By John Max F. Barcenas “aka Longinus”
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I mean seriously, do they really believe what they’re writing or are they just doing it for formalities’ sake. I know most of you have read articles by respected boxing writers that contains ideas like Manny Pacquiao is on PEDs, Andre Berto pulled out of his scheduled fight with Mosley because of the tragedy in Haiti, Floyd Mayweather is very interested in fighting Shane Mosley, and lots and lots of other crap.
I have been a boxing fan for the most part of the 30 years of my life, however that’s insignificant compared to the old timers who has been living and breathing the sport of boxing. It’s just amazing that i seem to know what’s happening more than they do, or so it seems.
Let me start by relating some stories about my two colleagues. They have this betting game on Manny Pacquiao fights ever since the Pacquiao-Barrera II. One is for Manny and the other is against. Before the Diaz fight, I advised the one betting against Manny to stop betting against the Pacman. He insisted David Diaz is too big and rugged to lose to a featherweight, I said Manny is just too fast for him. On the Oscar De La Hoya fight, he pointed out that Oscar is taller by 4 inches, fought as high as middleweight, with powerful left hook and all of his losses are questionable and could have gone the other way. I said he can’t make good use of his strength and power if he can’t hit Manny. We all know how the Golden Boy fared in the fight, or shall I say massacre.
On the Hatton fight, he said Ricky has the perfect style to trouble Manny, just like how he smothered Kostya Tszu. And that Hatton has been fighting at junior welterweight ever since his professional debut 10 years ago and has never lost in the jr. welterweight division, his only loss was against Mayweather at welterweight. I just said that Hatton is very hittable and that Manny is a very powerful puncher.
On the Cotto fight, he’s very adamant that Miguel is the biggest and prime fighter that Manny will face and his brutal body punches will render Manny lifeless in a matter of minutes, citing the losses to Torrecampo and Singsurat as examples of how a body shot can easily K0 Manny. And that the lone loss on Cotto’s record can be dismissed because it’s against the “hands of plaster” Margarito. I said Manny isn’t the under nourished kid anymore he was 10 years ago. That if he can take the Kali sticks banging to his torso, then he can take the best shots that Cotto will give him.
But it’s a futile attempt as anything I say to persuade him can’t change his mind. He seems to believe most of the boxing scribes and analyst on TV and Internet. He must think that I’m just a Pacnuthugger who doesn’t know anything about boxing, even though I told him exactly where I was and what I was doing on the time that Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear. I just couldn’t alter his belief, and he keeps on losing on his bets.
On the next day after the Pacquiao-Cotto bout, his first approach to me was “What’s your take on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao?” And my only response was it wouldn’t happen. And I can clearly recall his reaction: “That fight will happen?! Everyone is asking for it, all the boxing writers and TV commentators are already talking about it, even HBO president Ross Greenburg is demanding it. So how could it not happen?!” we keep on arguing about this everyday, he keeps on smiting me with how the negotiations was going well. The weight was easily agreed, the ring size, the gloves that will be used and everything else was seem to be falling into places perfectly.
All this time I’m just calmly telling him to just wait and see how the fight will crumble. And he will answer with his usual disbelief, he just couldn’t believe how I keep on saying that the fight will not happen when almost everyday the news on TV and Internet is that the fight contract is nearing completion. After the holiday season when we went back to work, it finally dawned on him that I was right. I wish you could see his face when I told him that its official, the fight was not going to happen. I couldn’t describe the look on his face, it’s priceless!
Well I wouldn’t bore you anymore on the details how I told him that Floyd will be fighting Mosley right after Andre Berto withdrew from his match with Mosley. I’ll go straight to the point. This is my take on how the things went, as opposed to the mirage that they keep pulling over our eyes.
Nearing the end of 2006, there’s a debate on who is the pound for pound the best boxer in the world between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Most boxing analysts and writers are leaning towards Floyd while the hardcore boxing fans are saying its Pacman.
