So far this summer, I’ve taken some time off from the boxing article writing. My beloved Managing Editor, Geno McGahee, has been quite patient with me. But aside from the September 8th bout between Ward and Dawson and perhaps I can build up some excitement for the Chavez JR vs. Martinez bout, I thought, I’m not the only one taking time off. I went onto Boxrec.com and there, in the rankings, I got a reminder about the Bradley – Pacquiao bout. Ah, I thought, it has been quiet for those two. In their last bout, ineffective (or lopsided) judging came to light, and much like MMA these days, bouts should never be left to the judges – should be a KO or TKO.
So, when in search of boxing article inspiration, I do a quick Google search and came upon this link about Bradley possibly fighting Pacquiao in a rematch for November. I thought, wow, it’s finally happening, a rematch. Then I went down further, the word ‘scared’ stopped me cold. That’s a fighting word – literally with no pun intended.
While I used to play the match-up game rather well, it’s becoming more and clearer that the fights that need to happen are not happening. It used to be that Pacquiao could pretty much have his pick of whomever he wanted to fight and it would always be the best match-up possible. As I’ve written in previous articles, Pacquiao is the premier boxer in the world. However, with time and actively fighting, the first loss was going to be a dear one. Pacquiao has met every challenger and has improved his boxing over the course of 10 years. Pacquiao is, truly the best pound for pound welterweight. But, as others have argued, Mayweather, JR has yet to be tested. And now, of course, Bradley is the third champion making the ‘pound for pound’ welterweight division to be truly comprised of three different champions. You know my theory on this. I’ve always looked at Pacquiao as the reign supreme in the welterweight division.
Mayweather is undefeated and rightly needs to get into the ring. There hasn’t been much said between the three fighters. But, as I refer to the article, Bradley would surely like to get the rematch set into contract. If not, it’s more than likely he could fight Mayweather JR. And well, I’ll admit this, I’ll readily watch that bout. But only a week later after the PPV.
So, let’s get to my game of match-up. Remember, November is the projected date of a boxing title bout.
Scenario #1 – Bradley vs. Pacquiao
Given that it truly was a bout of some ‘questionable’ judging, a rematch must and should be made. It wasn’t the best fight for either fighter. The 24/7 hype and my loyalty to Pacquiao led me to believe he was going really take it to Bradley. I also believe that Pacquiao had more to prove in this bout. No matter what, the Bradley – Pacquiao bout simply wasn’t the hype of the expected Pacquiao – Mayweather, JR bout. So, as far as Scenario #1 goes, Bradley vs. Pacquiao rematch? It should be the only really fight to happen.
Scenario #2 – Bradley vs. Mayweather, JR
Mayweather, JR, in all his trash talking, I need only mention a couple of things. In all his calling out, he never made the PREMIER fight against Pacquiao happen. Do I blame him? Yes, because as he claims he’s the fighter that everyone wants to see, he’s the fighter that everyone pays to see, everyone wants to see him against Pacquiao … so, Floyd, why didn’t you make the fight happen? Second, it will not make for an exciting fight. Bradley has power, sure, but it’s not power that can necessarily break through Mayweather’s tight defense and swift hand speed. Mayweather, JR does not tussle and makes his opponents look foolish against his fighting style. Mayweather, JR has an excellent sense of the ring as well as taking the fight away from his opponent. Prediction for this bout? Mayweather, JR in twelve rounds, unanimous decision, but a knockout? No. Bradley gets a head-butt maybe, but we all know what might happen should an opponent do anything sneaky against Floyd. Just ask Victor Ortiz.
But here’s my personal favorite and the very obvious one that needs to be made:
Scenario #3 – Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, JR.
It’s been far too quiet for both fighters. As I mentioned, the only word I heard was from Bradley – SCARED. Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, JR brings up a couple of interesting possibilities, and sadly, let’s just already call it that the fight has lost its edge – financial edge anyway. Two promoters. Two boxers. Four parties as to making the fight NOT happen. How is this even possible that two promoting companies, two boxers, camps, whatever, cannot agree on a fight that’s been talked about for over 2 years? We’re talking about a boxing match. I have no clue as to what either boxer is thinking, but maybe, it could be a swan song for both Pacquiao and Mayweather, JR. I don’t know how either of them can have the other as the question mark of the opponent they never faced. A boxer cannot allow this. Pacquiao should not retire with a loss. Mayweather, JR should not retire without settling the question, in his own mind, once and for all, did he have the skill to beat EVERYONE worth beating in his weight class and in his career?
Finally, I’d like to add, that Bradley is right on with the word – SCARED. The three championship fighters, Bradley, Mayweather, JR, and Pacquiao – are perhaps SCARED. All three are uncertain as to their boxing paths. All three are silent as to where the choices lie with their boxing careers. Scared is a great word, but really, it’s fear. Fear of the unknown that three boxing paths are all converging. Who will emerge? Who will decide to fight? For all three, it’s time they all meet so it can be settled. It’s an exciting time to be a welterweight – let’s just hope that the boxing triumvirate of Bradley, Mayweather, JR, and Pacquiao all boldly make moves and release their fear, fight, and let the true fighter and boxing champion emerge.