The biggest fight in boxing is finally happening. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are days away from stepping into the boxing ring and proving once and for all who is the better fighter. But this won’t be a historic event, unless you’re focusing on the amount of money to be made from the fight.
Why? Because this fight should have happened four or five years ago. Now? Obviously, it’s wrong to complain. Better late than never, almost every time. But from two of the greatest fighters and by far the best pound-4-pound boxers in the last 10 or 15 years going at it in what people would love to call ‘the fight of the century’ just because it’s a catchy nickname, we have two guys who are far from their best, trying to milk the cow one last time before it’s over for them.
Don’t get me wrong: Mayweather is undefeated, but he’s no longer unhittable or perfect defensively. Marcos Maidana managed to catch him a few times in the first fight between the two. Mayweather is still the cautious fighter he always was, waiting for his opponents to tire out trying to solve his defense before starting to dominate with straight rights that don’t have a lot of power behind them.
He’s just not perfect anymore, although his decline might not be enough for Pacquiao, also far from his prime when it comes to ferocity, speed and power. Mayweather did lose one fight in his career, the first Castillo bout, but got the benefit of the doubt from the scoring cards. Pacquiao suffered from these scorecards in a loss to Timothy Bradley, although he did get his revenge in dominating fashion later on.
Now is the time for trash talking but regardless of what happens in the fight, who wins and loses, everyone wins because of the PPV numbers, the gate receipts and the fattening bank accounts of everyone involved. This is going to be a spectacle, but probably not as good of a boxing classic as it should have been if it had happened in 2010 or 2011.
Egos got in the way. Maybe fear of defeat as well. Eventually it happened. Mayweather stopped ducking. Maybe he realized he can beat Pacquiao after years of trying to figure out how. That’s the theory anyway; that Mayweather don’t go to a fight he isn’t 100% sure he can win. Or maybe it’s simply money that was too hard to turn down when careers are so close to coming to an end.