The time is right for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather
I’ve gone back and forth on Manny Pacquiao. I used to want to save his brains. For the good of the Filipino people, of course. I saw in Manny the potential of that charismatic leader who could lift the country to new heights.
Now I don’t care.
There’s a reason why politicians only use the metaphors of boxing, and the rhetoric of “fighting” for your interests. They’re not pugilists. They’re politicians.
Hilary Clinton did say in one U.S. campaign, that she’d “fight for you.” Sure. Just not in the same way Manny can. Conversely, Manny would look odd in Hillary’s pantsuit.
So I’ve given up advocating that Pacquiao get out of the ring to save himself for the higher calling of government service. That just wouldn’t be the wisest use of his talents.
Instead, I join in the chorus of fight fans who say, “Bring me the head of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.” It’s all that’s left.
Boxing, the sweet science, is on a downward spiral in terms of getting global mindshare among the masses.
Here’s an example: Name the current heavyweight champ? No fair googling. See, it’s just not like the old days, when boxers were global heroes.
We used to know the world heavy weight champ. Muhammad Ali. George Foreman. Joe Frazier.
And now? The heavyweights are the little guys, and if boxing wants to maintain some interest and not lose out to the more brutish MMA, it needs to stage the matches people want to see. Like Pacquaio/Mayweather.
That’s Manny’s highest calling. He can say the rosary in the corner all he wants. People want to see him fight—Mayweather, in particular.
On Friday, the website TMZ reported that the deal was done and the announcement was imminent for a May 2 bout at the MGM in Las Vegas.
After pressure from Manny in the media, coinciding with a release of that documentary film that glorifies Pacquiao, Mayweather looks like he’s stopped running away.
Time to stop dodging.
It’s now or never. Or if not now, then just a fight for a lot less money in the distant future. Maybe when both finally qualify for the AARP. And who wants that?
You want to see the best now when they’re at their best, or near best. And right now, both men are just a few levels off their absolute best.
If you chart Mayweather’s skill, age and ability in one line versus the same for Pacquiao, we are probably at the optimal point for everything that matters.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), is 36 years old. Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), turns 38 in February.
Their performance lines are intersecting just as we begin to see both begin a natural but precipitous decline.
Now plot those lines against potential prize money and the march of time, and you can see why the fight must take place now. The boxers are at their highest lows performance wise to date. And the money will never be greater.
Even if Pacquiao gives up a greater percentage to Mayweather, 40 percent of a humongous coconut is better than no coconut at all.
There’s your motivating factor.
The money would have been much bigger say, had Mayweather done this a few years back. He must have been scared by Pacquiao’s quick KO of Hatton (something Floyd didn’t do).
And then Pacquiao’s march through Cotto, Margarito. In some ways, Manny’s two losses—to Marquez and Bradley—likely contributed to the idea that Pacquiao was on enough of a decline to boost Mayweather’s confidence to take the match.
That and money, likely will get the deal done.
In the time they’ve teased this fight, Pac/May could’ve been been staged at least three or four times.
They both already could have made gazillions just fighting each other instead of giving in to vanity exhibitions for money like last year’s Pacquiao/Algieri.
You want to do something for money? Then Pac/May I on May 2, followed up by the rematch, and then the rematch of that, Pac/May III.
A pugilistic trilogy. Why not?
Like I said, I used to care about Pacquiao’s brain. But I’m done thinking he can save the Philippines as a politico.
He can save it in other ways. Income from a Mayweather fight will be taxable. And that might be Pacman’s biggest virtue yet to the Philippine government.
Yes, he’s been somewhat negligent previously, but as an earner and when he pays, he’s the Philippines’ world champion tax caribou.
And it’s right in line with his other role as the country’s boxing diplomat. Manny puts the country and Filipinos top of mind everywhere.
He’s the Philippines’ Ali, the shining hood ornament of the country.
Sure, it’s on a jeepney, but who cares?
Emil Guillermo is an award-winning American Filipino journalist and commentator based in Northern California.
Like him at www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media ; [email protected]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.