I want you to think about this for a second, if Manny Pacquiao beats the Mexican triumvirate of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez via split decision each, it would have been already amazing. (This trio belonged at the top 10 lb4lb best boxers at that time and all are considered future hall of famers). But no, Pacquiao dominated Barrera who dominated Prince Naseem Hamed, knocked down three times the avoided Marquez who has slick counter punching style, good defensive skills and granite chin, and avenged a close decision loss to Morales by knocking him out, not once but twice. Twice! Note that Erik Morales has never been stopped before in his long and glorious boxing career.
I’m going to boldly say it, if Floyd is Filipino and Manny is American I’m sure the vote would be unanimous for Manny as the lb4lb best boxer. Anyway, Floyd is already taking heat for not fighting Kostya Tszu before moving to welterweight. Then he fought Zab Judah right after Super Zab lost to Baldomir, and then he fought Baldomir for much much less money instead of fighting Margarito. He also dodged challenges from Mosley, Cotto and Williams.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao twice KOd Erik Morales from Tijuana who has never been stopped before and also scored a unanimous decision against former champion Oscar Larios. 2007 saw Floyd fight Oscar dela Hoya in a very close fight that could have gone either way, and then asked Ricky Hatton to go up in weight while Manny dominated Barrera and an undefeated Jorge Solis.
By 2008 a rematch between dela Hoya and Mayweather is being negotiated, however Floyd got scared and instead chose to retire. We all know what happened between dela Hoya vs. Pacquiao so I won’t elaborate on that. After Floyd saw what happened to Oscar, he realized that a potential big fight with Manny with big money in it so right on the morning of the day of Pacquiao vs. Hatton fight, he announced that he will be coming out of retirement to fight the lineal lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez at a catch weight of 144 pounds. Take note LIGHTWEIGHT, for those who don’t know its 135 lbs.
After Manny KTFO Ricky Hatton then battered Miguel Cotto after absorbing his best shots, Floyd begin to have doubts if he can really beat Manny. If he avoided the likes of speedy volume punchers before, why would he fight Manny now who currently has that confidence of aura of invincibility?
The worldwide demand for Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is there, so a solution should be found. Floyd created the façade that he is very willing to make the fight most considered as the fight of the decade. He agreed right away to the weight where the fight will take place, 147 lbs. the size of the ring, and 8 ounces gloves. He knew that Manny will run for office on May elections so he assumed that Manny will not want to fight several months preceding that election. He demanded the fight to be held on March 13, hoping Manny will be busy for campaign and that he will still be recuperating his ruptured eardrum during the Cotto bout.
Bob Arum flew right away to Manila and showed to Manny the contract stipulations. Much to the dismay of Floyd, Manny agreed right away. Arum then returned to talk to Floyd on what he assumed as good news for Floyd not knowing that it’s the opposite of what the Floyd camp was expecting. Floyd’s camp grew silent perhaps thinking what will be their next move. Ever since the conception of the fight, several venues have been competing for the chance to stage it. Soon it became evident that the brand new state-of-the-art billon-dollar Dallas Cowboys stadium will be awarded the honor. The owner billionaire Jerry Jones made the necessary steps to secure he will win the bidding.
However, on the eve of the day that Top rank head honcho Bob Arum and Golden Boy promotions CEO Richard Schaefer will visit the Dallas Cowboys stadium to finalize the deal, Floyd ask him to pull-off and insist that the fight happen in Las Vegas, with the sole intent that this will enrage Arum, which is exactly what happened.
Shortly afterwards, Arum relinquished the negotiations to Top Rank vice president (and Arum son-in-law) Todd DeBoeuf saying the fight is dead and he doesn’t want to negotiate with these kind of people. However many is undeterred and agreed that the fight be held in Las Vegas.
