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Saturday, February 13, 2010

PACQUIAO WATCH: No dying out

EVEN if both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jnr had already found separate foes after a botched negotiation to have them face each other, their destiny and fate seem to be meant for each other.

Until now, many could still not get over with the waste of opportunity and chance to see two of the greatest boxers in this generation square off in their prime.

Pacquiao will face Joshua Clottey a month from now in what many hope will just be a tune up fight for the Filipino champion before he finally meets Mayweather later in the year.

For Manny, the Clottey fight affords him a chance to remain active while earning a few hundred million pesos to bankroll his burgeoning political campaign.

He has done this before. Fighting for the money and bidding his time. In 2004, Manny fought an out-of-his-league Thai boxer Fahsan 3K Battery to have something “for the boys” for Christmas. He was overheard saying this while playing ‘tong-its’ for two straight nights in a makeshift gaming room fashioned out from a videoke bar VIP room in General Santos just three weeks before the fight.

Coach Freddie Roach was not in his corner during the fight, if I am not mistaken.

Despite taking the fight lightly, Manny literally knocked the totally outclassed Thai out of his feet.

It would be a different case when he fights Clottey. The Ghanian is definitely no trial horse. He has an impeccable record of being one of the few welterweights that have never been stopped before.

Overconfidence and complacency could doom Manny’s stature as the highest paid boxer today and Roach definitely has this in mind.

Mayweather on the other hand faces far riskier fight in Shane Mosley, an ageing but still a legitimate marquee welterweight. Had this fight happened ten years before, it would have been one of the best match ups of the decade past.

Despite Pacquiao and Mayweather already penciled to fight different opponents, their camps are still at each other’s throats – Mayweather especially.

The way Floyd has been blabbering, it is obvious that Manny got him under the Filipino’s skin.

Floyd can shout his heart out claiming he is the best in the division and in all of boxing today. A handful will probably believe him but a lot will certainly raise an eyebrow or two.

To his credit, Manny has never bragged about his being considered the number one pound for pound boxer today despite an almost unanimous choice from among virtually all reputable boxing pundits, scribes and publications.

Even if Mayweather beats Mosley, a more formidable opponent than Clottey is to Manny, Floyd still could not dislodge Manny from the top. He can’t reclaim his throne as boxing’s best without defeating Manny atop the ring.

That is precisely the reason why the Pacquiao-Mayweather thing refuses to die down.

Author: Edwin Espejo

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