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December 10, 2012

By G. Leon

From now on December 8th should be a day that boxing fans around the world wear black. We must never forget that on that day in the year 2012, what would have been one of the greatest matches of all time died, becoming something totally different the moment Juan Manuel Marquez put Manny Pacquiao to sleep. If Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao ever share the same ring, now it's just another money fight. On the surface Floyd Mayweather Jr has managed to distance himself from the rest of the elite pound for pounders. Right now he is simply unrivaled. Unfortunately it took Juan Manuel Marquez counter punches, not Mayweather's to create this distance between him and Pacquiao.

This distance stems from Mayweather easily defeating Juan Manuel Marquez following a two year layoff and Marquez, since that loss, giving Pacquiao a very tough third fight and putting him to sleep in their fourth. Each of the other top pound for pounders (Donaire, Ward and Martinez) lack the longevity of a Mayweather, Pacquiao or Marquez and none of them fight at a weight where Mayweather would ever become a viable option for them.

Marquez stopping Pacquiao doesn't mean that Mayweather would stop Pacquiao. But I'm extremely unsure if Manny Pacquiao, at this point of his career going on 34 years old, has the genuine drive, determination and most importantly the desire to continue to box at the elite level. He's made a fortune and in his country he serves as a congressman, who also sings and acts amongst other things.

Marquez's brutal stoppage victory completely shattered Manny Pacquiao's aura of invincibility. That fact will always make Mayweather-Pacquiao something different. We wanted to see a battle for the pound for pound throne between two guys in their prime, both on all time great winning streaks. Now Mayweather-Pacquiao can't ever be that fight.

Mayweather-Pacquiao would still sell out with very high priced tickets. Mayweather-Pacquiao would still be one of the highest grossing pay-per-views of all time. Mayweather-Pacquaio wouldstill generate a ton of money. And that's all the fight is about now.

Consider this. It's going to take Manny Pacquiao defeating Marquez or somebody of serious merit before Mayweather-Pacquiao is worth mentioning again. He's certainly not going to get the fight coming off of two losses which means that if the fight ever happened it would happen sometime in 2014. FIVE YEARS after it was first negotiated. It took a long time, but Floyd Mayweather finally got what he wanted at the expense of the entire boxing world. 

Now Mayweather has all the leverage. Now Manny Pacquiao might have sustained just enough damage for Mayweather to get in the ring with him. Now it's just about the Money. If Money Mayweather can make close to, or the same money to face Pacquiao after his brutal loss why wouldn't he? If a $100M pot becomes a $70M pot Mayweather could make the same $50M with a 70/30 split instead of the 55/45 Pacquiao was previously willing to accept. Same kind of money for Mayweather, different kind of fight for us.

Truly a "Money" fight. I for one, hope it never happens. Mayweather again sits atop the pound for pound world of boxing and much like the first time he was deemed numero uno, he's receiving the throne via default. At the end of the day boxing suffered because somebody who likes to gamble so much he can't conduct a Max Kellerman faceoff without checking on "the game" refused to risk his undefeated record. Floyd Mayweather Jr failed us by not betting on himself.

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