Manny Pacquiao’s less than impressive majority decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez nine days ago changed the whole scenario of debate regarding the Floyd Mayweather fight. From Manny Pacquiao being the one who wants the fight and Mayweather ducking/avoiding him, it’s impressionable that the opposite may be true, to a certain extent.
The third Marquez fight was just as close as the previous two. Manny Pacquiao, just as Freddie Roach predicted, had to win the last two rounds in order to win the fight. He did, and it barely got him the win. A bit more attack from an exhausted Marquez in those final six minutes, and it would have been a draw. However, Roach never anticipated the first 10 rounds – I can’t believe I was so f*****g wrong. I thought we were going to walk right through him. I thought he was going to come in with all that muscle, try to bang with Manny and he would get him out of there. But I honestly thought we needed to win those last two rounds to win the fight.
Marquez proved more than one thing that night, but mostly this – Great footwork and counter-punching, and even more importantly, showing no fear of Pacquiao, will get you good results. Maybe he fought a little dirty, with stepping on Pacquiao’s feet? Maybe. It doesn’t really matter. Manny Pacquiao didn’t impress and looked for the first time in a long long time.
What does this mean about the Mayweather fight? From a boxing standpoint, we still haven’t heard Floyd’s reaction to the fight. And we probably will at some point. The Marquez fight has changed some P-4-P rankings on some websites, moving Mayweather to number one. And there’s a growing fear that Pacquiao isn’t ready for Mayweather. The problem seems to be within the Pacquiao camp, and the differing opinions on who to fight next.
Bob Arum, a promoter, thinks about money. Long term money. He knows Manny Pacquiao will quit Boxing in a few years time, moving on to Philippines politics. He needs to squeeze out as many profitable fights as possible. A potential loss is bad for business. A fourth fight against Marquez? Excellent. They made almost 12 million dollars from tickets and the PPV numbers will probably be somewhere between 1.2-1.5 million buys. Another rematch might be ever bigger.
I won’t say Freddie Roach prefers Floyd Mayweather Jr. I’ll say he doesn’t want Marquez again. Manny Pacquaio doesn’t gain anything from those fights, with more and more to lose each time he steps into the ring with the Mexican who clearly has Manny’s number. Roach knows he needs to draw up a whole new fight-plan, whoever the next opponent is. Manny’s tendencies to step into right hands were well observed.
Mayweather isn’t a counter puncher like Marquez, but he’s got the footwork, the confidence and the skills to take advantage of the smallest weakness. However, the May 5 due date set by Mayweather is intriguing. Every fight fan wants to see it, and fighting anyone else might get that showdown cancelled, with Mayweather not wanting to take on Pacquiao after a loss.
Back to the organizers. Arum, promoting Pacquiao, and Oscar De La Hoya, the man Manny Pacquiao sent into retirement, promoting Mayweather. According to Golden Boy, Bob Arum’s simply afraid. He’s the one who’s stopping it from happening. Bob Arum doesn’t want to see the fight happen. Our side, meaning Golden Boy and Floyd Mayweather, he wants the fight, we want the fight. Mayweather has his date for the fifth of May next year. He wants the biggest fight out there. He wants Pacquiao, there’s no doubt about that. It would be very unfortunate if this fight could not be made because of Bob Arum.
Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s conditioning coach, says it’s all up to the fighter – It’s like Freddie says, Manny has to push for the fight. if Bob says he doesn’t care what Freddie said, well, he should care because it’s Freddie’s fighter and Freddie knows what his fighter wants: Mayweather.
The only reasons to fight Marquez are financial ones. Boxing has to be more than just about money. Hey, he’s going to make a megaton of dollars from fighting Mayweather. A win over Floyd would mean so much, and it might be a great way to leave the sport, if he actually wants to. Pacquiao – Marquez IV would be good. Pacquiao – Mayweather would be legendary.