MAYWEATHER V. PACQUIAO: Armagedon at the M.G.M. Grand Arena

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The time for the fight of the Century is getting close and the boxing world just like a child excitedly waiting for a favorite Christmas present under the tree, are counting the days, minutes, seconds, for the most important fight of the year.

The Manny Pacquiao vs, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. gladiator’s duel, certainly overshadows the other great fights already held this year and those yet to be seen after, Saturday, May 2, 2015. They were like the “appetizers” before the main dinner, and of course the rest are the dessert after the dinner.

After the signing, with the signed contracts posted on You tube, the boxing world of fans and even the “non-fan” began conversations as to who would win this “winner take all, non-return bout clause” mega fight.

You could actually hear passengers on public transportation, neighbors sitting on their stoops, at the Bodegas, Super Markets, the Barber Shops, the undocumented immigrants on street corners and even at family gatherings discuss this fight.

I have asked myself why is this fight on the top of the charts of normal sports conversations, and my only answer is Pacquiao and Mayweather.

They are the 2 greatest fighters of our present era that despite their small sizes are really the “heavyweights” of this boxing industry, who individually have amassed fighting records second to none. A combined total of 110 fights, 104 victories, 5 losses, 1 draw, and 64 knockouts.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. 47-0, 26 knockouts, 5 time World Champion, pound for pound ring icon vs. Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, 57-5-1, 38 k.o.’s, 8 time world champion, and also, a pound for pound ring icon.

This fistic war, like an Armagedon, will take place at the M.G.M. Grand Arena Hotel & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mayweather’s home court.

With Mayweather a 4-1 favorite, the experts have speculated as to who will win with most of them, favoring Mayweather. “Floyd is too fast, a great expert counter-puncher, a ring thinker all of the time, a great jabber, and he’ll confuse Pacquiao."

Those of the boxing community past and present have overwhelmingly favored Mayweather, but Robert “Manos de Piedras” Duran former 3 time world champ, picked Pacquiao to knockout Mayweather by the 10th round.

Present Middleweight Champ, Miguel Cotto who lost to both, also picked Pacquiao to win because, “the ‘PacMan’ is stronger”.

Another surprising statement came from both Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. Mexican boxing legend and Azuma Nelson, former 126 pound Champ from Ghana when they stated that the fight was so close, “it could be a draw”.

Of course, you also have the fans that just “love” Mayweather. “He’s the man”, “he’ll beat Pacquiao easily, maybe knockout him early and prove his greatness”.

“He’ll retire undefeated, no doubt, he’s the greatest ever”.

Is all of this really very true of Mayweather, or does Pacquiao have a chance though slim, to defeat Mayweather?

Not surprisingly, Mayweather talks about his unbeaten record in the professional ranks but, in the Amateurs he lost 6 of his 90 fights. The most noteworthy loss was to a Bulgarian in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. in a controversial decision in which he was declared the winner and then when the referee realized his “mistake” he raised the opponent, Serafin Todorov’s hand. Mayweather was then awarded the Bronze Medal.

What about the other 5 who hold victories over Mayweather? Did Floyd win in a re-match? Where are they today, and are they going to watch Floyd in person or pay a pay-per-view fee to see Mayweather in his most important fight of his boxing hall of fame career?

Are they individually saying, “Man, I beat this ‘dude’, and look at where he’s at”!

Did they attempt a pro career, like Todorov, failed, and are they now just “non-descript” citizens working at menial jobs with a family? Who knows!

It would make a great “human interest story” if they could be located because in these times of so much poverty, unemployment, bad economy, this athletic contest, will gross $600 million dollars of which these 2 stars of the boxing ring will be paid $180 million dollars-Mayweather and $120 million dollars-Pacquiao for just 36 minutes of “work”.

What an exciting 36 minutes we hope this fight could be to settle a long standing feud, like the Hatfields and the McKoys, with the winner being awarded a $100 million dollar W.B.C. championship belt especially designed for this event with 3,017 Emeralds and made of gold and silver.

Let’s “study” Pacquiao, and “see” his advantages.

Pacquiao is a hard hitting south-paw, non-stop fighter who was labeled the “Fighter of the Decade” 2000 to 2009, punches in bunches, and is speedy on his legs.

Some experts like E.S.P.N Friday Night Fights Commentator, Teddy Atlas stated that “Mayweather may be fast, but Pacquiao is ‘speedier’ of legs and punching, who attacks you from all angles perhaps confusing Mayweather who is used to fighting a slower target, and not a south paw.”

Is this Pacquiao’s , advantage over an aging -38-Mayweather? We will find out, by Sunday morning May 3rd 2015, at the M.G.M. Grand, but remember, Pacquiao is 36.

“I was always prepared to be a winner”, stated Mayweather at the only Press Conference allowed for this mega fight. He then stated, “When you lose once it will be in your mind, and if you lose twice it will certainly be in your mind”. Was this a subliminal message to Pacquiao that since he lost 5 times he is still a “loser”?

Perhaps a surprisingly subdued Mayweather may have expressed his own fears although suttle, of finally losing his coveted “0” of invincibility. Only Mayweather knows what’s really in his mind, and why he says what he says.

