The narrative has become common among the national media. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is too scared to fight Manny Pacquiao — a fight all sports fans are dying to see. A fight that could bring back the former glory of boxing.
Problem is, that narrative is wrong and biased.
It’s easy to cast a villain in the Mayweather-Pacquiao ordeal. Mayweather is a showboating, disrespectful and arrogant fighter. Pacquiao is a quiet, noble fighter that even devotes time to be a congressman in his native Philippines.
The troubles began when Pacquiao’s camp wanted to charge Mayweather millions of dollars for every pound he went over in their proposed fight, as he was coming off a controversial win where he had been fined for being over the catch weight.
Mayweather’s camp was justifiably outraged and countered by saying that Pacquiao should submit himself to Olympic anti-doping blood testing.
Bob Arum, who represents Pacquiao and represented Mayweather before a very public and very bitter falling apart, refused.
What has been underplayed during the squabbling is the reason that Mayweather had asked for the blood tests. At first it seems a battle of egos, a simple “fine you want me to do that, then do this.”
Problem is, what Pacquiao has done in boxing has never been done before. He has fought in eight weight divisions, starting at 106 pounds and reaching up to 150 pounds in his later fights. With all that increase in weight, his fighting has not lost power or speed.
In any other sport, a bulking up of 50 pounds would be met with horrible cynicism, akin to the steroid era in baseball where players were coming in from the offseason with entirely new frames.
Yes, Pacquiao first came on the scene as a teenager, and a lot of the weight has been natural weight gain as he grew into the frame of a man. The lack of loss in power and speed, common to boxers moving up divisions, may be actual proof that the changes have been due to stellar training at the hands of the legendary coach Freddy Roach.
So why is it that “Fighter X” asking “Fighter Y” for blood tests isn’t perfectly reasonable?
It’s now Arum that is saying a fight will never happen. How is the Pacquiao camp going to frame that into Mayweather being scared?
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