2014 will not, I dare say, be remembered as the Year of the Poll. Fair to say that the Mayweather Super Bowl special turned out to be, as of now, something of a lead zeppelin as far as hype-bursts go. Floyd gave the fans a choice of who he might fight next, and didn’t leave space for a write-in candidate, and allowed for just two possibilities, instead of going the whole nine, and allowing a vote, fan choice, on who he should fight next.
The masses would have voted for the Congressman, Manny Pacquiao, and in that case, I would be here applauding the move, and getting psyched for a super fight, even one that is a bit past prime. But no…
Hey, things could still break in an interesting fashion. Floyd could pull some sort of swerve, a move I can’t even fathom now, and I could be writing, in my next column, what genius was on display. We can hope…
I chatted with Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, and asked him about the poll, which ran for one week, post Super Bowl, and finished with the respondents choosing Amir Khan as the next for Mayweather, over Argentine clubber Marcos Maidana. It left too many folks feeling like they were offered a choice of Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan in a vote for President, I tend to think, but I asked Freddie what he thought. Hey, maybe he saw some glimmer of brilliance in the whole endeavor…
“If Manny and Floyd don’t fight sometime, it’ll be a real tragedy for the sport,” Freddie told me. “Every big fight that’s supposed to have happened, has happened. Sometimes, hopefully sooner rather than later…Mayweather comes up with excuses every time. Blood test, OK, we get over that, 60-40 split because my guy got knocked out, OK, we accepted that, but it’s an excuse after an excuse after an excuse. He’s so enamored having that zero on his record and saying he’s better than Sugar Ray Robinson, and all these great fighters. He doesn’t understand, losing actually makes people better fighters. But if he has a loss on his record, he can’t say he’s the best fighter of all-time, and I think that’s what he’s afraid of, he’s just making excuses. I know he’s a great fighter, he’s a very good fighter. But the best has to fight the best.”
Roach, speaking of hope, still thinks in an optimistic light that Floyd will fight Manny, because he thinks the riches and ratings the bout could engineer make it impossible to blow off. “You know what, there’s not four opponents he can fight,” Roach continued. “Amir Khan and Maidana, they both lose their asses on pay per view, because they’re not PPV draws. The only pay per view guys they can get are Chavez, and if Cotto looks good, but Manny has to be one of those four (remaining fights on Floyd’s Showtime six-fight deal).”
I asked Roach if he wouldn’t like to be across the corner from Floyd with Cotto, if Cotto beats Sergio Martinez, and then Mayweather taps Cotto for a rematch bout.
“Sure,” he said. “It’s a challenge, and I like challenges. Floyd is a good fighter, he doesn’t make too many mistakes. I’ve studied him a lot. He makes some mistakes, but not too many. I think Manny has to be one of those four guys, because Showtime doesn’t want to lose money. So I think it will happen. I’m optimistic. I heard Floyd lost a lot of money on the Super Bowl, that might help too.”
Bless that Roach, for his optimism. You all think that Floyd could be persuaded, or gently nudged, into taking a Manny fight, even if he doesn’t want it, because the Showtime crew will politely demand it? Or, is Floyd his own boss, and immune from pressure tactics, even from those in his inner circle who want the fight? Weigh in, in the TSS Forum.
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