Could it be another “Thrilla in Manila”? This time though, one of the contenders would actually be from the Philippines.
After Manny Pacquiao won the WBO welterweight championship from Miguel Cotto two weeks ago, fans and commentators predicted a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown in the coming months. And those predictions might actually become a reality, as some promoters touted a fight scheduled for sometime this upcoming spring.
Pacquiao dominated former welterweight champ Miguel Cotto in a straight-up beat down, as he coasted to another world title in a record seventh weight class. Pacquiao pounded on Cotto for 11 rounds until the referee stopped the fight at the beginning of round 12.
Pacquiao has beat everyone. From Erik Morales, Jorge Solis, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and now Cotto. A few of these fighters, namely de la Hoya, are future hall-of-famers.
Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KO’s) now only has one man to face, the undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. (40-0, 21 KO’s). Both fighters defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, and Oscar de la Hoya in decisive victories.
So what does this mean for boxing? The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight might be exactly what the industry needs. Boxing has always thrived on rivalries, from Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta to Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. The industry has suffered in the past two decades from a lack of colorful boxing personalities like Ali to drive attention and hype to fights.
But the emergence of “Pretty Boy” Floyd as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of his generation may change that. The outspoken, cocky fighter has made a name for himself in recent years for flaunting his expensive lifestyle, and making regular appearances on the dramatized WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Combine that with unmatched dominance in the ring, Mayweather has become the Muhammad Ali of this generation. When Mayweather retired after he defeated Oscar de la Hoya in 2007, Manny Pacquiao rose to prominence and took the spotlight away from the once dominant Mayweather.
Now, with no else to face, the two have no choice but to fight each other. With two dominant fighters in the ring, the boxing industry is sure to see one of its biggest paydays to date. Mayweather’s bravado will clash with Pacquiao’s skill and tenacity in the ring. It is a classic battle of good and evil with the flamboyant Mayweather against a popular Pacquiao. Although the bitter rivalry from the Ali vs. Frazier fights isn’t there, if there is a fight, Mayweather will make sure there’s plenty of hype leading up to it.