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The Deadly Triangle: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao vs. Martinez

November 23, 2010
Mayweather's Dilemma: Demolished or Dead? (Or Bust!)

Mayweather's Dilemma: Demolished or Dead? (Or Bust!)

The future looks bleak for Mayweather.  Throughout his campaign in the Welterweight division, he has been ducking every strong opponent that posed as a threat to his fighting style.  After avoiding fighters like Miguel Cotto when he was still undefeated (and here are more reasons why FMJ ducked Cotto), Antonio Margarito when he was still feared, Shane Mosley when he was still in his prime (–Mayweather waited until Mosley was 38 years old and over-trained before fighting him), and of course Manny Pacquiao who (to this date) remains undefeated since moving up from Super Featherweight, Mayweather is now being challenged to fight Sergio Martinez (from the Middleweight division), an even bigger southpaw who is still fast but more so powerful than Pacquiao.

Martinez had just won against Paul Williams with an astounding knockout on the second round last Sunday (21-Nov-2010, Philippine Time) and after the fight he had this to say about facing either Pacquiao or Mayweather:

Manny Pacquiao is too small. It would be a mismatch (because of the size difference). I don’t believe that it will ever happen… But Floyd Mayweather? Most likely, that would be a fight that we could make. He’s a great fighter, and I would love to do it.

Mayweather is 5’8″ while Pacquiao is 5’6″.  Between the two, Mayweather can better reach 157 lbs. in the weigh in against Martinez, compared to Pacquiao who can’t even reach 150 lbs. even if he tried.  The highest he ever reached was 145.3 lbs. against Clottey.

So what’s a guy like Mayweather going to do now?  Fight the strong and fast little guy or the strong and fast big guy?

Knowing Mayweather, NEITHER.  He may say “It’s possible” for him to fight Martinez, but like all potentially great fights with Floyd it will depend on negotiations.  This means his statement is not written in stone.   And based on his track record, Mayweather has a way of worming his way out of fights by imposing very one-sided demands during negotiations (…like that drug test excuse in the 80% done-deal with Pacquiao last year, or even the 10-lb-glove and 154 lbs. catchweight excuses).

Failed negotiations is just one of the many tactics Mayweather adapts to duck his opponents, next to the wait-for-them-to-fight-each-other tactic (to sort of let his opponents cancel each other out, and then when they lose to each other Mayweather will claim they’re not worthy to fight him, and somehow claim victory over them), and the the wait-to-win-the-belt-by-default tactic (like when he won against Carlos Baldomir who was clearly not the best and most marketable opposition at that time but he had the belt).   There’s also the i’ll-probably-take-a-couple-of-years-off bit (when he said he’ll take a year or two off before negotiations with Pacquiao could be made), and just recently he adapted the skip-my-court-hearing-to-reschedule-it-and-delay-negotiations alongside the desperate-attempt-to-go-to-jail-by-assaulting-an-officer-and-delay-negotiations tactic (which is probably double purpose now as he can use it to avoid fighting Pacquiao and Martinez–yes, even if he said “It’s possible”).

So what is really more likely to happen?  “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao” or “Mayweather vs. Martinez”?

I think there’s no question in Martinez’s mind that a fight with Mayweather is more likely to happen.  Meanwhile, I also believe Mayweather has more tactics up his sleeve to counter his “It’s possible” statement and not fight Martinez or delay fighting him.  But even if Mayweather ducks Martinez this time, he will STILL NOT FIGHT PACQUIAO… at least, not while Pacquiao is in his prime!  That’s another tactic, by the way, which he also used against Mosley.  (And who knows? Maybe even against Martinez!)   It’s the wait-for-the-opponent-to-age-or-slow-down-and-weaken tactic.

There’s just one problem with that thought…

Mayweather may NEVER FIND the “right time” to fight Manny.

Now this is entirely my opinion and I don’t know what could happen in the future to change the way I think.  But I know a lot of people are still hoping that the right time will come.

Max Keller from HBO PPV said that it might be approaching.   As he put it after the Pacquiao and Margarito fight,

As impressive as Pacquiao just looked, he got hit much more than we’ve seen him get hit in years. Looked much more vulnerable, admitted after the fight that he got hurt a couple of times to the head and the body… and if it’s the case that Mayweather’s waiting for the right time to fight Pacquiao, the time MIGHT BE approaching.  At least we should hope it’s approaching.

