It happened again. Actually, it didn’t happen again.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao is the big tease; the equivalent of boxing’s blue balls. And fans of the sport are growing tired of the foreplay. When Floyd Mayweather, Jr. took to Twitter to announce his September 17th fight with “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, a collective groan swept over the entire sports world. Not because Victor Ortiz doesn’t belong in the same ring with Mayweather, but because the sports world has once again been robbed of the biggest matchup since Muhammad Ali faced Joe Frazier 30 years ago.
The Haley’s Comet of sports can happen again as the two best fighters in the world have the opportunity to settle their differences inside of the squared circle. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. are, hands down, the two best fighters in the world, who are poised to take part in the biggest fight the world has this century. But the allure in this does not simply reside in the fact that both are at the top of their respective games, rather, the attraction comes in just how different they are in and out of the ring.
Inside of the ring, Mayweather is a surgeon. With a record of 41-0 (25 KOs), the 34-year-old has a style that is more chess than checkers. He rarely gets hit, has the boxing IQ equivalent to Einstein and constantly outclasses his opponents.
If Mayweather is a surgeon, Pacquiao is a wrecking ball laced with dynamite. The 32-year-old Filipino sports a record of 53-3-2 (38 KOs) and has demolished every foe put in front of him over the past five years. What he lacks in polish, he makes up in devastating punching power and blinding hand speed. He’s a record eight-division world champion who – in many people’s minds – has usurped the number one spot from Mayweather on fictional pound-for-pound lists.
As different as they are inside the ring, they are poles apart outside. Mayweather is a brash, cocky, arrogant “money first” boxer who many believe prefers safety over a challenge. His attitude has turned him into the perennial villain of the sport. He may be a work of art inside of the ring, but his perceived ugly demeanor has people paying to see him get his pretty face ravaged to the point of no return. Pacquiao is the exact opposite. The soft spoken fighter from Kibawe, Philippines is a people-first person who is as kind outside of the ring as he is dangerous inside of it. A man who represents an entire country, Pacquiao doubles as a politician who fights to end poverty. While Pacquiao’s mentality is to save money for the people, Mayweather spends it and then throws it in your face.
Manny Pacquiao photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank Promotion