Floyd’s camp is back to the drawing board, how to pull out of the fight without losing face. And voila! An ingenious idea, accuse Manny of PEDs, the old but very effective way of discrediting athletes, much more so in boxing. They demanded that Manny subjects himself to random drug testing all the way to the day of the fight. They must have seen the video on YouTube with Manny Pacquiao saying that the blood test he undertook before his first fight with Erik Morales weakened him and was a major cause of his loss.
However, to still make the fight happen, Manny agreed for drug testing for three instances, one during the press conference to announce the fight, then one month before the fight and then right after the fight. This wont do for Floyd’s camp, they found the way to get out of the fight and they sure will not bulge even when Manny agreed to random blood testing 24 days before the fight, as stipulated in the mediation by retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein. Floyd was victorious, he was able to kill the fight and to top that, create doubt in boxing fans that Manny is on drugs.
Arum and Manny’s camp looked for the next available big fight and found Joshua Clottey. Sugar Shane Mosley is unavailable; he is scheduled to fight Andre Berto. Clottey and Pacquiao agreed right away to fight, it’s scheduled on the same stipulated date of March 13, 2010 and the venue is the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Boxing pundits and also I was awestruck by this decision. Clottey is what you call as High-risk, low-pay kind of fighter.
There must be some reason why Floyd avoided him. He is very big for a welterweight, very durable, granite chin, solid defense and a clobbering style that will give trouble to anybody. His losses are close decisions that could have been a win and a disqualification by low-blow in a fight with Carlos Baldomir that he was winning. Also, he is not a top draw in pay-per-view and virtually unknown except to hardcore boxing fans, so the money he will generate for the fight isn’t that much.
While all of these were happening, Floyd’s camp was silent. They have a big problem, who will they get to fight Floyd who can generate interest and match the pay-per-view fight of Pacquiao-Clottey. He will lose much on the negotiating table if Manny will outdraw him on PPV sales. The other top draw welterweights are unavailable, Mosley is already scheduled for a fight with Berto and Miguel Cotto is still recovering from the beating he took from Manny. I won’t mention Paul Williams because Floyd might have a heart attack. Some names were mentioned to weigh public opinion, Matthew Hatton, Timothy Bradley, Nate Campbell, and Paulie Malignaggi.
Forums on the internet were unanimous, no one will buy this crap. Golden Boy Promotions was furious, they lost a potential huge profit in a supposedly high-grossing Mayweather-Pacquaio fight, and on top of that they are included in the lawsuit of defamation filed by Manny. They have no intention of slandering Pacquaio, they thought it’s just a tactic by Floyd to get to Manny’s head and also to sell more PPVs by creating much hype to the match.
By now its also clear to them, Floyd doesn’t want to fight Manny. Richard Schaefer and Oscar won’t settle for this, they must make a move. First they paid Andre Berto to step away from his fight with Mosley. This was easily done as the tragedy in Haiti gave him a good reason (He was half Haitian). I can’t help myself but to mention, during Manny’s training for his fight with Cotto, typhoon Ondoy struck and devastated the Philippine archipelago. I know you can still picture in your mind the floods and the poor victims (Manny was a pure Filipino and he was training that time in the Philippines).
Anyway, going back to the subject, suddenly Mosley is now available. Floyd’s camp is very very silent. Probably thinking of a reason, even just a small one to avoid fighting Mosley whom he avoided for the past 10 years or so. You can’t blame him; Mosley is still very fresh, not showing a single sign that he is nearing his forties in his fight with the “hands of plaster” Antonio Margarito. Finally, after days of silence, Richard Schaefer announced the inevitable; Floyd has agreed to fight Mosley, provided that should Mayweather lose, an immediate rematch will be held. Talk about bragging about being one of the all time best.
In closing, I still believe the mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will happen late this year or early next year. I just wanna share what I’m going to tell my colleague who always bet against Manny. It will be a very competitive fight, a classic match between offense and defense. You might argue that Manny will miss a lot, but in the bunches of his punches, I assure you that at least one will hit its mark, and I also assure you that Floyd will definitely feel it. Manny by TKO8.
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