Thursday, February 4, 2010
Mayweather, Jr. vs. Pacquiao is similar to the 1991 Holyfield vs. Tyson fight that didn't happen
Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Shane Mosley are in essence semi-final fights; with the final mega-fight Mayweather vs. Pacquiao the one the media and public really want to see.
While there are now officially signed contracts, I didn't take into account the rematch clauses which could tie these four fighters up for another six months after their respective fights if Pacquiao or Mayweather, Jr. were to lose.
Last week I wrote that I thought Mosley would lead Mayweather, Jr. directly to Pacquiao. I still believe that.
Any combination of the four would be great, but Mayweather, Jr. vs. Pacquiao is the one that the public and media won't let go of. A month ago it was this generation's "Fight of the Century," our version of the 1971 Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali fight that they are still writing books about.
I have a full-sized, full-color (black and gold) poster of the last "Fight of the Century" challenger. Except it never happened.
It was the November 8, 1991 original fight between Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson that didn't happen because of a rib injury suffered by Tyson just three weeks before the fight.
Holyfield had just knocked out James "Buster" Douglas and was unbeaten, while Tyson had beaten journeymen Alex Stewart and Henry Tillman and twice beat Razor Ruddock after suffering the Tokyo upset loss to Douglas.
The stunned media and public had no choice but to believe that the Mike Tyson they thought they knew just got lazy and didn't train for Douglas. Nobody dared say Tyson was swiftly going down hill.
Nobody would ever believe Tyson wasn't the mythological figure, the modern-day Jack Dempsey fighter of their era. Tyson was granted the free emotional pass to fight Holyfield based on delusion and illusion.
Twenty years later and the Mike Tyson we knew before the Douglas fight has never found his way home.
Tyson did eventually fight Holyfield twice, but six and seven years later respectively. The first fight was entertaining and the second was the horrible ear-biting fight. But both were well out of their fighting primes.
So we don't really know what we will be getting if both Mayweather, Jr. and Pacquiao win their next fights and go directly into the mega-fight. But it would be as close as they will ever get their primes ever again.
If either loses or draws or a delay or rematch for any reason and we don't know if they are the same fighters anymore.
On February 24, Mayweather, Jr. will be 33. On August 24 he will be out of his mythical prime. "The Fight" had to happen March 13. While I blame Mayweather, Jr. for not taking the fight March 13, I believe they will fight in 2010. 33 1/2 years old and you can still fight but you're an old fighter.
All we know is the original Mayweather, Jr. vs. Pacquiao March 13 non-fight is the 21st Century's first major non-fight of the century.
If you have any art work from the fight that so far hasn't happened and it's dated March 13, it might be valuable. I'd stick it on ebay or in a safe-deposit box.
Author: Matt Stolow