The sport of boxing better be ready for some fowl language.
As of July 17, boxing’s golden goose, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has decided to play chicken and duck Manny Pacquiao. The super fight nearly all of boxing has been calling for, looks to be dead, once and for all.
This is not the first time this fight has failed to materialize. About six months ago, this fight ran into its first road block. Shortly after, Mayweather made his return to the ring after a semi-retirement.
Mayweather defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, and Pacquaio defeated Miguel Cotto to jump-start talk of a Mayweather/Pacquaio fight.
Mayweather already started ducking Pacquaio implying he was using performance enhancing drugs and wanting Olympic style blood testing.
Pacquaio agreed to most of the blood testing expect for the taking of blood the day of the fight. That was not good enough for Mayweather who wanted testing all the up to the week of the fight.
Without being able to reach an agreement over the blood testing protocol, the fight fell apart. Pacquaio easily defeated Joshua Clottey after talks broke down, and Mayweather struggled early but took care of Shane Mosley.
Mayweather was defended by writers and fans saying the sport needs better testing and hailed him as role model for the sport. The Pacqauio camp loosened its restrictions on blood testing and sent a contract to Mayweather's camp for a fight in November.
After ducking Pacquaio this time, I think it is fair to say that the blood testing was not about cleaning up the sport but a way for Mayweather to get out of this fight.
For a fighter who claims to be the best of this generation, it seems Floyd Jr. is scared of Pacquaio.
A couple of things to get to before Mayweather fans wine and cry. There have been a couple of reasons circulating as to why Mayweather would not want to fight this year.
The first reason is that Mayweather is avoiding fighting because of taxes. Secondly, is that Mayweather’s uncle Roger Mayweather has a trial this August because of allegations that he assaulted and choked female boxer Melissa St. Vil.
Honestly, those are valid reasons for not wanting to fight this year. But those reasons do not exclude Mayweather from not negotiating a fight after the trial or in 2011.
No matter what Mayweather fans and the media think, he was using blood testing because he is afraid to fight Pacquaio.
But there is one other reason that he does not want to fight Pacquaio.
That reason is that Mayweather wants to finish his career with an undefeated recorded.
All the great boxers like Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, and Joe Lewis could not avoid a loss during their careers.
Mayweather is running scared from Pacquaio because he sees his undefeated record and his perceived legacy in jeopardy. If there was a boxer in the sport right now who could defeat Mayweather, it's Pacquaio.
There is something he fails to realize, and that is the reason the boxers stated above are legends and are remembered, is that they fought the best fighters of their time.
Take away Ali’s political stance on the Vietnam War and he would still be considered are great fighter.
Ali fought Liston, Joe Frazier, and Foreman and other good if not great fighters of his era. That alone was enough to make Ali a legend.
Foreman not only fought the best fighters of his time and came back to win the heavyweight title in his forties as well. Yes, that showed the sorry state of the heavyweight division but it also showed what a great fighter Foreman was.
After Mike Tyson was released from prison, fighters like Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis were judged for fighting him.
Even though Tyson was not the same fighter he was after he was released from prison, he was considered one of the best fighters of the era in reality or hype.
Only one legendary fighter finished with an undefeated record and that was Rocky Marciano who fought in late 1940’s to the mid 1950’s.
While Marciano was able to compile a professional record of 49 wins and zero defeats with 43 knockouts, he is not remembered as well as other fighters.
The reason is simple; Marciano never fought a lot of great fighters.
The two best known fighters that Marciano faced was a washed up Joe Lewis and Jersey Joe Walcott—the oldest heavyweight champion at 37 years old (until the record was broken by Foreman) in the history of the boxing.
So even with a sparkling record, Marciano is not listed as a top fighter because of his lack of great competition.
And while Mayweather has fought most of the good if not great fighters of his era, if he ducks Pacquaio it will overshadow his legacy.
Fighters are judged by who they fought and by ducking Pacquaio and making excuses, Mayweather is setting up a huge void in his legacy. A loss will not destroy Mayweather’s place in boxing history while ducking Pacquaio will.
Sure it would cause arguments between fans as to who would win, but unlike other fighters of different eras, this is a fight that could and should take place.
Mayweather playing chicken and ducking Pacquaio is just another thing to drive fans away from boxing and to MMA.
It seems like there is no way Dana White would let a fighter in UFC duck another fighter especially if that is what his fans wanted.
Boxing maybe doing well in Europe, but in America, this fight could help bring the sport back into the national spotlight.
Pay-per-view, dirty promoters, and boxing federations have nearly killed the sport.
Fighters ducking other fighters would just be another nail in boxing’s coffin. Mayweather should worry about the historians who write about legacy.
Mayweather should fight Pacquaio and in fact, Mayweather needs to fight Pacquaio.
Not just for fight fans but to cement his legacy.
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