When he goes to bed at night after training, in his solitude, I am sure he faces the real truth “demons” of his feelings and fears of which of course he could hide from everyone but, himself.

The reality is that Floyd Mayweather has never really wanted to fight Pacqiuao even when it was first proposed by Bob Arum’s Top Rank. He refused to sign the lucrative $40 million dollars parity contract accusing Pacquiao of steroids usage which angered Pacquiao, who then refused to take the proposed U.S.A.D.A. Drug test to prove he was indeed “clean” of steroids.

Unfortunately, the media seemed to “side” with Mayweather, asking Pacquiao, “why, are you afraid to take the test if you are really clean”?

This was the beginning of a 6 year odyssey that looked like a long running boxing soap opera which included Pacquiao filing a law suit on Mayweather for libel and slander, which was settled out of court a few years later.

Throughout those years Mayweather stated repeatedly that he would never fight Pacquiao because he was not a worthy pay-per-view opponent, stating that, “Pacquiao has lost 5 fights and was knocked out 3 times. There are other opponents better than him”.

Many suspect-myself included-that, that was a ruse since he never really wanted to fight Pacquiao. Now under extreme fan pressure and getting an “offer he could not refuse” from Pacquiao himself, he had to accept the fight.

Manny Pacquiao agreed to a 60/40 split of the $300 million purse, a drug test, fight site , and choice of ring corners, A or B. “Whatever Lola wanted”- Floyd-he got it !

Mayweather has stated repeatedly that “this is the fight that I always wanted to define my career fighting the best fighter in the world second to me, but after it is over, I’ll still be 48-0”.

The trash talk has continued throughout the months at the training camps such as Mayweather stating, “I have been on top this long and will continue to stay on top because I am always 10 steps ahead of my opponents due to the fact that I am smarter and I let them make the mistakes.” Mayweather added further that, “Manny is a reckless fighter that’s why he was knocked out by Juan Marquez. You don’t last long in this business if you are reckless”.

While in the other camp-Pacquiao’s- Manny being the diplomatic politician allowed his trainer Freddy Roach to respond.

“Floyd is just scared so he calls Manny dumb and reckless because he needs something to boost his courage since he didn’t want this fight in the first place. He can’t fight south paws. Manny pressured him for this fight by giving him all the perks he demanded, so now he has to fight, with no more excuses. There is still a week left, I hope he shows up”.

With the clock winding down like that old time game show, “Beat the Clock”, we are all stock piling our homes with snacks and filling the “fridge” with our favorite libation, resembling a “tail-gate” party or maybe the Super Bowl of boxing, because that is what it is.

The Armagedon FootNotes:

1) Since this is the second time in boxing history that we will see a dual telecast-H.B.O. & SHOWTIME, we will also see dual Ring Announcers who are Hall of Famers. Michael Buffer for H.B.O., and Jimmy Lennon, Jr., for SHOWTIME.

2) Not surprisingly many media personalities and other well-known persons publically stated that they will not watch nor much less support a fight involving Floyd Mayweather, Jr. because of his violent domestic abuse past which led to his 90 days incarceration.

3) While preparing for this fight, comments were made that Mayweather was knocked down in a sparring session with south paw, Zab Judah a former world champ and former opponent of Mayweather's. Rumors are that he also suffered a cut lip in another sparring session with another sparring partner.---“Rumors—Rumors—Rumors”. Who do you believe?

4) Mayweather demonstrated the importance of this fight when he added chopping wood with a 10 pound axe to his conditioning program, just like the old timers, Sugar Ray Robinson, Geraldo “Kid Gavilan” Gonzalez, Joe Louis did when they trained at their favorite training camp, Pompton Lakes, New York, many years ago.

5) Floyd Mayweather also hired a $1,000 dollars a-day Nutrition Chef to “purify” his body since he is a fanatical “junk food” eater.

6) The fight tickets were finally put on the market, but only 500 tickets were allotted for the regular consumer. The majority of the tickets went to the “high-rollers”. That certainly was not fair when a “nose bleed” seat cost $1,500, and those who will watch at home, will have to pay $99.99 for pay-per-view. Ringside tickets that cost $7,500 are being “scalped” for $10,000 dollars, or more.

7) From the Pacquiao camp all is tranquil, but “rumors” are that his Mother is preparing a “new” voo doo chant to “hex” Floyd Mayweather on May 2, 2015.

8) Pacquiao has had to stop sparring and running for a few days due to chronic severe calf cramps. In his previous fights this has always been a constant problem.

9) Kenny Bayless a veteran no-nonsense great referee has been assigned to officiate this mega fight.

10) Sports Bars, Night Clubs, Restaurants are offering “package deals”, like dinner, drinks, and the fight for a “special” price. So everyone is “cashing in” on the fight of the century. A nation of “Profiteers”.

After all that has been said and done, I still give Manny Pacquiao the edge to defeat Floyd Mayweather by decision, not ruling out a late round knockout. I just hope that if the fight is close but Pacquiao has the edge, Mayweather is not “gifted” the decision just to keep him undefeated.

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