Recently promoter Bob Arum floated the idea of a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch to the Manilatimes.com. It’s almost sad the way Arum, in a snide way, capitulates to the public in trying to badger Floyd into giving Manny another shot to beat him. However, you can bet the mortgage…..Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will NEVER fight again. It’s the safest bet in boxing, in fact it’s a safer bet that Mayweather and Pacquiao will never touch gloves again than it was picking Mayweather to win when they met in May of last year.
“That [Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch] is the fight that everybody wanted to see. Manny’s return this year could encourage also Mayweather to return and fight him again next year, but I don’t know, maybe yes or maybe no,” Arum told The Manila Times via an overseas call last week.
If nothing else can be said about Bob Arum, one must respect how the 84-year-old promoter is always on and trying to sell or con his prospective customers. And perhaps what’s even more fascinating about him is that he can say almost anything, and regardless of how ludicrous what he’s saying is – he’ll look you in the eye and not blink as if he really believes what he says.
Ever since the snooze-fest between Mayweather and Pacquiao last year, Arum has adamantly tried to do two things with singleness of purpose. For starters, he’s tried to con everyone into believing that Mayweather was awarded a gift decision that should have gone Pacquiao’s way, stressing that Floyd didn’t fight and instead, he ran and avoided real combat at all cost — something that any sophisticated boxing observer knows is a complete fallacy. Mayweather didn’t run, but used his legs to disrupt Pacquiao’s aggression. The last time I checked, the bout wasn’t contracted to be waged in a telephone booth. The onus was on Manny to cut off the ring and force Floyd into trading and engaging on his terms instead of the opposite – which is how the fight played out.
This leads to another part of the subterfuge in Arum’s biased case. And that’s the part in which he tries to impress upon those within the reach of his voice that Pacquiao should’ve been awarded a few rounds based on him being the aggressor. What Bob fails to mention is Manny wasn’t the effective aggressor – and if your aggression isn’t forcing the other guy to do a single thing that he didn’t want to do, then the aggression is nothing more than said fighter (Pacquiao) moving his feet forward. It was Mayweather who was scoring cleanly on Manny as he was attempting to force the fight. Effective aggression is Joe Frazier versus Muhammad Ali in super-fight I or Julio Cesar Chavez versus Hector Camacho. Neutralizing aggression is what Sugar Ray Leonard did to Marvin Hagler and what Mayweather did for nine out of 12 rounds against Pacquiao.
It’s important to note that (as with Leonard-Hagler), not only is the guy doing the boxing effectively stymieing the aggressor, he’s doing it by punching hard enough to keep the aggressor from getting too bold which, you’ll notice, didn’t happen with Frazier against Ali or Chavez against Camacho. Mayweather’s boxing versus Pacquiao resembled Leonard’s on the night he flustered Hagler.
The second thing Arum has been trying to do via his press conferences and interviews is suggesting, and with a straight face, that boxing fans would love to see Mayweather UN-retire and fight Pacquiao again. What an unfunny joke. In reality, the only ones interested in seeing Floyd and Manny fight again are die-hard fans of Manny. And the reasons for that he’s their guy and they cannot accept that Mayweather owns the style match-up between them when in fact Pacquiao wasn’t even Floyd’s most difficult fight. Then of course they believe that had Manny not fought with an injured shoulder, he would’ve destroyed Mayweather.
The problem with thinking Mayweather only won because of Pacquiao’s injured shoulder is – not enough people buy it. The reality is most fans are smart enough and have a high enough boxing aptitude to understand that aside from being ripped off for paying an astronomical amount of money to watch the fight, they also grasp Mayweather is too big, strong and smart to be overwhelmed by Pacquiao. They were fooled once, but won’t be fooled again. Objective boxing fans know without a doubt that a rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao would be a near repeat of the first bout. Perhaps Pacquiao wins one more round than he did the last time, but that’s not enough to change the result, so why be gouged again to see Manny go 0-2 against Mayweather?
“Mayweather is not available this year. He is retired but I’m sure if ever Mayweather fights Manny again, he’ll be knocked out,” added the veteran promoter. “Pacquiao’s last fight against [Timothy] Bradley was very impressive. If he fights Mayweather that way, Manny will surely knock him out.”
Just for argument sake, suppose you buy Arum’s words and think Pacquiao would win a rematch….it doesn’t matter; the only thing that matters is what Floyd thinks. Beating Pacquiao conclusively is the signature win of Mayweather’s career. Pacquiao represents to Mayweather the same thing Marvin Hagler represents to Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman to Muhammad Ali. The thing that Floyd will be most remembered for is that he beat his career rival in the biggest and most high profile bout of both of their careers.
I sincerely doubt Mayweather would risk fighting Pacquiao again because there’s nothing for him to gain and everything to lose. That’s not the way Mayweather operates. He knows in a rematch Manny might fare better but still not win. And if that were to unfold, his masterful showing in the first bout might get a little dinged and the rematch is what most would remember. And that’s the reason a rematch between them makes no sense on Mayweather’s part.
I doubt we’ll see Mayweather-Pacquiao II, but in case I’m wrong, beware. Floyd knows a big part of his legacy could blow up if he lost in a rematch, so my belief is if Mayweather agrees to a second fight, it’s because he’s thought everything out as he always does – and knows beyond all doubt that he owns Pacquiao stylistically.
Again, I doubt we’ll see a rematch, but if we do, you’ve been forewarned…..It’ll be a near rerun of the first fight with the same result!
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com