By: Martin Cruz Jr.
Country: Philippines (General Santos City)
Record: 53W-3L-2D (38KOs)
Ranking: Pound for Pound King, WBO Welterweight World Champion
Achievements: Eight (8) Division World Champion; 10 times World Champion; First boxer to receive Diamond Belt Award; First boxer to become a Congressman
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Country: USA (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Ranking: Number Two Pound for Pound, WBC Welterweight Champion
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. are respectively recognized as the first and the second pound for pound boxers today. But these two great boxers have never met at all on top of the ring to prove to the boxing world which one should turn out to be the best. Floyd used to be at the top, being the pound for pound king for some time, holding an unbeaten fight record of 39 wins with 25 KOs. And then, for reasons all his own, he went into retirement, leaving the pound for pound title vacant. That was in 2007, after he knocked out Ricky Hatton in the 10th round, retaining his WBC Welterweight title.
On the other side of the ring, also in 2007, Manny Pacquiao was campaigning in the featherweight division. April 14, 2007 saw him winning via an 8th round KO over Jorge Solis in San Antonio, Texas. And then he won in 12 rounds over Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas on October 6, 2007.
In 2008, Manny Pacquiao won the WBC Super Featherweight title from Juan Manuel Marquez via a split decision. Three months later, on June 28, he challenged David Diaz’ Lightweight belt and knocked him out in the ninth round. Next, he demolished Oscar De La Hoya in eight rounds on December 6, 2008 also in Las Vegas via TKO. On May 2, 2009, Manny annihilated Ricky Hatton in two rounds and then went on to grab the WBO welterweight belt of Miguel Cotto via a 12th round TKO on November 14, 2009.
Manny Pacquiao’s exquisite ring performance undoubtedly earned for him the title, pound for pound king, after Floyd Mayweather, Jr. left the scene. Manny Pacquiao held on to his many accolades and went on to defend his welterweight crown against Joshua Clottey on March 13, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. At the same venue, on November 10, 2010, Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito fought for the vacant WBC Light Middleweight title. Manny convincingly took the unanimous decision, sending Margarito to the hospital with a fractured bone around his right eye. Lastly, Manny fought in Las Vegas to defend his WBO welterweight crown against Shane Mosley. He handily won via another unanimous decision.
But Floyd came back. After eighteen (18) months, he came out of retirement, again for reasons all his own. The boxing fans were agitated to hear that Floyd will fight again. Disappointed and frustrated by his retirement, the fan’s hopes and expectations to see the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight happen was again a possibility. Boxing authorities, sportswriters and every boxing enthusiast are convinced that this most-anticipated boxing encounter between Manny and Floyd should be the biggest and the greatest money-making venture of all time.
And so, it was announced that Floyd was to fight Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marquez, who was campaigning in the Lightweight division, was to meet Floyd at welterweight. And he never stood a chance. Floyd won via a unanimous decision. Thereafter, the world was anxiously waiting. Eight months later, on May 1, 2010, fought Shane Mosley and again won a convincing unanimous decision. The fans saw Floyd being buckled by Mosley’s vaunted right hand in the third round, but that was all Shane could do.
Boxing news went around thereafter that next in line should be the Mayweather/Pacquiao encounter. There are reports of negotiations going on; but then there are those which state there are none. But again, unverified reports stated of negotiations being hampered by the fight purse: Mayweather wanted a 60/40 share in his favor which the Pacquiao team has rejected. There was even this idea of giving in to Floyd’s 60% purse and PPV share demand whereby the promoter or some interested party will provide the 10% for him while Pacquiao gets his full 50% purse and PPV share intact. All in all, the fight will entail a whopping eighty to a hundred million dollars to promote and happen. But that’s all there is to it. No signatures on the dotted line because there were no papers for the dotted lines to appear.
Months passed by. Now it can be told that Olympic style drug testing is what’s holding back the Mayweather/Pacquiao tiff. Mayweather’s earlier demand for random blood testing was first rejected by Manny Pacquiao but not without a justifiable reason. Pacquiao believed, as well as his team and his fans, that the blood-test he went through a couple of days before his first fight against Erik Morales was the reason why he lost. Mayweather and Mosley took the blood tests before they fought. Mayweather took it a day later or earlier than Mosley did eighteen days before the fight. So Manny, perhaps convinced by Bob Arum, had agreed to Floyd’s USADA drug testing via the blood and urine samples not less than fourteen (14) days before the fight and then right after the fight. But no word was heard from the Mayweather camp or from Floyd himself.
In the same welterweight division which WBO version has Pacquiao as current champion, there is Andre Berto holding the WBA belt with an impressive undefeated record of 28 wins, 22 coming by way of knockouts. That was the about same 27W and 22KO record that Victor Ortiz had, except that Ortiz has lost thrice and twice drawn his matches. The fight was a beauty and fans just loved the knock downs that both fighters suffered within the twelve grueling rounds. But the judges gave it to Ortiz, the boxer from hard knocks, who finally emerged as the new champion.
All of a sudden, news came out that Floyd will fight Ortiz. And it is true. The fight was to be held, as usual, in Las Vegas, Nevada of September 17, 2011 or sixteen (16) months after he fought Mosley. Incidentally, Floyd’s fights are mostly held in Las Vegas because the Nevada State Boxing Commission allows him to use that specific substance on his swelling hands which is otherwise banned by the rest of the boxing commissions.
During the promotional press tours, Floyd’s was his usual blabber-mouthing binges. He was so brave to declare that he ABSOLUTELY wanted to fight Pacquiao (Pacquiao has agreed to the blood-test). And then he was heard shouting: Pacquiao, you’re next! Perhaps he was then telling everybody that he is indeed looking past Victor Ortiz and looking forward to really, really meet Pacquiao on top of the ring. Even Pacquiao and his team were convinced that Floyd is fighting the southpaw in Ortiz in preparation to fight him, finally. And everybody involved in boxing were up and about in the thought and certain expectation that the world’s biggest boxing fight in history is about to take place, sooner or later after the Mayweather-Ortiz bout.
A couple of weeks before the Mayweather-Ortiz fight, I have been telling some friends that win or lose, Floyd will again hibernate and forget everything he said concerning his absolute longing to fight Pacquiao. I told them that his having said so is just his way of stirring fan interest in his upcoming fight.
The Mayweather-Ortiz fight was ugly. Ortiz clearly head-butted Floyd intentionally; and Floyd hit Ortiz with two consecutive left and rights intentionally while Victor’s hands were down, apologizing profusely to him. And Mayweather grabbed the WBC welterweight belt and again became the division’s legitimate champion. The Ring Magazine installed him back as the number two (2) Pound-for-Pound boxer, next only to Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, the reigning Pound-for-Pound King. And what then was Floyd saying a couple of days after the fight? “I DON’T NEED PACQUIAO! Me and Uncle Roger will be talking about our next move after I enjoy my vacation and my victory with my family and friends.” So, there goes the big encounter.
But the boxing fans can now sit back and forget about this hullabaloo of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight that they all dream to take place. That dream has become a nightmare which is best for all of us to forget. And the reason is unique: The self-claiming greatest boxer of his era who has never lost in forty-two fights is afraid to engage another fighter on top of the ring. How is it possible for Floyd to be scared of Manny after those many fights and victories? But that’s the truth. He is cowardly afraid simply because there is and there will never be any other reason we may think of. How can he refuse the biggest payday any boxer can ever get in his lifetime? Why should he hide behind the tall and thick wall of random blood-testing which can be done hours or minutes before the fight? What is wrong with taking the blood-test after the fight? If one wins the fight but fails the blood test, then the victory can be legally nullified and awarded to the other who passed the test. What, the hell, is wrong with that? If Floyd wanted it, he can even stipulate much heavier and stiffer penalties, even imprisonment, so as to clean the sport as he wanted.
