In Ken Irons’ latest article he looks at the upcoming ‘super fight’ between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, and discusses five other blockbuster bouts that never took place.
The upcoming Floyd Mayweather Jnr Vs Manny Pacquiao blockbuster, scheduled for May 2nd in Las Vegas, is already being dubbed ‘fight of the century’ and is attracting enormous interest worldwide.
For a non-heavyweight fight to be paying by far the biggest purse money in history speaks for itself. The lion’s share of this purse will go to Mayweather on a 60 – 40 percentage with his share, reportedly, a staggering 140 million dollars.
The fight was first mooted some six years ago, with both fighters then generally acknowledged as the best ‘pound for pound’ champions in the sport.
Mayweather is a 5-weight division world champ who has won 10 world titles, and Pacquiao an 8-weight division world champ who has also secured 10 world titles.
Boxing fans, impatient to see the two men meet in the ring, have had to endure frustration for all of that time however, due to disputes between the two camps over such issues as drug testing, promotional rights and the like.
It was therefore with some surprise that those same fans were greeted with the news last month that terms for the match had finally been agreed.
Although both fighters are, sadly, now somewhat past their primes (Mayweather is 38 and Pacquiao 36) this fact does not appear to have diminished appetites for the scrap.
Incidentally, Pacquiao has reportedly bent over backwards to comply with his rivals’ terms, including accepting the smaller purse, something which has been construed by his supporters as proof that it is he who wants the fight most. However, one could perfectly understand any possible caution exhibited by Mayweather, as his outstanding 47 wins, no losses record is now approaching that of Rocky Marciano (49 wins in 49 fights).
So, whilst it seems likely that Mayweather, should he win, would want to continue fighting, Pacquiao, bearing in mind his outside interests (mainly in politics), is thought likely to call it a day after the match, especially should he be defeated.
Both men are reported to be training extremely hard, with ‘Money Man’, Mayweather, always a stickler for fitness, re-introducing a wood chopping routine which goes right back in boxing to the time of Jack Dempsey and even Jack Johnson, and strengthens back, shoulder and core muscles.
Filipino Pacquiao, the ‘Pac Man’, is a non-stop puncher, capable of unsettling any opponent, whereas Mayweather is a fleet of foot boxer whose style has been cited by Top Rank chief, Bob Arum, as reminiscent of the classic American fighter from Sugar Ray Robinson, through Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammed Ali.
Who will prevail, with 4 titles at stake, on May 2nd? Will it be WBA (super), WBC & Ring Welterweight champ Mayweather, or WBO Welterweight champ Pacquiao? I’m going for Mayweather on points!
Whilst on the subject of the dream fight, it is tempting to consider what other match-ups would thrill the fans: what fighters – were it possible to manipulate the various eras in which they practised their trade – would make for contests to equal, and even surpass Mayweather vs Pacquiao?
If it is not too much to keep fight fans from drooling uncontrollably, how would the following encounters, for example, appeal if they appeared on the support card? And remember that all contestants would be in their prime when they stepped into the ring.*
It is difficult to imagine two more destructive punchers and more difficult still to imagine the outcome. I would simply have to place my bet on the match NOT going the distance!
Alternatively, Iron Mike could face another opponent. So we could be treated to…
This could perhaps be referred to as the heavyweight showdown between ‘The two Bruisers from Brooklyn’. Again, picking a winner would not be easy although Tyson would possibly start as the favourite.
At the risk of upsetting the two fighters’ mother – who made them promise years back that they would never face each other in the ring – this would be a most interesting match up.
The two Russian giants have similar styles and physiques, but though Vitali was initially the more polished, Wladimir is now building up a superb fight record. This is another tough one to call.
4) JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ v ROBERTO DURAN
Coming down in the weights, these two are multi-weight champions (3 divisions for Chavez, and 4 for Duran).
‘Manos de Piedra‘(Duran’s nickname, translating as Hands of Stone) was the ultimate hard man. This ‘tough guy’ image was however somewhat dented when on one occasion in 1980 he defended his WBC welterweight title.
The challenger was Sugar Ray Leonard, who he had battered over 12 rounds earlier that same year for that same title. Duran refused to come out for the 8th round, reportedly uttering the famous words “No mas”(no more).
Mexican Chavez was a hard hitter (86 knockouts in 115 fights), capable of delivering disabling body shots and he had a strong chin. I don’t think that the fans would have any complaints here about lack of action.
5) SUGAR RAY ROBINSON v SUGAR RAY LEONARD
This final one would be my personal dream fight. Robinson’s name is invariably, and justifiably, invoked whenever the question of ‘greatest of all time’ arises.
The second, and junior, Sugar Ray is generally held to be at the very summit of ‘pound for pounders’ in the modern era, as against Robinson’s latter day superiority. As for picking a winner, I simply wouldn’t have a clue!
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