By Matthew Hurley: And so the Mayweather Express chugs along. In the final analysis, at least from this corner, Floyd Mayweather’s performance against overmatched Saul Alvarez was one of the most brilliant he has ever put on display. He looked unbeatable.
Which leads us all to wonder, is there even a point anymore?
Well, I’m hesitant to say it, but, should Manny Pacquiao look duly impressive against Brandon Rios in their upcoming battle, that big fight that never got made will be all the talk of boxing once again as we move into 2014.
Simply put, to ask Floyd to even consider another jump up in weight to 160 pounds is nonsense. His ceiling is 154 and he can’t even hit that weight limit without pounds to spare. People clamoring for him to fight middleweight top dogs Sergio Martinez or Gennady Golovkin are just boxing fans that hate Floyd Mayweather and wish for his bloody demise as much as they pine for an iconic heavyweight champion.
So, who is there?
Would you honestly give Danny Garcia, who scored an impressive victory over Lucas Matthyssee on the Floyd – Alvarez undercard, any chance of even laying on glove on Mayweather?
The winner of Marquez – Bradley? Floyd has already embarrassed the great Marquez and Bradley will always have the stench of his disputed decision over Pacquiao hanging over his head until he rematches the Pac Man, which he doesn’t seem to have any interest in. And Marquez, justifiably in a sense, is sick to death of dealing with Manny Pacquiao. He feels their rivalry is done, so Pacquiao – Marquez 5 will most probably never happen.
The biggest fight in boxing in 2014, should Manny win convincingly in November, is still Mayweather – Pacquiao, like it or not.
Why should anyone give Pacquiao a chance considering the recent trajectories of their careers? Because styles make fights.
Why can fighter A beat fighter B but can’t beat fighter C while fighter B beats fighter C? The examples are rampant in boxing history.
Why could Ken Norton and Joe Frazier give Muhammad Ali nothing but problems, yet both powerful heavyweights crumble beneath the blows of George Foreman? Logic dictates Foreman beats Ali – but he didn’t.
Sugar Ray Leonard goes to hell and back with Thomas Hearns in both of their encounters and loses to Roberto Duran. Duran takes Marvin Hagler the distance but gets clocked by Hearns in the second round. Hearns gets knocked out by Hagler in the third, Leonard beats Hagler . . .
Eric Morales loses his third match to Marco Antonio Barrera, who previously was destroyed by Manny Pacquiao. Morales beats Pacquiao in their first go round . . .
Sometimes you can’t handicap boxing. It all about matchups and styles.
Any speculation about Mayweather – Pacquiao begins and ends on November 23. Manny has to look doubly impressive to prove that not only has he shaken off the knockout loss to Marquez but that his four fight series with Dinamita was a perfect blend of styles that should not define his career. Just as Marquez should not only be remembered for one bomb of a right hand. Both of these great fighters deserve better.
Will Mayweather – Pacquiao happen? It’s contingent on Manny’s performance against Rios and whether or not Floyd will even entertain the notion of a fight with the Pilipino anymore. There’s every chance that Floyd will just laugh off Manny from here on out no matter what Pacquiao does. Floyd’s in the driver’s seat now.
He’s in complete control. And he’s earned that right. Like it or not.
But . . . Manny Pacquiao is still out there. And the only fight he truly wants anymore is the one that got away.
Matthew Hurley is a full time member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. His first book on boxing, Ringside Reflections, can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.