By Clive Bernath: The two main talking points being discussed by boxing fans the world over following Floyd Mayweather Jr’s win against Shane Mosley last weekend is should he now be ranked above Manny Pacquiao as the pound for pound No.1 boxer on the planet, and will he and Pacquiao face each other in the ring anytime soon?
I must admit I was in a bit of a dilemma after watching Floyd so impressively dismantle Mosley because even although I’d tipped Floyd to win on points, I never realised he’d do such a thorough job. And because Floyd did a great job I’m sure boxing websites and magazine editors all round the world will be having as much trouble as me making a decision as to who is now boxing’s No.1.
For the record when Floyd made the decision to retire after beating Ricky Hatton in December 2007 Manny Pacquiao was installed as the industry’s accepted p4p king shortly after beating Marco Antonio Barrera before stepping up in weight to destroy David Diaz and claim the WBC lightweight crown. Pacman’s reign as p4p king seemed pretty much the right decision but not everyone was totally convinced. But when he moved north in weight once again to crush the much bigger Oscar De La Hoya ( rtd 8), Ricky Hatton (ko 2) and Miguel Cotto (tko 12), Pacman’s No.1 status was never in question.
However, when, as expected, ‘Money’ Mayweather announced he was ‘coming out of retirement’ to face Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny’s inherited p4p crown was duly threatened. Clearly out-pointing the much smaller Mexican warrior was not enough to convince anyone Floyd should rightly reclaim his No.1 status but last weekend’s win over Mosley has got us all thinking again. Granted, Mosley had Floyd dancing around the ring like a drunk on a Friday night for a moment or two in the second round but from then on Floyd regrouped, controlled the fight and handed a still very capable Shane Mosley a boxing lesson.
Lets be honest, it’s a tough call as to who can legitimately lay claim to the No.1 slot, right?
Both men are totally different fighters, one is a strong aggressive big puncher crowd pleasing pocket dynamo while the other is an incredibly sound defensive master, that possesses boxing skills second to none and has the ability to control the pace of a fight on his terms, When you analyze the aforementioned it does appear very difficult to separate them, and when you throw in the fact that both possess lightening fast hand speed the decision becomes almost impossible to make. I suppose it boils do down to which style you prefer and value the most?
A decision of course has to be made, though, and rightly or wrongly SecondsOut has decided to leave ‘Pacman’ at No.1
Of course there is only one way to determine who the No.1 boxer on the planet is and that’s for Mayweather Jr and Pacquiao to settle it in the ring. We know the history by now. Mayweather Jr and Pacquiao had originally agreed to face each other last weekend. The venue was agreed, the split was agreed, in fact everything was agreed until Mayweather Jr and his team insisted both fighters should undergo random Olympic style blood testing in the run up to the fight. We know by now that Team Pacquiao refused this request, resulting in potentially the biggest fight in boxing history being scrapped. I won’t go into the ins and outs of what the demands were and what went on. The best thing to do is refer to Thomas Hauser’s excellent and very well researched article entitled Mayweather-Pacquiao,PEDs, And Boxing to fully understand the situation.
The bottom line is Mayweather Vs Pacquiao has to happen and it has to happen now, not just because both fighters are at their peak but because boxing needs this fight. Boxing needs this fight to happen simply because there is no other ‘Super Fight’ remotely as attractive at the present.
Unfortunately, it does not appear either camp looks like backing down regarding how the pre and post fight drug tests will be conducted so this could be the biggest fight in the history of boxing that never happen Ned.
The way I see it if Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr are to share a ring Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has come up with the most sensible option for the fight to happen if the two camps cannot find agreement. If the fight, which seems very likely to take place in Las Vegas, Arum believes the decision on how the pre and post fight drug tests is conducted should be decided by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
On December 26th 2009, Bob Arum declared in Thomas Hauser’s PED’s And Boxing article, “The Nevada commission is paid by the state to oversee this sort of thing. They’re the governing body. Let [the Mayweather side] make any petition it wants to the commission. If the commission wants to take blood, fine. If they go to the commission and they ask for blood tests and the commission says yes, we will do whatever the commission says.
“We will allow Golden Boy to present experts to the commission to explain why additional testing is required and we’ll explain our position. Then we’ll let the Nevada commission decide. If Nevada says we need to do more testing, we’ll do more. But if they don’t, we won’t. Let the commission tell us how many days in front they want blood. Let the commission pick a date to stop taking blood. If the commission says both fighters have to give blood as they’re walking into the ring, we’ll do it. But I want the commission saying it.”
Unless one side backs down there is a real fear boxing fans will miss out on the most eagerly anticipated fight in years and just as importantly we still will not be able to make up our minds as to who is the world’s No.1 p4p boxer.
May 3, 2010