The two biggest stars in boxing are still on a collision course, but they’ve been on it for quite a while. The return of Floyd Mayweather, JR., 41-0, 25 KO’s, to boxing is enough to get excited over and gives us that ray of hope that he may finally return to the ring to face Manny Pacquiao.
On September 17th, Mayweather will face off against WBC Welterweight Champion, Victor Ortiz, 29-2-2, 22 KO’s, and the fight makes sense. Ortiz is a gutsy fighter that is aggressive and has plenty of holes in his defense. He proved too strong for Andre Berto, the former champ, but he also climbed off the floor himself to win the fight. Ortiz is a strong southpaw and will be looking to shock the world by knocking out a possibly rusty Mayweather, but the odds are stacked against him.
Ortiz, although he is a champion, is a tune up fight for Floyd. He’s been out of the ring for over a year and would not take on Pacquiao in his first fight back.
Pacquiao, 53-3-2, 38 KO’s, will be taking on old foe, Juan Manuel Marquez, 52-5-1, 38 KO’s, on November 12th, which will be their third encounter. The first time they met, it was a brutal affair with Marquez climbing off of the floor three times in the first round to control the majority of the fight down the stretch, earning a draw. In the rematch, Marquez would do very well, but Pacquiao would eke by with a split decision. Considering the domination that Pacquiao has shown over his recent opposition, this is very impressive and there are those that want Manny to put an exclamation point on his relationship with Marquez, ending the trilogy in dominant fashion. Marquez is a live underdog, but I, along with most, expect Manny to win.
So, Floyd wins in September and becomes the WBC Welterweight Champion, and Manny wins in November, holding onto his WBO Welterweight Title, which would be the perfect opportunity for a title unification bout in a bout that will hopefully prove worth the wait.
The big question is: What will motivate Floyd to step into the ring with Manny? There were rumors that he was offered 65 million dollars to do so, which he quickly denied. Recent interviews show that Floyd has some interest in the fight, but he also must realize that this is the most dangerous fight of his career. Pacquiao has looked great in recent outings and beat Shane Mosley just as impressively has Mayweather. Some would argue that he one upped him, nearly making Sugar Shane quit.
Floyd did beat Juan Manuel Marquez with ease, but it was a situation where style made the fight, and the counter-puncher turned aggressor had no chance against Floyd. He ate him up and spit him out. It didn’t help that Marquez was the much smaller man either. This was a mismatch from the start.
Style makes fights and the aggressive Pacquiao would be a tough match for Floyd and vice versa. There are arguments to be made by either side and nobody could predict what will happen when that opening bell rings. What excites people about this fight is that finally there is somebody on Floyd’s level. We don’t know if he can beat him, but he’s got a shot.
Floyd has his hands full in September. Make no mistake, Ortiz knows what this fight means to his career. He brought his A game in his win over Berto and will have to bring that and more when he faces Mayweather, but if he is aggressive and can withstand the incoming, we may have a huge upset on our hands, or maybe just a better fight then what many of us envision.
Here we go again. The Mayweather-Pacquiao tease. Let’s hope that by December we are talking about the signed fight. Boxing needs this and the fans deserve it.