What will it take to get Floyd Mayweather, JR., 42-0, 26 KO’s, and Manny Pacquiao, 54-3-2, 38 KO’s, into the ring? Bob Arum has been playing defense, not allowing the fight to materialize out of fear that his money machine will lose and he will lose out, but the fighters both seem to finally want to settle it. More than that, Freddie Roach, the trainer of Pacquiao, has opened up to ESPN and is now demanding the fight: “I want the fight bad,” he noted. “It’s definitely a challenge, and we need to challenge Manny to get him motivated. He doesn’t get motivated for ordinary guys, and Mayweather isn’t an ordinary guy.”
The fight, at one time, was the hottest thing in boxing, and although it still may hold that distinction, the interest isn’t what it once was. The people have been teased twice and we’ve seen the fighters take on lesser opponents in the meantime. They have both been successful, but the number one position in boxing needs to be settled and it won’t be unless they face each other in the ring.
Floyd is on the verge of a jail sentence and wants to get that fight in prior to his time away. He has May 5th open, but the majority of the people are not buying that Pacquiao’s name will be written in.
There are two opponents being thrown around now as a potential Manny foe: Miguel Cotto and Timothy Bradley. Neither man poses much of a threat. Cotto already lost via knockout to Pacquiao and Bradley doesn’t have the punch to worry him. Roach’s concerns about Manny not getting motivated for fights will be in high gear here. How can he get motivated for a guy moving up in weight with no punch and a guy that he’s already easily destroyed?
Mayweather has been very vocal about his wanting to face Manny. He’s called him out on Twitter and has called him a “punk,” but the fight is still not materializing. It’s hard to believe that Pacquiao doesn’t want the fight. It’s easy to believe that Bob Arum sees that his fighter would most likely lose and is avoiding it. He has advised Floyd to have a “tune up” fight, but Floyd fights once a year and is going to jail soon…so he knows that his advice is meaningless. It’s now or never, again, for this fight.
The word now is that Manny and his team will have a decision by Monday as to what they will do. All of you boxing fans that are waiting by the newspaper vending machines and the sports websites for the decision, prepare to be disappointed. Unless Pacquiao and Roach put their foot down and tell Arum that they will fight Floyd or they will retire, we will get a Cotto or a Bradley. Let’s hope they stand their ground and do what’s right for boxing.