By Martin Cruz, Jr.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr, the undefeated former pound for pound king of boxing, often seats uneasily in his softly-cushioned recliner in front of his video player watching them fall, one after the other in devastating defeat. Chatchai Sasakul, Lelhonolo Ledwaba, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Angel Cotto, all of them were legitimate boxing champions in their divisions who lost their belts. And there were also a host of others who were not so great that were either knocked down cold or lost via the judges’ decision. And each time he did, Floyd could not expel that certain dread and fear that kept gnawing at his egoistic brain, pushing his heart to pound faster and faster. And the reason for this is that the boxing world so loudly clamors – even demanding – that he must now face this man in the boxing ring, who not only stripped all these boxing champions of their titles but has now dumped the Pretty Boy’s unbeaten fight record into the gutter. Seven titles in five weight classes, pound-for-pound king, boxer of the year, boxer of the decade, and as Bob Arum, the greatest boxing promoter that ever lived, has claimed, “The greatest boxer that ever lived.” These and many more accolades have been accorded Manny Pacquiao, which leaves no room for all boxing aficionados to doubt that he is presently the best boxer there is. But Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will not agree. Rather, he relies so much on his tongue, insisting to one and all his greatness because he remains undefeated in all of his 41 fights. Undefeated? Yes. But he is definitely not the greatest boxer of all time. Boxing records will always show that there are more fighters who have tallied even more numbers of undefeated streaks way past than he did. Most boxing fans rather believe that he remains unbeaten only because of his shrewd tactics whereby he chooses opponents that he has ascertained he can easily beat.
After winning over the great Oscar De La Hoya via a split decision, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. readily announced his retirement, claiming that there is nothing more for him to prove in boxing and wanted to spend his acquired fortune with his family. But boxing experts believe that he did so because that was the only way he could avoid his impending confrontations with the likes of Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, and Shane Mosley who are the next-in-line fighters in his weight class of 147-pounds. And definitely, he is not that sure that he can handle any one of them that easily. He has always been afraid of losing, so that even the promise of megabucks to fight these boxers will not change his decision to retire.
However, some unknown and compelling reason forced the ‘Pretty Boy’ out of retirement and to fight again. And boxing fans were so glad with the news. Immediately, talks of the encounter between him and Manny Pacquiao began. The clincher is the guaranteed purse of forty million ($40M) or more for both fighters! But Floyd suddenly turned from an undefeated boxer into a powerful and dictating boxing commissioner who wanted to lord it over all the United States Athletic Commissions. He demanded random blood testing to ensure that Manny Pacquiao is not taking performance enhancing drugs. Yes, he and his glib-talking father and uncle seriously believed that the Pacman derives his great boxing abilities from drugs and, more ridiculously, even from some ethnic voodoo rituals. But the truth is that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. never wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao at all because he is afraid. He is afraid of being beat and beaten badly. He is afraid even at the thought of a sudden knock-down in a round and the knock-out that may sooner or later ensue which he already has known and admitted that he has no way of avoiding except to duck the fight itself.
Juan Manuel Marquez went down three times at the hands of the Pacman in the first round, but went on to even the score in the end. The fight was a draw which one of the judges admitted was won by Pacquiao if he did not err in giving him a 10-7 score which should have been 10-6. Now, should Mayweather get knocked-down three times in the first round by Manny Pacquiao, is it possible for Floyd to recover and carry on up to eleven more rounds? The indisputable presumption is that he cannot, and he will definitely get knocked-out.
But Floyd and company remembered, or perhaps he was told by somebody that Manny lost to Erik Morales in their first encounter because he underwent blood testing two days or so before the fight. Manny said that the blood extracted from him was much more than was required because they had to do it again when the blood samples they first took were allegedly misplaced or got mixed up somewhere. In that fight, Manny suffered a deep cut above his eyebrow early in the fifth round due to a head butt. The blood continued to flow profusely until the end. And Manny lost the fight. Erik was able to withstand the accurate shots of Pacquiao because he had been unjustly weakened by the loss of blood. And a stipulation in the fight contract even prescribed that both fighters use the thickly-padded Winning gloves instead of the Cleto Reyes obviously to soften the impact of Pacquiao’s vaunted power punches. Without these unfair fight conditions that prejudiced the chances of a Pacquiao victory, Erik Morales is bound to lose. And this had been proven beyond any doubt in their next two encounters without the blood tests: Manny knocked-out Morales with his Cleto Reyes gloves and without the superfluous blood testing, first in the tenth round, and then in the third. And Erik Morales has never suffered defeat in such manner throughout his boxing career.
This burning desire to remain unbeaten squeezes, mangles, and compresses the brain of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. into all kinds of impossible and impractical demands just to avoid a confrontation with Manny Pacquiao in the ring. He knows for sure that his chances of surviving the vaunted Pacquiao exquisite boxing skills are between zero and nil. He is now asking a guaranteed purse of a whopping $100 million dollars to fight the Pacman. Floyd’s idea is simple: to remain unbeaten, avoid the fighter who can beat him. And he is fully convinced that Pacquiao will beat him badly. $100 million dollars will certainly keep him a million miles away from the Pacman.
Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao is indeed the greatest boxer that ever lived. He had challenged the champions one after the other, from the flyweight to the welterweight divisions. He took their belts away. He is a proven gentleman, humble, clean, and God-fearing person in and out of the ring. He does not boast nor glorify himself. He does his job perfectly well, always seeking divine providence in all his pursuit. But he is fierce, courageous, powerful, and determined inside the ring. Notice how his facial expression changes – from that winning smile to a serious looking gladiator – when the bell rings to start the fight. And when finally his hands are raised in victory, he always looks up above to thank the Real One who has given it to him. Never was Manny heard to say before any of his fights that he will beat his next opponent or claim that he is the best fighter there is. Rather, he always says that he prepared well and trained hard and promises to give the fans the fight they will enjoy.
Every good boxer, more so those who have made a name for themselves as fighters to watch out for in big fights, prepare for their next fights by studying the moves and styles of their next opponents, watching videos of their past matches. And most of the boxers who were pitted against Manny Pacquiao did the same. And so they prepare and plan the strategies and techniques that they must carry out when they get in the ring with him. But all that changes into confusion and surprise when they suddenly feel the power of the Pacquiao shot. And the well-planned offense is thrown out of the ring altogether by the fighter who must now do his best to defend himself and avoid the next blows. Every fighter who gets in the ring with Pacquiao is overshadowed with fear the moment he gets hit. And Pacquiao does not just hit once or a few, but with very many, fast, and heavy blows that come from all directions. And the boxer who has sown such fear in the heart and mind of his opponent always wins. He is Manny Pacquiao.
But Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is filled with great fear in his mind and heart even before he goes up in the ring with Manny. He definitely dreads the thought of feeling his punches raining his face and body. His uncle/trainer, his father, and his whole bunch of training hands can plan and devise strategies and techniques down to the smallest details on how to defend and attack the Pacman to ensure a win. But they are all led to a tall and heavy blind wall which prevents them from finding out how fast and powerful the Pacman’s punch really is. If Floyd almost went down in the second round with the less powerful Shane Mosley shot, the only conclusion is that the Pacman punch is devastating. And smart that he is, Floyd will never try to take the chance which is not there at all for him against Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a travesty of the great world boxing champions of the past and the present. He has made a mockery of greatness. He ducks and runs away when the time comes to prove his self-claimed greatness. And if so many boxing fans pay their way to see his fights, it is only because they wanted to see him lose.
Manny has been saying all along that he is not stupid. Surely he can prove that by simply ignoring this humbug, slanderous, and worthless pug. Manny must stick to his guns. He must dictate the terms of the fight rather than give in to the whims of this pretentious boxer. His terms must only be: take it or leave it. Floyd and company cannot possibly find another challenge that can earn for him such a huge paycheck. Still, that possibility is in the hands of Manny to either give or deny him. So, why in heaven’s name, should Floyd claim the authority to dictate the rules?
Manny Pacquiao earns dollars and mostly spends pesos. And the millions of dollars he has made now amounts to billions of pesos. But Floyd earns dollars and spends even more dollars. Floyd will always need a lot of cash for his extravagant and foolish way of life. But Manny is well secured financially, emotionally, and spiritually with his family and friends. Her wife, mother, and close relatives believe and imploringly desire that he hang up his gloves and devote his time serving his needy constituents as their elected representative in the Philippine congress. They all truly love him in all honesty and goodness of purpose. And so they wished for him to retire from boxing while he is strong and healthy. Perhaps Manny is still being lured by the megabucks which, to seriously think about it, he already has. Or it could be that Manny really finds it so difficult to refuse those whom he considered as friends. He is saying that he is fighting once more because he wanted to satisfy the yearning of his fans and supporters. But what he failed to consider is that the fans will not be satisfied with the outcome of this fight with Mayweather as they had not been in the fight with Clottey. It could even be worse than that.
Manny need not even fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at all if only to satisfy the yearning of boxing fans to find out which one is really the best. Manny is the best and he has proven it in all his fights. And those who will deny this fact do not understand what boxing is all about. Why should Manny give in to Floyd’s ridiculous demands? Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a travesty, a counterfeit. Manny is the real one. No matter how many times they fight it out in the ring, the real one will always outshine and outclass the counterfeit. Floyd will run, duck, wrestle, and use all his dirty tricks just to avoid the punches. And he cannot throw his own doing these unruly tactics. And the people will go home shaking their heads for spending their time and money watching such a boring fight. Why take the chance with a loud-mouthed phony that will certainly resort to anything just to survive? Floyd is a big lie. But Manny is God-fearing. He is the real one, the greatest Filipino boxer that ever lived in this chaotic world of boxing.
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