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May 14, 2013

By Tommy Canez

I love Floyd Mayweather's skill set. I think he should be best ever but he's had too many misses. I think he should've fought Manny Pacquiao, Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Kosta Tszyu, Joel Casamayor, Acelino Frietas, Winky Wright, and Vernon Forrest. I think his next 5 fights should be Saul Alvarez, Pacquiao if he's right, Timothy Bradley, Sergio Martinez, and Danny Garcia (I think Mayweather and Adrien Broner are too close for that fight to happen). If Mayweather had all those fights and still undefeated then he would have to be GOAT!!! What do you think? Keep up the great work!! --Citty from NC
Tommy's response: I don't know if Floyd would be considered the actual G.O.A.T if he had beaten all of those fighters but he would definitely be top 10 of all time. That's just my opinion. A lot of others would certainly disagree. Can you imagine if Mayweather had fought the Margarito that fought Miguel Cotto? Margarito was a man possessed that night. He was like a terminator, nothing was going to make him stop coming. He took Cotto's best shots and they were bouncing off his head as if they were cotton balls. If Ricky Hatton was able to make Mayweather uncomfortable, I can't imagine what Margarito would have done. But in all fairness, let's not forget that Margarito was accused of having plaster in his hands that night against Cotto. So maybe Floyd would have possibly outsmarted and outclassed him. As for Paul Williams, his long reach and punches in bunches would have given Floyd problems. There's no disputing that. But let's not forget that Williams was vunerable to straight crosses so maybe Floyd would have made the adjustment and exposed him. As for Kostya Tszyu, that would have made for a classic fight because of Tszyu's murderous right hand, underrated stiff jab, ability to cut off the ring, and his major toughness. Floyd would have been in for a tough night against Tszyu. As for Casamayor, Freitas, Winky, and Forest, those guys were serious fighters with certain abilities that could have given Mayweather fits. At 130 lbs, I think Casamayor would have troubled Floyd with his superior boxing, lateral movement, speed, and southpaw stance. Freitas is another story. I think Floyd would have beaten him only because Freitas had a "quit alarm" inside of him that went off when things get too tough. As for Wright, we know he knew how to handle speedy fighters with his southpaw stance, stiff jab, ear muff/turtle shell defense, and straight left. If that fight had taken place at 154lbs, I honestly don't know if Floyd would have beat him. When it comes to Forest (RIP), he had the strengths that would have troubled Floyd. Great jab, height advantage, and the ability to show patience and make it a boring fight. Forest knew how to fight boxers.
Now let's break down your opponent wish list for Mayweather. Alvarez, Pacquiao, Bradley, Martinez, and Garcia as Mayweather's last 5 opponents would be an extraordinary way for Floyd to end his career. If he were to fight those fighters and defeat them in no particular order, he would gain some of the ground he lost for not fighting the fighters you mentioned. (Williams, Margarito, Tszyu, Casamayor, Freitas, Wright, and Forest). He wouldn't gain all of it back but he would definitely gain points for his willingness to close out his career with a bang. As for Broner, I don't think they will fight because they have a close bond and Broner really idolizes Mayweather.  

