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May 01, 2013

By Doveed Linder

Here is my take on the public's perception of whether Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have taken on the best available challenges during their careers.  It pretty much comes down to Floyd having been, and correct me if I'm wrong (as I very well could be) the favorite in pretty much every fight of his entire career, whereas Pac really made his name by upsetting some heavily-favored guys (like Marco Antonio Barrera and especially Oscar De La Hoya,despite all the revisionist history).  It's pretty easy to see why people would praise Pac and criticize Floyd.  Boxing is supposed to be the theater of the unexpected, so most would agree that Pac has provided more of that(even in defeat) whereas Floyd just consistently did what he was expected to do. On the flip side, many could argue that boxing is about the sweet science of hitting and not getting hit (yet many fans & writers complained about Guillermo Rigondeaux's effective, winning style against Nonito Donaire).  Generally fans of any sport want to see entertaining, competitive matches and have a soft spot for underdogs (otherwise, everyone would just pick the 4 #1 seeds in their NCAA brackets), and Pac just is more likely to deliver.  I like them both though. Their hardcore fans? ....not so much.
Linderís Response: Thank you very much.  You make some good points.  Some view Pacquiaoís career as more thrilling because of the odds he overcame, while others appreciate Floyd more so because of the God-like talents he brings into the ring.  Yes, I believe that Floyd was generally the favorite in all of his fights, though some were picking Diego Corrales to beat him.  I like them both as well, though I have been pretty critical of Floyd in the past few years.  Iím not a fan of some of the choices he has made with his career and I donít particularly care for the way he treats people.  But Iíve also seen some sides of his personality that I like.  I only see what the cameras show me, so I really shouldnít comment on him as a person.  I will say, though, that I am still not sure if Iím going to watch Mayweather-Guerrero live on pay-per-view.  I get the sense that all Floyd cares about is money.  Not once during the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations did I hear him say that he respected the publicís desire for this to happen.  He basically said that he doesnít need Pacquiao to make a major fight.  If thatís how he feels, then maybe I should save my money and get my boxing fix by watching fights like Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah, which was one the best times Iíve had as a boxing fan in a long time.

I can't believe these Floyd Mayweather fans are still at it. Let me
say I was a big Mayweather fan for a long time. In fact I saw him live twice: the second Jose Luis Castillo fight, and the Sharmba Mitchell fight.  That being said, it is painfully obvious he does not want to fight anybody with a significant chance to win. He hand-picks beatable opponents at the right time and then the hype machine lures the fans into thinking the opponent has a shot. All these opponents have are a puncher's chance. Meaning, their styles lend themselves towards Floyd's style. They can either land a lucky shot, as did Chop Chop Corely, Zab Judah (even though he was not credited for a knockdown) or Shane Mosley. If not, they will get outpointed or KOed.

Now, with regards to the unfair critique of Floyd, that is absolutely untrue. It was Floyd taunting the industry saying he would fight "anyone from 154 down"...not Manny. He even said he could beat Winky Wright, then backed out. Sergio Martinez is a natural 154 pound fighter. So he deserves every bit of criticism for slipping and sliding out of fights. You say you are GOAT, then prove it. He is no Ray Robinson. He is not even a Ray Leonard. He is a great fighter but his limited opposition will always leave a question mark in the history books.  All the best, keep us posted about that Spinks documentary and if you are any closer to getting it done!!

Linderís Response: If I recall, Lou DiBella said at one point that Martinez could no longer make 154.  I never felt any real energy behind Mayweather-Martinez.  I truly felt that Mayweatherís critics were using Martinez as an excuse to point the finger at him.  If Martinez hadnít won the middleweight title and stayed at middleweight, I might feel different.  I agree that you canít call yourself an all-time great without facing the best available competition.  Mayweather faced the best guys at the lower weight classes, but at 140, 147 and 154, he mostly played it safe.  Thereís nothing wrong with the guys he faced, but every opponent had previously shown a wrinkle in their game before Floyd faced him.  He didnít take on the guys who were on a serious hot streak.  Floyd is a first ballot Hall of Famer with an asterisk.  Thank you for asking about the Spinks documentary.  Iím not close to getting it done, but Iím very close to getting started!

Hey Dov, Enjoying the mailbag Ė you guys at boxingtalk really do this well Ė I keep coming back for that more than articles and press releases haha. I think we may now see Floyd Mayweather and Sergio Martinez fight after last Saturday Ė I knew Martin Murray would give Martinez a tough fight but I thought Martinez would have produced more class. Now he has to have a long layoff [due to a broken hand] and I think Floyd will take that to his advantage and call shots of getting Martinez down to 154 Ė or maybe assuming Martinez is coming down the other side of the hill he might take that step and go for a title at 160 and cement greatness? What are your thoughts? All the best from the UK-- James

Linderís Response: As I just mentioned, I never felt that Mayweather and Martinez were on a major collision course.  But Martinez did look like he slipped in his last fight.  If Floyd does happen to take on Martinez in his next fight, weíll know he was waiting for the right time.  Until then, I wonít be critical.

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