But no: Floyd will not have anything to do with the Pacman. Floyd really does not need him in his life. How can he ever need someone whom he is so scared of despite the straightforward heckling of sportswriters that he is a coward? Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is actually imposing his will on Manny Pacquiao and everybody who are involved in making the super fight possible. He wanted everything to go his way. He wanted to have everything good that will come out of the fight; but he is giving it all away by his unreasonable demand: Random blood-testing at any time before the fight.
Here is part of an interview by Mr. Hans Olson of Boxing Insider.com with USADA’s Media Relations Manager Annie Skinner:
Late last week, I interviewed the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s Keith Kizer to discuss the ongoing saga that is the Mayweather/Pacquiao super-fight. In Keith’s interview, we got a feel for the negotiation process, and the matters blocking the fight from happening. The main issue, is Olympic-Style drug testing. There are varying reports that Manny Pacquiao will or won’t accept testing. I reached out to USADA to discuss in detail what their organization is all about. Although representation declined a telephone interview, USADA’s Media Relations Manager Annie Skinner provided answers to my questions below.
BoxingInsider.com: In simple terms, for fans who are unaware with USADA…can you outline in a few sentences how USADA differs from typical drug testing in sports?
Annie Skinner: The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is recognized by The U.S. Congress as the independent national anti-doping organization, for the Olympic movement in the United States. USADA’s mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and to protect the rights of athletes.
USADA is a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code, as are more than 600 governments, international sport federations, national Olympic committees, national anti-doping organizations, and other sport organizations around the world. USADA is the entity responsible for executing the independent anti-doping program for the Olympic and Paralympic movement, including the more than 40 sports governed by the national governing bodies for each sport. Many professional sport organizations in the U.S., including state boxing commissions are not signatories to the WADA Code, which means they have not adopted the same level of internationally accepted standards and that they conduct their programs in-house rather than through an independent entity.
BoxingInsider.com: Are there any other misconceptions you feel there are with Olympic Style testing?
Annie Skinner: Olympic-style testing refers to the gold standard anti-doping program outlined by the Code and International Standards as set forth by WADA, and that all Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes are subject to around the world. Fans should know that USADA’s primary goal is to protect the rights of athletes so they can be confident that any competition they participate in is clean, and that the outcome will be decided on who performed the best, not by who was taking the best drugs.
Source: BOXING INSIDER: www.boxinginsider.com
The would-be Mayweather/Pacquiao super fight is not an Olympic event. Floyd understands that it is certainly NOT. And thus must he also understand that Olympic style drug testing which require random blood and urine tests have not been adopted by many professional sport organizations in the U.S., including state boxing commissions who are not signatories to the WADA Code, which means they have not adopted the same level of internationally accepted standards and that they conduct their programs in-house rather than through an independent entity. It means that Floyd’s demand is irrational which can only be imposed to people who are subject under his power. He knows that Pacquiao is not his subject; that Pacquiao has every right to reject his demand; that the fight can never happen if he insisted. And most of all, Floyd is so certain that he do not need Pacquiao; that he is afraid to lose; and that he will surely lose if he faced Manny on top of the ring.
So the blood-test is in reality a mere scapegoat for Floyd Mayweather, Jr. not to fight Manny Pacquiao. Never mind the glory. Never mind history. Never mind the windfall purse. Never mind being branded a coward. Floyd is just obsessed in keeping his slate clean, undefeated after 42 cherry-picking fights. Actually, the Olympic blood test just crossed his mind when the time was ripe and everybody is clamoring for him to fight the Pound-for-Pound king. The fact that Pacquiao was blaming the blood tests conducted a day or two before his fight with Erik Morales has been in the news. Perhaps Floyd remembered that and took it as his only chance to duck the Pacman without being accused of cowardice. But Manny relented and agreed to the blood test fourteen (14) days before the fight and right after the fight.
Sorry, boxing fans! Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has just left the building. He does not need Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao to beat him in the ring; and beat him badly.
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