secure every advantage he can before he agrees to make the fight.