Pacquiao vs. Mayweather:The Fight to Save Boxing
Just a few years ago, it seemed as though boxing was a dying sport. Recently, washed up fighters like Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr. have desperately sought to drag out their careers with the hope of bringing home a few more paychecks. As the sport has been surpassed in popularity by MMA, a handful of fighters have kept boxing relevant. No two have been more intergral than Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now, with their potential March showdown in jeopardy, the boxing world desperately needs their mega fight to happen as planned.
Pacquiao and Mayweather, widely considered the top two pound for pound fighters in the world, have already generated more hype for their fight than any in recent memory. Here’s how they did it:
June 2008: For the second time in his career, Mayweather announced his “permanent” retirement from the sport of boxing. For the second time in his career, no one believed him.
May 2009: Pacquiao knocked out Ricky Hatton in even more impressive fashion than Mayweather did in late 2007. What took “Money” nearly 10 rounds took “Pacman” less than two. His complete domination of Hatton fueled speculation that Mayweather was the only fighter who stood a chance against him.
September 2009: Mayweather returned to action by knocking off Juan Manual Marquez by unanimous decision. Mayweather dominated the fight, but was unable to finish his opponent.
November 2009: Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto via 12th round TKO to claim his record setting seventh title in as many weight classes. His 50th career victory solidified his place as the sports top pound for pound fighter.
Decmber 2009: The two parties fueded over the drug testing procedures that should be used for their scheduled fight. Mayweather requested Olympic-style drug testing but Pacquiao’s camp was unwilling to agree to the strickter testing saying it would interfere with their fighter’s preparation for the fight. Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, suggested Mayweather never really wanted the fight and was using this as a way to back out.
December 2009: Pacquiao filed a defamation lawsuit against both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Floyd Mayweather Sr. after they openly accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs. The bad blood between the two fighters appeared to have reached an all-time high after the Mayweathers suggested that Pacquiao being from the Philipines made it more likely that he was using PED’s.
Now as boxing fans wait to see if the fight will ever actually happen, it is hard not to wonder what was real and what was done mainly for publicity. Whatever the case, if the fight does go on as scheduled, it will be almost certain to break the pay-per-view records set when when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. Whether the fight will live up to the incredible enormous expectations surrounding it could be a whole different story though. For now, we are left to wait impatiently for the two men to make it happen.