One of the most powerful men in boxing and a man that has had a stake in many of the major fights of the last 15 years, Oscar De La Hoya, was reportedly quoted to say that the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather, JR., and Manny Pacquiao is “very close” to completion. A source close to Team Mayweather has also reported to RSR that the specifics have been ironed out and that the only thing that remains is the contract signing and subsequent announcement of the fight. Is it too good to be true?
After Pacquiao’s destruction of Miguel Cotto and Floyd’s dismantling of Juan Manuel Marquez, the two agreed to a showdown with big money on the line as well as the legacy of both men. Floyd Mayweather, SR., made an observation that turned the bout on its head. He suspected that Manny Pacquiao was on steroids.
Steroids are a problem in every competitive sport and it is not a surprise that it is rampant. With millions of dollars are at stake, people will go to extreme measures. Antonio Margarito is a good example of what a fighter will do to get the competitive edge, loading his hand wraps with plaster of Paris. There have also been consistent rumors that the late Diego Corrales and Marco Antonio Barrera have also implemented the loaded hand wraps throughout their careers.
Although loading gloves seems to be isolated incidents, steroid abuse is a much larger issue. James “Lights Out” Toney, the former middleweight, super middleweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight champion has tested positive for steroids on more than one occasion. Sugar Shane Mosley admitted using steroids, Fernando Vargas was banned temporarily after testing positive, Jameel McCline, Evander Holyfield, and the list goes on and on of the boxers reportedly “juicing.”
So will the steroids allegations make this fight a no-go again?
The issue isn’t the steroid testing, but the method in which the fighters are tested. Pacquiao’s claim is that the random Olympic style testing would drain him for the fight and I’m sure that they can cite Shane Mosley’s horrible performance against Mayweather in his last fight as evidence. Mayweather wants to employ this testing to overcome the boxers’ ability to avoid testing positive. Many know how to play the game and avoiding a positive test can be accomplished even as a user. That is the point of Team Mayweather and they have some ground to stand on.
Pacquiao may be his own worst enemy. His ability to climb weight divisions and apparently get stronger and more effective as he puts on pounds has raised some red flags, either justly or unjustly. Floyd, SR., watched on as Manny destroyed Miguel Cotto and made the allegation because of how great he looked in the ring. Cotto made some comments that he didn’t rule out that Pacquiao was on steroids and should agree to the Olympic testing.
Recently Kermit Cintron has come out and stated that Pacquiao’s jump in weight and physical appearance and strength suggest that he may be juicing. It is not just the Mayweathers suggesting this and should the fight come off and Manny win, the question will linger.
To save the fight of the century, Pacquiao should agree to the Olympic style testing, and with all the money on the line, it’s hard to fathom why he wouldn’t. What is interesting about the current negotiations is that this point has apparently not thrown a wrench in the works just yet. You can draw the conclusion that this situation, the only situation that prevented them from fighting earlier, has been resolved one way or another.
Because of the gag order put into place to protect this fight’s negotiations from outside influence, mum is the word, but De La Hoya gave everyone a small window into the ongoing talks. This fight is worth far too much money for it not to happen and there hasn’t been a fight of this magnitude in years. Arguably, the last fight that can compare to this was the showdown in 1999 between undefeated welterweight champions: Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya. The anticipation was at an all time high and now, I believe it to be even higher for this showdown. It has everything that you would want as a boxing fan.
Floyd Mayweather, JR., has been responsible for some of the biggest selling pay per view events, and that is a testament to his ability to market himself. He has become the new Muhammad Ali. He is the man that you want to see lose…you want to see somebody shut his mouth, which is why a guy that is a defensive whiz with a mediocre punch can sell out arenas. His showdowns with Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Shane Mosley were incredible successes. There aren’t many that go into these bouts hoping to see a defensive display. They hope that the opponent at least gives Floyd some scares and tests him because he is so much superior, or perceived to be superior, then all of the other pugilists in the game today.
Manny Pacquiao, the #2 pay per view attraction according to the numbers, earned his popularity through his performance in the ring. He is one of those fighters that love to fight. When he gets hit, he likes it, and becomes more aggressive. He has beaten up on many Mexican legends like Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Erik Morales (2 out of 3 times) and Juan Manuel Marquez. He is one of only two men to stop Oscar De La Hoya (the other being a middleweight, Bernard Hopkins), outworked tough guy Joshua Clottey, and beat Miguel Cotto into submission. He is the Mike Tyson of today. You wonder just what can stop him…this is why a showdown with Floyd is necessary.
I don’t think that there are many that argue that Floyd and Manny are #1 and #2 pound for pound best in the world…you may argue which occupies top spot, but they are there at the two positions. Style-wise, this fight is perfect with an aggressor with lighting speed going against the defensive master with perfect timing.
The biggest fight in recent history is coming people. There isn’t much that can stop it now. Oscar De La Hoya let it slip that we are close to a deal and we have an alternate source that contacted RSR revealing that Oscar wasn’t off base. Floyd Mayweather, JR., will take on Manny Pacquiao in November, most likely in Las Vegas. There is no bigger fight.