I read your mailbag today and saw someone going after Boxingtalk for bias (or lack thereof) against Floyd Mayweather. I actually think its funny that we're still arguing back and forth about who the better boxer is between Mayweather and Many Pacquaio. Clearly any true fan or student of the game without bias knows it's clearly an easy win for Floyd. I know you and some of your other colleagues may not want to hear this, and I know you get tired of readers e-mailing your team with their so-called professional opinion as to who they think will win (just like I'm doing right now)
But let's keep this thing 100%. Do you really think it's any coincidence that Pac's last few performances have fallen off since Mayweather brought attention to the steroid question? Now you're going to say he said these things because he was scared. This is a profession and like any job you want to make sure you're being treated fairly and on an even playing field. That man has a life, kids and a family to take care of. I mean let's be serious, you know what it is. Of course you can't say what it is because you're don't want to get sued by Pac (which is a punk move considering this is fighting and part of that is talking ish), but the truth is in the pudding. Keep believing this B.S. that he's been clean this entire time.....I don't buy that for a second. Yeah....he'll accept testing now, cause he's trying to get that last major beat down pay day from Money....because that's all its going to be. Like that reader Tyrone said, he does have a puncher's chance, but that's about it. You really think he's going to fight in China for the tax breaks? Come on man.....if you believe that, you'll believe in fried ice cream... [Editor's note: Pacquiao is not going to China to avoid drug testing. Regardless of people's suspicions, Pacquiao never failed a drug test here. China is a big part of boxing's future because boxing goes where the money is and the money is in China right now. Get used to it.]  that man is going over there so he can get some that good ole "JUICE" in his system and he knows he won't have to worry about it over there. If I were Brandon Rios, I would demand drug testing for this fight. Otherwise he'll risk a roided-up Pac trying to look impressive. Please Pac your eyes. Skills pay the bills...not Juice. Money may breaks down a fustrated Pacman over 12 rounds or by late round knockout anyways.ANY REAL BOXING FAN KNOW THIS. Power means nothing if you can't connect. This is a thinking mans game.--
Tommy's response: What's up Dfree? Thanks for writing in. Yes, I often get angry e-mails like the one I received from Tyrone accusing me of hating Mayweather or being jealous of his success, which is simply not the case. All I can do is go by the facts and if going by the facts is considered jealousy or "hating" as he calls it, then I guess I'm guilty. Actually, I DO NOT get tired of readers who e-mail in with their comments or opinions about who they think would win. Feel free to write in at anytime no matter which fighter or fight topic of the week you want to discuss or debate.
Now, let me get down to the bulk of your e-mail. I have to go by the facts and say that Manny Pacquiao's performances did not immediately begin to decline once Mayweather introduced the idea of olympic style drug testing. If memory serves me right, it was Floyd Mayweather's Sr. who began talking about how he's never seen anything quite like Pacquiao after Pacquiao brutally knocked out his fighter Ricky Hatton in May of 2009. He said something about Pacquiao taking some type of drug that comes from the Philippines that make bullets bounce off soldiers or something along those lines. After Mayweather made his comeback and defeated Juan Manuel Marquez in September of 2009, Pacquaio fought two months later against Miguel Cotto and we all saw he brutalized Cotto, who at the time many boxing pundits thought would be too strong for Pacquiao. A few weeks after Pacquiao beat Cotto, the negotiations started to get serious for a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout and it was around that time when Floyd Jr. said he would not fight without olympic style drug testing. Still no drop off in Pacquiao performances. As we know, Pacquiao went on to fight Joshua Clottey on the proposed Mayweather fight date of March 13th 2010 and it was one of his best performances. Still no drop off in performance. He then went on to fight Margarito in November of 2010 that same year. Still no drop off in performance. He went on the fight Shane Mosley the following year in May 2011. Still no drop off in performance.
Now, let's talk about when Pacquiao did actually begin to decline, if we can call it that. His next opponent after he beat Mosley was Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time, who always gives Pacquiao a hard time because of his counter punching and his ability to take that small step back and fire off rapid combinations which always troubles Pacquiao. Can we really call that a declining performance since Marquez knew him so well after being in two fights with Pacquiao? It is up for debate. His next opponent was Timothy Bradley who Pacquiao outclassed and it was a peak performance. Some people struggle to give Bradley 3 rounds in that fight. At this point, we still do not see a major decline in performance. Now, let's talk about his next opponent which was a fourth fight with Marquez. If you go back and rewatch that fight, Pacquiao looked very impressive, minus the knockdown and knockout. Although he wasn't overwhelming Marquez, he was still landing a substantial amount of punches. Go back and look at Marquez's nose in the previous round prior to the knockout. His nose looked like a waterfall of blood. So like I said, there was not any major drop off in performance. People often talk about Pacquiao as if he is a shot fighter ever since Mayweather introduced the idea of drug testing, which is simply not true. If there is anything that I've noticed, it is that Pacquiao's power has decreased ever so slightly in his past 3 fights and he seems to focus more on being a congressman than a fighter.
Lastly, we cannot irresponsibly accuse Pacquiao of "juicing" without any proof. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that he was ever a "juicer". On the other hand, If Pacquiao had associated himself with a guy such as Angel Heredia and showed up with bulging, ripped muscles and then he went on a historic run, then maybe there would be a high level of suspicion and the accusations would be warranted. However, the fact is that he did not. Moreover, Pacquiao and Rios will indeed undergo random drug testing through VADA ,which debunks the notion that Pacquiao wants to fight in China only because he wants to "juice" as you said. 

I like Brandon Rios and he is fun to watch, but I think he'll get beat up by Pacquiao. Pac will look like his old self. I don't think Rios will last 7 rounds. We'll see. This is a huge step up. I don't think he's faced any one as fast or throws as hard as Pacquiao. Seems like an easy fight to call. I think there are questions to be answered by Pac, but I'm not sure Rios has the speed, power or skills to ask them.-- John in VA
Tommy's response: Thanks for writing in John. We don't know how Pacquiao will perform against Rios. On paper, it looks like an easy fight. But let's get a magnifying glass and look closer. First, Pacquiao is coming off the worst loss and knockout of his career. His confidence is potentially shaken and he is not getting an easy task against Rios. Rios has a similar style and similar heart to Margarito and is young and hungry. We all know Margarito's style tested Pacquiao. Moreover, Pacquiao is going to be fighting in the morning in China's time zone. His physiological processes in his body may or may not react to fighting in the morning. We just don't know. Also, he is going to undergo drug testing by VADA for the first time in his career and we know he's stated on a few occasions that he is superstitious about needles and blood. We don't know how that will affect him mentally.
Now, let's look at the other side of the coin. Rios is no pushover. Brandon's punch resistance is undeniably great. He blocks a lot of punches with his forearms, elbows, and gloves. Rios also has Angel Heredia in his corner, a man who many people say undoubtedly helped Marquez get his body ripped and helped increase his punching power. Brandon Rios also has a honey badger mentality. He doesn't care if his opponent gets brain damage or gets seriously hurt, he wants to make sure you feel severe pain and he enjoys doing it. Lastly, Rios does not like to take a step back because he views it as a sign of weakness.
Considering all the points I've just made, do you still think it is going to be a walk in the park for Pacquiao? This fight could really go either way. There are so many intricacies involved in this fight that definitely give it an intriguing twist.