To that Jim Lampley replied,

So years from now we’ll say Mayweather is a genius.  He waited for Pacquiao to fight five bigger guys, he watched him fight a guy who is 17 lbs. larger, maybe he’ll take the fight next week!

The sarcasm of Jim is fitting and true because the only way Mayweather can have a chance against Manny is if he fights an already bruised and tired Manny.

The problem with this thought (for Mayweather) is that he is getting older and slower, too, if he waits any longer.  Manny is currently 31 years old while Floyd is 33.  The clock is ticking more for him than for Manny.  Not to mention he has longer periods of idle time, having fought only 10 opponents since November 2003, while Manny has beaten 11 fighters in the last 4 years (since January 2006).  Let’s not forget the fact that Manny has also shown he can take a beating from bigger men like Cotto or Margarito!  Pacquiao is more seasoned and more ready to fight Floyd than Floyd is of Pacquiao.  With that mentioned I can deduce that Manny will ALWAYS be stronger, faster, and able to take punishment from his opponent compared to Floyd Mayweather. And Floyd knows this.  Hence, his fear of Pacquiao.

On the other hand, Mayweather MAY FIND the “right time” to fight Martinez.

As for Martinez, this champion is already 35 years old and has even mentioned retiring after 3 or 4 more fights.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayweather is already calculating the right time to fight him, and it’s probably positioning himself to be the last (or second to the last) opponent Martinez will ever fight with.  For all we know, this quickly calculated plan could be where his “It’s possible” statement is coming from.  (And if that doesn’t work he can just make bogus demands come negotiations).

Does Mayweather have a chance against Martinez given that he plays his “right time” cards right?

Maybe.   But given the fighting style of Martinez I think Floyd will have a very hard time.  I’d have to ask though, does anyone really want to see a fight where one fighter is no longer in his prime?  Martinez should pressure Mayweather for a fight within the next year so that we can see a FAIR and EXCITING fight.  (I had to scratch out exciting, I almost forgot that Mayweather is a boring fighter.)

And if they do fight next year, my money is still on Martinez.

(On a somewhat related side note, I have something to say to our country’s beloved Manny Pacquiao.  I know you respect and admire Shane Mosley.  I, too, believe that he is a great fighter… but he is nearing his retirement and it wouldn’t be fair to both of you if you pursue a fight in the near future.   You and Shane Mosley are both great fighters and no one can take that away from you.  You both have nothing left to prove to each other nor to anyone else.)

What should we expect in the near future?

With Regards Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Knowing Mayweather’s ego, he will still say that he’s a better, faster and stronger fighter than Pacquiao, but he will never face him, he will continue to duck him and claim that “Poochiao” is not worthy to fight him.  He’ll go on saying that “Poochiao” can’t hurt him anyway, continue maligning Pacquiao and falsely accuse him of taking steroids (even though he takes an illegal drug called Xylocaine).  He’ll continue to get into court-trouble to avoid fighting Pacquiao (or any strong opponent for that matter).  In short he’ll still be the pompous Floyd Mayweather everyone loves to see get beaten by the people’s champion, Manny Pacquiao, but which no boxing fan will live to see.

I’d like to also quote what Joshua Clottey commented on the third or fourth round of the Pacquiao-Margarito fight,

The greatest mistake of Margarito is to think that Manny Pacquiao doesn’t have the power to hurt him.  Trust me, he has the power to hurt him.

I think the same warning should be told to Floyd.  If Floyd claims otherwise, he should prove it in the ring.

In the meantime, Pacquiao has more important things to do than to stoop to the level of Floyd, like fight human trafficking in the Philippines, put up an ecozone in General Santos, put up a hospital in Sarangani Province and pass a bill to grant Freddie Roach Filipino Citizenship.  (To those who don’t understand, Filipino Citizenship is determined by blood.  Nothing more.)  I say, he should do the same for Alex Ariza… Both he and Roach would make a great team in helping our Filipino Olympians win gold!

With Regards Mayweather vs. Martinez

If by some miracle this happens ideally next year, I see another knock out win by Sergio Martinez that could seal him another fighter of the year!  (Right, like Mayweather will allow that fight to happen ideally.)

With Regards Pacquiao vs. Martinez

Pacquiao is willing to fight Martinez below 150 lbs..  Martinez can’t go that low, while Pacquiao can’t reach 157 lbs..  Unless boxing rules change to let both men weigh in and fight at their comfortable weights, this fight will never happen… unless we’re playing a dream match in Fight Night Round 5!

Personally, Pacquiao vs. Martinez would be the fight I’d want to see …come-as-you-are style.

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