Floyd Mayweather Jr.
First it was Floyd Mayweather, Jr. poaching all potential sparring partners from Manny Pacquiao.
It’s inarguable that Pacquiao’s best chance lies in his ability to outwork a fighter who’s frequently forced opponents into an offensive shell with a penchant for precision counterpunching.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is so naturally radiant that the two participants eschewed the obligatory, cross-country, promotional tour.
Experts have wondered if this fight, in a strict boxing sense, was announced five years too late. Maybe. But it doesn’t matter.
Let’s discard the nonsense that this is just another fight, or that it doesn’t feed a starving sport.
In the endless nuance, childish pride, and politics of the most-publicly and endlessly negotiated sporting event in human history, semantics matter. More than the money, more than the fight, more than legacy.
Floyd, you’re great. While I can’t concede the greatest, and I wince when you compare yourself favorably to The Greatest (Muhammad Ali), I’ll give it that you’re the best of your time.
By every account, Manny Pacquiao has agreed to every nuance of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s demands, including rampant PED testing, a smaller share of the epic purse, and a lower perch on the glittering marquee.
With more dueling monologues than a presidential campaign, it’s sounding more and more like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will fight next year.
Since we are upon our great day of gratitude, a pretext for gorging on poultry and then taking our swollen torsos to the nearest television for some football, let’s look to sports for reasons to give thanks.
If boxing is to save its vitality, it needs vital boxers to fight each other. Seems simple enough, an athletic algorithm that serves the sport and its fans.
Alvarez and Mayweather are fighting at a catch-weight of 152 pounds, which, if you’re looking for an edge, would probably point to Alvarez, the naturally larger man. But Mayweather has a way of making larger men look small.