In this alpha male world of combat sports, the fighters and even fighters camps want to be seen as top dogs. They constantly show media and the public they are number one and what ever their colleagues or opponents can do, they can do twice as better and with a million dollar smile.
If Freddie Roach has his way (odds are in his favor) he is looking for his prized pugilist, Manny Pacquiao to once again one up his only other equal on paper, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Though the super fight that is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather has yet come to fruition, a sort of cold war type fight has been fought between the two for quite some time now. How is that you may ask?
Well if you can’t have the two best pound for pound boxers in the world fight each other right now, the closest thing to a competition the two can claim is how they have fared with common opponents. This all started by accident with Juan Manuel Marquez. Manny Pacquiao went life and death with Marquez on two separate occasions, the first of which ended in a draw and the second of which Pacquiao barley won by a point earned by a knockdown. Many fans still debate both fights and we have not seen Pacquiao as vulnerable since March 15 of 2008.
So with that now we can move on to Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Oscar came strong and aggressive in that bout but ultimately abandoned his jab mid fight to easily let the speed and reflexes of Mayweather Jr. take over en route to a split decision. Soon after, in what was titled the “Dream Fight,” De La Hoya signed up to fight Pacquiao while Mayweather would go on to fight Ricky Hatton, another common opponent the two share. In what ultimately would be the last boxing fight in the storied career of De La Hoya, Pacquiao made the biggest draw in boxing quit on his stool before the 9th round. According to team Pacquiao and fans, that is one point for them as his win was a much more dominant one that Mayweather. Fans of Mayweather argue that De La Hoya, by the time he was faced up with Pacquiao was severely dehydrated and even more past his prime than with Mayweather. Obvious to everyone is that Oscar was no where near his prime when he fought both guys. Ricky Hatton comes as goes as he is knocked out by Mayweather in the 10th round of their mega bout, only to get sent to the canvas twice in the first round and quite possibly the best knock out of 2009 in the second round to the Philippine hitting machine.
Team Pacquiao now claims that Manny has had better results with two common opponents than Mayweather has had leading them to the conclusion that Pacquiao is the better fighter between the two. Of course, Mayweather’s camp contends that their man had left Hatton broken and damaged for Pacquiao. We finally get back to Juan Manuel Marquez. On the day of September 18th, both fighters weighed in and Mayweather was over the contracted weight limit. It is important to note as the next day, Mayweather outweighed Marquez by twenty pounds. To be fair though, this is the same advantage De La Hoya had over Mayweather two years prior. Marquez never had a chance, being not only outweighed, but out gunned in the speed department by a much faster and overall more skillful Mayweather. Things get a little bit murky here. Mayweather proponents say, “Look at how easily Floyd handled Marquez, he was not hit the way Manny was in their two fights.” Team Pacquiao fans and supporters say, “Manny did not out weigh Marquez by twenty pounds when they fought both times and Manny is now much more complete than back in 08.” Say you just give it to Mayweather though, it only gives him one out of three common opponents in which he dominated more than Pacquiao.
For those people who are heavily invested in the boxing scene, though this fight is a slap in the face to them, it does create a interesting comparison between where ultimately the two top pound for pound boxers stand. Mayweather, aside from his second round scare completely overwhelmed Mosley en route to a lopsided unanimous decision victory. Team Pacquiao is well aware of this and so is head trainer Freddie Roach, who promises not only will Pacquiao knock out Mosley, but will finally prove to both Mayweather and Mayweather supporters alike that his man is better. Not because Manny will get in there and exchange and provide an all action offensive arsenal but rather the more spectacular career wins he holds over common opponents.