Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Floyd may not weather Manny

For all his posturings about him being the greatest, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s refusal to commit to fight Manny Pacquiao betrays his insecurities about losing that 0 loss record. While the whole boxing world wants to witness the fight, Floyd himself wants none of it. In news item from Reuters.com, Floyd said he doesn't need Pacquiao.

Despite his masterful but controversial conquest of Victor Ortiz, Floyd talked about his dominance in the past tense. "I don't need him. Where was Pacquiao in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 when I was dominating the game? He never asked me (for a fight) when I was in my twenties or when I was in my teens." For the information of Floyd, who is now 34, in 1996 Manny fought at 113 pounds or 18 below Floyd's fighting weight then.

Floyd added that "a fighter just don't get to 25 years old and all of a sudden he becomes great," referring to Pacquaio. Maybe he just heard of Pacquiao when Pacquiao was 25 in 2004. At that point, Pac still fought at 126 and Floyd at 135. Pacquiao's star was on the rise having begun the streak against Mexicans that earned him the Mexicutioner tag. But Pacquiao's ascent to stardom actually began 2 1/2 years before when he wrested the crown from Ledwahba.

Maybe Ortiz before the headbutt made Floyd realize what pressure Pac can bring to him. Maybe Floyd suddenly felt he can be hit now. That's why he is keeping his distance. Shrewd kid.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mayweather-Ortiz shows Floyd true side - good, crude, and rude

I spent P501 yesterday to watch the satellite feed of the Ortiz-Mayweather tiff at the Gateway Cinema. It was money well spent. The undercard was superb. I finally got the chance to see young Mexican legend in the making, Saul Canelo Alvarez, fight. His handlers seem to take good care of his young career, careful not to feed him to the old lions just yet. At this point, he still doesn't have what it takes to get past the likes of Cotto and the other veteran super welterweights.

I also got to see Erik Morales fight again. At this stage of his resurrected career, watching him fight is like watching an old Erik Morales fight in slow motion. His body, though not flabby, doesn't have the abs present in most other 140 pounder. His is the body of an old man. He won convincingly against a late substitute but not after being threatened in the early rounds. I'm glad he won the race to be the first Mexican to win titles in 4 weight divisions. He does not have the same arrogance exhibited by Barrera and Marquez.

Now the Mayweather-Ortiz fight started out as the mismatch indicated by the 5-1 fight odds. No matter how hard Ortiz tried, he cannot get inside the crafty defense of Floyd Jr while getting repeatedly pummeled with hard rights. In the 4th, he managed to get Floyd on the ropes but he was still not connecting cleanly. In a fit of disgust, maybe, he intentionally head butted Floyd, promptly earning him a point deduction. Then the bizarre happened. He apologized-kissed Floyd-touched gloves-tried to kiss Floyd again-while the referee glanced towards the timekeeper-and-BOOM-BOOM-Floyd connects with a 1-2 left right combo that floors him.The left photo shows a clueless Joe Cortez.

It was not an illegal punch. The headbutt was illegal. But the ending soured further Floyd's image. It was sucker punch, but worse than the one Floyd did to Mosley. And of course Ortiz, with a guaranteed  US$2.5 million, won't protest the outcome. It was inevitable anyway. The bizarre events just made ended it sooner.

The fight should be an eye opener for the PacMan-Roach tandem. They should prepare for Floyd's fast right straights. They should plan ways to penetrate the shifty shoulder rolls. And most importantly Pac should learn to always put his hands up to prevent those sucker punches. In the Mosley fight, PacMan acceded to all the Mosley touch glove gestures. Against Floyd, he should touch gloves with arms straight out in front.

I stayed on to watch the post-fight interview. Floyd went into an expletive laden rant against veteran broadcaster Larry Merchant. He initially rambled on about thanking God, blah-blah, but Merchant cut him off to ask why despite being in control of the fight he had to resort to that unfair 1-2 combo. Then Floyd shockingly began his tirade. Perhaps it was his way to avoid the tough questions about the Pac fight.

This just shows the true side of Floyd. He is a good fighter, probably the best of this era. In the eventual Pac fight, Floyd will be the odds-on favorite. But this also shows the true nature of Floyd. In the run up to this fight, his supporters attribute his aberrant behavior to his marketing savvy. They say his bad boy image sells tickets. Maybe. But what about his cheap shots? He sucker punched Mosley too. When asked about his behavior and his unexciting fights and his avoidance of a Pac fight, he throws off in a rant. He is not selling fights in those post fight interviews. He just shows who he really is.

Now compare that to Pacquiao. Pac touches gloves when asked. He even picks up opponents he just floored. At times he refuses to knock out a completely helpless foe but still manages to give an entertaining fight. When asked about a possible Mayweather bout, he replies gracefully about it being a promoter's job and fighting who is lined up for him.

Compared to our Pacman, Floyd the fighter is good, but as sportsman, he is crude and as a human being, he is rude.

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