Let's just say for the sake of argument that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao actually face each other on May 5th of this year. If they do, and yes, it looks like they won't, it will in fact be Mayweather who again will have called the shots in dictating when the fight will have taken place. And to that I say, “Was there ever a doubt that when Manny and Money got together it would be only if and when Mayweather felt it was the right time for him?” If you think otherwise you've been living in another world.
For the rest of my years, I'll marvel at Floyd Mayweather the manager and thinker more than I ever will him as a fighter. I've seen many fighters his equal or superior to him in the ring, but he's near the top of a very short list of great fighters who knew the business of boxing to the level that he does. Mayweather has used the 24/7 social media like no other athlete alive to manipulate the public. He just Tweeted the other day that he now wants to fight Pacquiao, and the boxing world has been a buzz since. The only thing that would overshadow Mayweather's Tweet would be one by Tim Tebow.
Floyd knows boxing history and realizes that a marquee world champion retiring undefeated stands the test of time. It's been almost fifty years since former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retired undefeated at 49-0. Rocky is in the debate in every conversation that centers around who was the greatest heavyweight champion in history because he never officially was defeated as a pro. However, had Roland LaStarza been awarded the split decision verdict in their first fight and Rocky retired 48-1, it's doubtful his name would be included amongst the top-10 greatest heavyweights ever.
Being undefeated is why the 1972 Miami Dolphins are talked about every NFL season until every team in the league has lost once. On the morning of Super Bowl XLII the 18-0 New England Patriots were hours away from being anointed the the greatest team in NFL history after they presumably defeated the New York Giants and finished the season 19-0. And for 59 minutes it looked as if it was going to happen. But they lost the game 17-14 and finished 18-1. How many times since February 3rd 2008 have you heard anyone say that the 2007 Patriots were the greatest team in NFL history? I'm betting not once.
Floyd Mayweather has been hellbent on protecting his undefeated record. And he grasped it a few years back that despite being undefeated, his defining legacy would be determined on the outcome of his eventual showdown with Manny Pacquiao. Floyd knows that beating Pacquiao in what will be the only fight of his career that anyone reading this will remember in 10 years along with retiring undefeated will keep his name in the conversation regarding the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in boxing history for the next 50 years.
Something else Mayweather has always known since Pacquiao's accession is, the fight would always be there for him whenever he wanted it. Therefore he could sit on the sideline as the anticipation grew and in the end could jump at it whenever he felt it was the right time. For the better part of the last two years Pacquiao, the smaller man, has been more than willing to meet Mayweather in a legitimate fight without gimmicks and stipulations, only to see Mayweather move the goalpost back and insure the fight wouldn't be made time after time.
Now that Mayweather has gone on the attack and is at least acting with his words like he wants to fight Pacquiao, Manny has to jump at the chance in the eyes of the public. And sadly he and promoter Bob Arum have been played and if they don't it'll look like they harbor the same reservation Mayweather's held for the past two years. The only plus for Pacquiao agreeing to the fight at this time is, Mayweather will be laughed at if he still tries to insist that Pacquiao has to be subjected to any type of nuanced drug testing. Floyd has to know that that's off the table forever now and if Manny and Arum cave into those sort of demands they're really dopes.
I don't care what anyone says…it's obvious that Mayweather is at least acting as if he wants the fight because of what transpired in Pacquiao's last bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. Is it a coincidence that since the names Mayweather and Pacquiao have been paired against each other that Mayweather waited for the exact time when Manny's confidence has never been so low to so loudly lobby for the fight? What a willing suspension of disbelief would it take to see it any differently.
The bottom line is Floyd has held his cards close to his vest and is now ready to raise the stakes. The only problem is he may have waited too long to jump up and make the fight. And that's because everyone who saw Pacquiao this past November knows that Marquez out thought and out fought him for the better part of 12-rounds. If there were 15 clean punches landed in that fight, Marquez landed 11 of them. At this time Pacquiao's confidence is down and he may even be second guessing himself inside, if ever so slightly.
Maybe this time Pacquiao and Mayweather will finally get together. But the fight is past the point when it had a chance to be spectacular. Beating Pacquiao now after he was clearly bettered by Marquez in his last fight doesn't look so terrific and breath taking any longer. I will say it until the fight is history, “Mayweather will beat Pacquiao when they meet.” He's always had the temperament, size and style to do it. The difference now is he may finally believe it.
Regardless, it's clear for everyone to see that Mayweather became real brave at a time when Pacquiao's never been more vulnerable since he fought Hatton. It was just a matter of Mayweather overcoming the small percentage of doubt that he held that Pacquiao could beat him. Judging by Floyd's words and semi actions, once again he waited for the threat and demand for the fight to be at it's lowest point.