Mayweather’s last chance at greatnessBy Sev Sarmenta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LET’S take the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao here-today, gone-tomorrow boxing spectacular from the perspective of the American.
Understandably, the bulk of the columns about this potential blockbuster have the best interests of our Filipino champion at heart. He’s our champion and we want him to stay at the top for as long as reasonably possible.
I believe that it will take a while before another Filipino champion as great as Pacquiao tickles our collective imagination and stirs national pride that, yes, the Filipino can be a world-renowned sports superstar.
His place in our sports history and that of world boxing is secure. No one has demolished Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito like Pacquiao.
Of course, there’s the nagging issue of Juan Manuel Marquez, the great contra pelo, the one fighter that dances well with Pacquiao.
Well, there’s a fourth fight this December. Even if it appears like Pacquiao is bored with the idea, at least he’ll get another chance to finally get rid of the pesky Mexican.
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But back to Mayweather.
It is so difficult to explain why Mayweather cannot come to terms with Pacquiao despite Manny’s new offers for the engagement: Lower pay, random testing whenever Mayweather wants and a smaller piece of the pay-per-view pie.
It is a brash superiority complex that we cannot comprehend, why this smaller man from the Philippines is the one the world seems to rally behind and not him.
There is no question about the superb boxing skills of Mayweather, abilities that have kept his record unscathed to date. He can dart and slam with lightning-quick jabs and wicked combinations.
His defense is impeccable, able to fend off attackers with lateral movement and evasive tactics.
Mayweather is no doubt a great champion but he could be a bigger name, a legend perhaps, if he steps into the ring with Pacquiao.
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But no. The fear of the unbeaten record being blemished is a specter that refuses to go away.
The Mayweather camp cannot ignore the fact that one shot—yes, one shot—could send their champion to the canvass and embed the horror of one defeat for the rest of their lives.
The fight is for Mayweather to make, for all the money that’s on the table and the chance of becoming a truly unforgettable champion. He should just beat Pacquiao and end all doubts about his status.
But then again, that record.
What if… Oh well, that seems to really get in the way of this big fight happening.
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