Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr.: How Did We Get Here?


November 18, 2009

I originally wrote this post back in May when Floyd Mayweather Jr. came out of retirement, but I thought with a little updating it was perfect to re-post.

Not too long ago, it seemed like after every fight I watched, the winning fighter would call out Floyd Mayweather Jr., while experts and fans alike had differing opinions on who should get a crack at the reigning pound-for-pound champ. All signs now point to a showdown with the “little man that could,” Manny Pacquiao. Did “Pretty Boy” actually help himself out by disappearing for a little while?

The names of Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao were all being thrown out there. Some others thought Ricky Hatton deserved a second shot at the undefeated fighter. If Floyd hadn’t retired, would we have gotten to this point?

Here are some big fights that have led to a Mayweather Jr.-Pacquiao showdown:

Dec. 12, 2008: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ricky Hatton
Mayweather Jr. lands a perfect left hook on Ricky Hatton’s jaw to knock him out in the 10th.

Feb. 9, 2008: Carlos Quintana vs. Paul Williams
Quintana upsets Williams by unanimous decision and takes his WBO title. We start to wonder if Williams was just a bit overrated.

March 15, 2008: Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez II
In a spectacular fight, Pacquiao walks away with a split-decision win. (Many experts and fans thought it could have gone the other way, though I had Pacquiao winning.) It gives Pacquiao an edge against his arch-nemesis. Either way, I think most look forward to a third encounter.

April 24, 2008: Antonio Margarito vs. Kermit Cintron II
Margarito once again owns Cintron and KO’s him in the sixth round. Cintron has lost a chance at Mayweather with this outing. Margarito has the masses talking again.

June 6, 2008: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. retirement
The retirement would cancel the upcoming De La Hoya-Mayweather II bout scheduled for September. Oscar is left without a clear-cut megafight and has to look outside the welterweights.

June 7, 2008: Paul Williams vs. Carlos Quintana II
Williams erases the only defeat from his record with the one-round destruction of Quintana. Williams is now back in our good graces.

June 28, 2008: Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz
Pacquiao successfully moves up in weight and has arguably the best showing of his career by thoroughly dismantling 135-pound champ David Diaz inside of nine rounds. Word on the street is that Paquiao is the new pound-for-pound champ. (Does that sound hip?)

July 26, 2008: Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto
Margarito stops Cotto in the 11th round of a spectacular fight. Cotto suffers his first loss and is no longer seen as the unstoppable machine he had looked like in his past few bouts.

Sept. 13, 2008: Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Joel Casamayor
Marquez takes on cagey southpaw veteran Casamayor in his first fight as a lightweight, and takes him out in the 11th round of a solid fight. Marquez continues his climb up the pound-for-pound ranks and stalks a third fight with Pacquiao.

Sept. 27, 2008: Shane Mosley vs. Ricardo Mayorga
Mosley KO’s Mayorga in the last seconds of a surprisingly entertaining 12-round fight. The scorecards were pretty close, and it seemed as if Mosely was finally starting to show some signs of aging.

Dec. 6, 2008: Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya
Pacquiao manhandles the much bigger Oscar De La Hoya and gets the TKO in the eighth round. Pacquiao sends De La Hoya into retirement, and is now widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. (Many considered him that before, but after this fight, there was no question.)

Jan. 24, 2009: Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito
Mosley puts on one of the best performances of his career and goes almost untouched while delivering an embarrassing beating to Margarito, finally stopping him in the ninth. Before the fight, Margarito was found to have padding in his hand-wraps; it was later revealed those pads were indeed plaster of Paris. This puts all of his previous wins into question.

Feb. 28, 2009: Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz
Marquez would put on a stellar performance in what would be a front-runner for fight of the year, stopping Diaz in the ninth. Marquez continues his rightful quest to take on Pacquiao for a third time.

April 11, 2009: Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright
Williams completely outhustles and outclasses the usually hard-to-handle Wright, taking home a one-sided unanimous decision. This was just the third time Williams has fought over the welterweight limit and was just his second fight as a middleweight. Williams has been so good at middleweight — do we really want him to move down again?

May 2, 2009: Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton
Pacquiao shows the world why he is now called the best fighter in the world. He may have sent his second superstar into retirement, this time with a flush left hook to the jaw in the second round. Hatton can kiss his rematch with Floyd Jr. goodbye.

July 18, 2009: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Mayweather steps out of retirement and steps back in the ring to take on another pound-for-pound ranked fighter in Marquez. Floyd was the much bigger fighter, but Marquez was still a tough test considering Floyd had been off for two years. Mayweather puts on an amazing display off boxing skill for 12 rounds. He completely outboxes another master technician and announces to the boxing world he is back and ready to reclaim his throne as pound-for-pound king.

Nov. 14, 2009: Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto
In a bold move, Pacquiao stays in the welterweight division and challenges for his record seventh world title against a fighter considered by most to be his toughest test. (I thought he would simply wait for Mayweather to beat Marquez.) Pacquiao dominates and punishes Cotto, the bigger fighter, and proves to boxing fans that he is not just a great fighter, but an all-time great fighter. Pacquiao continues a streak unlike anything I’ve ever seen, stopping his fourth world-class fighter in a row.

TBA: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that this one will get done. This is the fight that fans, fighters and even my mom wants to see. There is too much money to be made for both fighters and everyone involved in the event for this not to happen.

So there you have it, some of the big things that have happened in boxing between Pretty Boy’s destruction of Hatton and Pacquiao’s instant classic against Cotto. If I had said a few years ago that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. should fight, people would have laughed at me, but now it’s the only fight fans want to see.

Long story short, the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is the only fight in boxing that must happen. All it took was a two-year hiatus, a violent spree of KO’s from Pacquiao, some crummy undercards and a few PPVs!

Final Thoughts on Pacquiao-Cotto
I fully apologize to the Pacmaniacs out there for underestimating their man. He put on quite a show and proved that he is truly an all-time great fighter. I have always had only one rule in boxing: never bet against Bernard Hopkins. Well, I think my second rule may have to be to never bet against Manny Pacquiao. That may not be quite as big an honor as his seventh title in as many weight classes, but it’s the best I can do. So again, I’m sorry. I fully see the errors of my way.

I thought that Miguel Cotto’s corner completely let him down Saturday night. At several points in the fight, I felt bad for Cotto. It started around the third round, when all he was being told was ?Come on, box! Come on!? I may be wrong, but I would think you should have more to say to him than that. He needed some advice on what to do and what to stay away from at that point. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome, but I’m sure it could only have helped.

I also thought that letting the fight go past the ninth round was somewhat inhumane: Cotto was in full retreat mode, and it was obvious he was just trying to survive. He had taken quite a beating up to that point, and as his corner, it’s your job to protect your fighter and take the decision out of his hands. Cotto is a proud fighter and he didn’t want to quit, so it was Joe Santiago‘s job to say that enough is enough.

In other news, I was actually entertained throughout the Yuri ForemanDaniel Santos fight. I was happy for Foreman and I’m glad he took the title — he deserved it with his performance. Santos deserved to lose it just for coming in the way he did.

I was sure that would be the worst fight of the night, but instead Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. gets that honor. I have always cut Chavez Jr. some slack for fighting less-than-stellar competition because he didn’t have much of an amateur background, but now it’s a little ridiculous. I wonder if a talked-about fight between John Duddy and Chavez Jr. will actually happen now.

I thought the scrap between Alfonso Gomez and Jose Soto-Karass was decent, too. It seemed like it was just starting to heat up when Gomez got the cut. I know that Gomez will never be a star fighter, but I would watch him on any undercard.

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