Manny Pacquiao is back. I was one of those that felt Pacman did more than enough two years ago to beat Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (116-112 on my scorecard) but after the Filipino’s devastating knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez later that year, I began to wonder if it might be all over for the 35-year old.
The incredible hand speed that Pacquiao is renowned for was not all entirely there against Bradley second time around but the southpaw remains quick. This time the judges got it right with two 116-112’s and a 118-110 to the new WBO Welterweight champion. For what it’s worth I scored it 117-113 after feeling a couple of the early rounds were fairly even in Las Vegas. During the second half of the bout there was only one man in the ring for my money.
Speaking of currency, will the much-called for “Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather” fight now, at long last, materialise? Probably not.
Money Mayweather is in the middle of a six-fight deal with Showtime where the 37-year old claims to be giving the fans the fights they want to see. A bout between the undefeated world champion and the eight-division world champion from the Philippines is what everyone wants to see. However for a variety of reasons it has not.
The pair was set to meet on March 13, 2010 at the MGM Grand in Vegas. However owing to disagreements over Olympic-style drug testing it never happened. Mayweather wanted random blood testing but Pacquiao refused any such testing within 30 days of the fight. It came across and still does seem like an easy way out for Mayweather, who seems hell bent on maintaining his unbeaten record and not jeopardising it one iota.
In my opinion if the two did meet right now it would be the American that would win the day. Pacquiao’s greatest asset is his hand speed and while certainly not diminished, it is starting to fade; he would have a hard time coming up against arguably the greatest defensive fighter of all time.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao probably should have happened around 2008/09 with a rematch around 2010/11 and possibly the trilogy could have completed itself this year. Unfortunately boxing is the loser although it is not as if the sport has been deprived of great fights in the past. George Foreman never fought Earnie Shavers. Sugar Ray Leonard and Aaron Pryor never stepped into the same ring and we never saw “Big Daddy” Riddick Bowe take on Lennox Lewis.
There are of course countless other examples of great fights that never were. For now, let us enjoy Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, while we still have him fit, healthy and capable of mixing it with men rated as highly by The Ring as Timothy Bradley. As it stands Pacman has a superb professional career record of 56 wins, five defeats and two draws. Whether he had won, lost or drawn against Bradley second time around, or whether he ever gets it on with Mayweather, his place in the annals of boxing is already secure.