Well, maybe Floyd Mayweather was right. He knew all along, as some writers and fans did, that he had the style to trouble and perhaps beat Manny Pacquiao. But those beatings Pacquiao administered to a dried out Miguel Cotto, an empty package named Antonio Margarito, and an always disappointing Joshua Clottey (fighters Floyd ducked when they were legitimate challengers to him) spooked him from going near Pacquiao. Now after watching a focused and determined Juan Manuel Marquez, 38, out think, out-box and sometimes out-muscle Manny for the better part of 12-rounds during their third fight this past weekend, Mayweather must be frustrated inside realizing now that Pacquiao is vulnerable and not un-beatable. Floyd now likely knows he over-thought things by not fighting Pacquiao sooner.
After seeing Marquez weighing 143 fighting Pacquiao, who weighed in at 144, manage to stay with Pacquiao physically, it's not hard to envision Mayweather duplicating what Marquez did. It was thought before the fight that meeting Marquez above 140 was to be an advantage for Pacquiao. This is something everybody, including myself, missed. Remember how Mayweather made the natural featherweight Marquez look like a bantamweight when they fought? Mayweather will look like a middleweight next to Pacquiao when they meet.
Sure, styles make fights and some observers will state that just because Marquez can be successful countering and forcing Manny to reset, this doesn't necessarily mean that applies to Mayweather. And they would be right. But on the other hand we heard before the fight how great Pacquiao was looking in camp and how he wanted to distance himself from Marquez, which he didn't. And we've also been told how Freddie Roach (who predicted a Pacquiao win inside of five founds) has made Manny a more complete fighter, yet he seemed more bothered by Marquez's style this time than he was when they last fought in 2008. I'm sure some have overreacted to Marquez's showing and think it spells trouble for Pacquiao if he fights Mayweather. But if you've always felt the style match-up favored Mayweather, not so much so. And just because Floyd has shown trepidation to fighting Pacquiao, which he most certainly has, doesn't mean he wouldn't or couldn't beat him.
Pacquiao-Mayweather Isn't Such A Super Fight Now:
Due to Floyd Mayweather making a mockery out of the contract negotiations the fight didn't take place when it should've over a year ago. And after seeing Marquez not only survive Pacquiao, but frequently better him, how ridiculous do Mayweather's demands for Olympic style drug testing look now? It's obvious that due to all the tough HOF fighters that Pacquiao has faced, along with his crowd pleasing and wide open style, he's slowed some (evidenced against Shane Mosley in his previous fight) and is on the decline. Couple that with Manny's ineffectiveness against straight punches and fighters who can disrupt him and force him to reset, where's the intrigue or drama for Pacquiao-Mayweather now?
Mayweather has once again won the waiting game and if he fights Pacquiao, it'll be the perfect time for him. The only problem with that is, aside from him being able to claim victory over Pacquiao on his record, how much will it really mean? It's not like Floyd would be beating Manny while he was at the zenith of his career. It's almost as if the win would be a little tainted and it can easily be said that Mayweather again fought another big name fighter when they were on the decline. However, that doesn't matter to Mayweather as long as he can retire undefeated. Which is all he's ever cared about, and in some ways that's not so bad, is it?
Floyd could've really pulled one over on his critics and the boxing world had he fought Pacquiao in 2010 and did to him more thoroughly what Juan Manuel Marquez did on 11/12/11. As some have tried to maintain since Pacquiao's ascension, as terrific as he is, he has been out-boxed by Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. And Mayweather is longer, stronger, faster and bigger than both Morales and Marquez, not to mention he hasn't had nearly the tough fights and career that they have, partly because of his skill-set and partly because of his unwillingness to ever meet the best of the best who were in his division when they were at or near their peak.
If Mayweather beats Pacquiao of course he'll be unbearable. Then again, beating him after Juan Manuel Marquez did this past Saturday night, in the ring if not on the judges' cards, does take some of the historical significance away from it. After seeing Pacquiao, at the worst neutralized and made to look ordinary by Marquez on 11/12/11, the prospect of Pacquiao-Mayweather doesn't seem all that compelling anymore.
Sure, the names Pacquiao and Mayweather will sell and make for a big fight, but as far as intrigue, not to me.
Who Should Floyd Mayweather fight next: