“POUND FOR POUND”: Will the Real Boxing Phenomenon, Please Report to the Ring!
Upon the complete dismantling of Victor Ortiz by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on the 17th of September in Las Vegas, we are once again mired in a never ending discussion: who most deserves the title of Pound for Pound best professional boxer?
Most pundits would agree that at this particular time there are really only two viable contenders for this crown; Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Floyd “Money” Mayweather is an undefeated, vilified welterweight with an impressive 42-0 record. At the age of 34, Floyd “Money” Mayweather seems to defiantly play by his own rules when it comes to who he fights, when he fights and his obliviousness to age. Additionally, he seems to revel in his bad boy image and glamorous lifestyle that is best explained by his nicknames “Pretty Boy” and “Money”.
Coming back after a 16-month layoff to score a controversial fourth round knockout against Ortiz to claim his fifth championship in five weight divisions, Mayweather further solidified his bad boy image by getting into a heated post-fight confrontation with longtime HBO fight analyst Larry Merchant. The encounter had the 80 year old Merchant so enraged that he proclaimed he would kick Mayweather’s you-know-what if he were 50 years younger. Hilarious!
After Mayweather angrily walked away from Merchant’s traditional post-fight interview, Merchant went on to proclaim his belief that Mayweather was afraid to answer the tough questions he knew were forthcoming concerning his refusal to fight Manny Pacquiao. Apparently, Mayweather has refused to fight Pacquiao unless he agrees to Olympic style drug testing leading up to a 14-day test free window prior to the fight and has intimated that Pacquiao is secretly a performance enhancing drug (PED) user. Pacquiao has agreed to a 24-day test free window prior to the fight suggesting that any drug testing performed could possibly weaken him. He has categorically denied all accusations of PED use and has filed a defamation of character law suit against Mayweather in response.
Unlike Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao is an unassuming likable champion that is a national hero in his homeland of the Philippines. With a phenomenal record of 53-3-2 in a career that has seen him defeat the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton; Pacquiao’s record speaks volumes for his right to be considered boxing’s Pound for Pound best. He was named the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Decade in the 2000’s and is boxing’s first eight division world champion. Not only is Pacquiao one of the two best fighters in the world in any weight class, he also serves as a Congressman in the Philippines and could quite possibly have a long and promising career in politics should he choose to pursue such an undertaking once his Hall-of-Fame career is complete.
So who indeed is the best? Is it the brash undefeated Mayweather or the beloved Philippino Senator? Will the speed and power of Pacquiao or the speed and counter punching skill of Mayweather be triumphant? Depending upon whether or not Pacquioa agrees to Mayweather’s adamant demand for Olympic style drug testing leading up to any proposed fight, we may never know. It’s all a matter of opinion for now and everyone seems to have one including yours truly.
For what it is worth, I personally believe that the hand speed, defensive skill and ring savvy of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will be more than enough to defeat Manny Paquiao. Up until this point, nobody has proven that they can beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Like him or not, it’s simply a fact. The man has defeated everyone that has stepped into the ring with him including every notable on Pacquiao’s list of conquered.
Manny “Pacman” Paquiao on the other hand has been defeated thrice albeit earlier in his career but he has been defeated none the less. He was knocked out in the third round by Rustico Torrecampo in 1996, knocked out in the third round by Medgoen Singsurat in 1999 and lost by a decision to Erik Morales in 2005, a loss which he avenged the next year with a tenth round TKO. In addition, Pacman has been fought to a draw by two opponents: Agapito Sanches and Juan Manuel Marquez.
On November, 21 2011, Manny Pacquiao will step into the ring to face Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time to complete a trilogy that has seen Pacquiao fight to a draw in 2004 and win in a split decision in 2008 against this nemesis. Should Pacquiao emerge victorious against Marquez, perhaps then the stage will be set for boxing fans to enjoy the fight that the world has been waiting for since “Pacman” defeated Miguel Cotto in 2009 by way of a twelfth round TKO. Hopefully the hurdles that have prevented these two titans of the “sweet science” from finally meeting in the ring can be worked out. Some have predicted that a Mayweather-Pacquiao mega-fight would be the most lucrative fight in the history of boxing. I for one would love to finally have put to rest the debate that has been deliberated without ceasing far too long now. Once and for all let’s find out in the ring who actually is the Pound for Pound king of boxing. I say it is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. What do you think?
Dean Nazaru McCray
Short URL: http://fesaadmag.com/?p=5571