By Andy Keen
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With all of the talk going on, it is easy to lose a rational perspective on the potential March 13 super fight because of all the bickering about the pre-fight testing for the Mayweather – Pacquiao showdown. Let’s take a minute to look at some of the facts as they were seen in the very recent past.
1) For both the Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton fights, an argument against a probable Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao victory was that he was a “pumped-up little man” who had finally reached a weight too heavy for him to be a legitimate competitor.
Clearly, the fact that he began his career as a smaller/lighter boxer was seen as a MAJOR disadvantage for him against
those naturally heavier opponents. Suddenly, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (the bigger, heavier fighter who is fighting at his natural weight) is expressing concern that the smaller, lighter Pacquiao (who has to eat 7,000 calories a day to maintain the weight) might have an advantage over him, and that he is afraid that he will not be able to have a fair fight against the “little man”.
Where are all of the voices now that only recently were so eloquently expounding on the DISADVANTAGE that Pacquiao had in moving up the weight classes to fight men at their heavier natural weights? If Pacquiao was bigger than Mayweather, it might be a little easier to listen to “Money” suddenly sounding so pious about the pure principles of fair competition without feeling a sudden urge to vomit.
2) It seems to be a known fact that Pacquiao doesn’t like losing blood before a fight. I see patients nearly every day who have fears (sometimes very irrational ones ) about something that can cause them to manifest extremely dysfunctional behaviors. Healthy people sometimes are reduced to an incoherent sobbing mass of humanity because of the fear of some particular situation or circumstance.
In such cases, it is generally not possible to convince said person that there isn’t anything to worry about. For them, the reality seems very different than it does to you, the practitioner. Go ahead, call Pacquiao paranoid, or irrational to refuse the blood testing immediately before the fight. But, to insist on the change in the rules for this fight as opposed to using the rules in force for the Mayweather-Marquez fight, for instance, appears to be nothing more than an attempt by the Mayweather camp to get inside Pacquiao’s head and mess with it.
Forgive me if I sound excessively cynical, but hearing the bigger Mayweather complaining that he couldn’t get a fair fight from the smaller Pacquiao brings with it the stench of hypocrisy. I noticed that Mayweather gave himself quite a big advantage over Marquez by coming in over the weight limit, and thereby quite profoundly altering the dynamics of that fight. If you want to talk about fairness in competition versus giving yourself an unfair advantage, why don’t we start with Mayweather’s actions for the Marquez fight?
3) For most of us fans of boxing, the real issue in the Mayweather – Pacquiao fight quite simply comes down to this: Which boxer is better on a pound for pound basis, period. I personally do not believe that Pacquiao is using banned substances, but I must say that if he did, it wouldn’t bother me much. Boxing is an art, and no supplements or steroids can give a boxer the sense of timing, or the ability to bring punches from all angles in swift combination’s that both of these boxers posses.
Steroids will not increase the amount of the fast-twitch muscle fibers that allows for the blistering hand speed that both of these boxers exhibit. How about let’s cut some of the BS, follow the same rules that governed the Mayweather – Marquez fight, and see who the better man is inside the ring on March 13, 2010?
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