I wonder what boxer Floyd Mayweather was thinking when he called out Manny Pacquiao, a fighter with arguably the largest following in the sports history. Perhaps he had a legitimate gripe, perhap’s Pacquiao’s utter dominance was so inexplicable that it warranted steroid allegations. Or maybe Manny’s mastering over his opponents was something Floyd could not understand. Afterall never has the pretty boy come face to face with someone that possesses such a boxing acumen on par with his own.
For over a decade Floyd with relative ease dominated everyone and everything before him. Whether it was the talented but knuckle headed Zab Judah, or the rising star that was Cory Spink’s Floyd was always up to the task of proving himself. Floyd’s gloves even had a penchant for taking the shine off the golden boy and exposing Ricky Hatton, the raging Welshman that he easily defeated and frankly embarrassed. Then there was Floyd’s naysayers. He’s not a pay per view draw, who has he fought? he’s overrated. Floyd with the same determination he put on display in the ring made all those aforementioned notions vanish into thin air. Still if there has ever been a knock on Floyd’s career it is that he never had an equal.
While Floyd went into “retirement” Pacquiao had the spotlight to himself he would go on to embarrass both Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton with greater flare then Floyd. On top of that he threw in his utter domination of the Puerto Rican power puncher Miguel Cotto. Floyd may have thought otherwise but while he was gone boxing and its fans had welcomed another superstar.
Now with the super fight of our generation quickly approaching Floyd whether he admits or not is going into the ring with a man whose abilities appear to be equal to his. Handspeed that is beyond description, a heart that cannot accept defeat, and a will that has endured wars with boxing greats like Marquez, Barrera and Morales that as a result now seems unbreakable. Whereas before Floyd once use to step into the ring and the opposition had a fighters chance for the first time his opponent has a viable one. Are the allegations of steroid usage a mind game? Or are they Floyd’s attempt to cope with the fact that the next time he enters the squared circle he not might only lose but he will face an unstoppable force the likes of which he has never encountered before.