By John F. McKenna (McJack)
After his controversial victory over WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KO’s) on November 12 the perception of many boxing fans changed about the possible outcome of a showdown between WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s).
Before November 12 many boxing observers gave “Pacman” an excellent chance to defeat Floyd using his rapid combinations, lateral movement and power punches that took their toll on so many of his previous opponents. But everything changed after Manny struggled for 12 rounds against Marquez, a fight many boxing fans think Pacquiao lost.
For the 3rd time Marquez was able to baffle Manny with his style. Despite the supposedly new and improved version of Pacquiao, Juan seemed to land the more effective punches although statistically, Manny landed more punches.
When Marquez stepped up to welterweight in 2009 to fight Mayweather he was easily dominated as Floyd pitched a near shutout. Mayweather’s defensive and counter punching skills are far superior to Marquez’, the same attributes Juan used so successfully against Manny. Using that reasoning the perception of many boxing fans is that Mayweather would easily dominate Pacquiao.
If Pacquiao and Mayweather ever manage to meet in the ring and “Pacman” pulls out a victory, with his good guy image, he will be hailed universally as a conquering hero. Manny is already a hero in his native Philippines, but in the event he defeats “Money” Mayweather, who cultivates the bad boy image, Pacquiao will truly achieve superstar status all over the world.
For Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the other hand, while a victory over Manny Pacquiao would be satisfying, the perception is that it is a fight he should have won anyway. He would not receive the same accolades that Manny would.
Timing as they say is everything. The sands of time are quickly running out for a Mayweather – Pacquiao fight. Manny is now 33 years old and he has been in a lot of wars. Floyd will be 35 in February and will soon start to slow down, even if only by a fraction of a second.
Both fighters must push to make the Dream Match happen. Whether they care to admit it or not the question of what might have been will forever haunt their legacies if they never engage in the ring.
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