Wow, Tyrone went at you hard re: Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Maywaether (PBF). I agree totally with your response. Instead of you responding with a negative remark or name-calling. You intelligently broke his argument down with valid points, and as a consequence discredited his argument. Nice work.... In my opinion I believe PBF would have agreed to a root canal minus the Novocaine possibly two, rather than fight Pac-Man. I'm sorry, but he ducked him. When I read Leonard Ellerbe's comments after Pac agreed to all of PBF's demands. "He can't dictate to us" etc., at that point it was clear he was ducking him, and it disgusted me. For the payday he allegedly gave up. It's hard to imagine that a seed of doubt didn't creep into his often-peculiar mind. His ex-best friend 50 cent said on First Take (ESPN), that PBF ducked Pac.

On another note, I would love to see PBF go 49-0. However, I'm not interested in seeing him plow through opposition such as The Ghost, Ortiz, or past his prime Cotto. That would be like watching a prime Ali fight Tunney Hunsaker five times in a row. Well on second thought it would be enjoyable to watch Ali, but you know the outcome. All the gibber jabber about blown up lightweight talk is irrelevant. As you stated both are guilty of this. Even though Pac lost his last fight, it appears to me that he's jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. It appears he wants to get back into contention, and is taking a risk with Rios, that's respectable.
With all his talent (PBF), why not challenge yourself to become the best? Every elite athlete wonders who's better, him/her or me? I'm not certain if PBF is wired that way. He picks his opponents with surgical precision, then sales PPV numbers by saying he's a serious treat. I don't want anyone to get me wrong, I like PBF, and I feel he is in fact the best in the division, but prove it. He needs to ask himself that burning question. Who's the best? Based on his body of work I feel Andre Ward is the best. He ducks no one, and has basically cleaned out the division. PBF should become BFF's with Ward, may be then he'll emulate Ward and face the best the division has to offer..... I doubt it. You cannot achieve a new goal by applying the same level of thinking that got you where you are today. ~Albert Einstein
My list of potential opponents:
-Canelo next, but not at 154lbs. If he wants PBF, he needs to come down 3-4lbs.
-Danny Garcia
-Pac if he wins
-Peterson/Matthysse winner or Devon Alexander, not necessarily in that order
-Then, an off into the sunset fight similar to the Ghost
Is there anyone else to consider? --Ez, Charleston, SC
Tommy's response: Yes, that Tyrone guy is a colorful character. Let's talk about your comments. When it comes to the Pacquiao-Mayweather debate about who ducked who, I have to say that both are at fault for the fight not happening. But almost everybody agrees that the fight would have taken place if Mayweather hadn't introduced the drug testing requirement. Also, without the drug testing requirement, there are no excuses from Pacquiao about being scared of needles, blood, etc and the fight most likely happens. As you can see above in my other breakdown of the timeline, after Mayweather returned from retirement and beat Marquez in September of 2009 and Pacquiao brutalized Cotto in November of 2009, both fighters were more ready than ever to rumble on the proposed March 13th 2010 date. It was the biggest fight in boxing and both were in their absolute primes. This would have been a fight where there would have been a lot of uncertainty as to whether Mayweather could defeat Pacquiao. I am certain there wouldn't have been many gamblers out there who would be willing to bet their homes, cars, savings, etc on Mayweather because there was serious doubt as to whether he could win.
I did see the comments 50 Cent made on First Take where he said Mayweather ducked Pacquiao. I'm not sure what to make of his comments due to the fact both guys aren't on talking terms. It could just be a case of sour grapes. Who really knows.
I have to agree with you that anyone who wants to prove they are the best want to prove it emphatically. I'm sure if Kobe Bryant had the opportunity to prove he is better than Lebron, he would jump at the opportunity to prove it, or vice versa. Great athletes want to prove they are the best and are eager to prove it. Think of Ali. He couldn't possibly accept or concede that anyone was possibly better than he was. He was willing to jump into the ring with anybody. In my opinion, I think if Holmes and Berbick hadn't beaten him like they did, I think Ali would have wanted to jump into the ring against a young Tyson. That's how much personal belief Ali had. Ray Leonard also had the same mentality. Just look at what he did with Hagler. Great fighters want to prove nobody is better than them.
To answer your question about who is left as possible Mayweather opponents, Canelo, Pacquiao, Khan, Martinez, Garcia, Rios if he beats Pacquiao, and possibly Bradley would all be possibilities.

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