GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/02 May) – Flamboyant American boxing star but prison-bound Floyd Mayweather Jr. used to taunt arch rival Manny Pacquiao for feasting on his leftovers.
Pacquiao, after all, fought three boxers who all suffered defeats from Mayweather before bowing to the Filipino boxing icon.
While Pacquiao and Mayweather both emerged victorious against them, the two scored contrasting victories against the same opponents.
Pacquiao’s win over Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya and Shane Mosley were more emphatic and decisive than Mayweather’s victories over them. Pacquiao quickly sent Hatton to dreamland in two rounds while it took Mayweather 10 rounds to inflict the first defeat in the Briton’s colorful but already over career. Pacquiao, in addition, sent Hatton to retirement after knocking him out.
Pacquiao also made de la Hoya quit, something that cannot be said of Mayweather who eked out a disputed split decision victory against the former Golden Boy of boxing. Not a few, in fact, said de la Hoya deserved the win. Like Hatton, de la Hoya also quit boxing after his humiliating loss to Pacquiao.
Against Shane Mosley, Pacquiao and Mayweather were forced to go the distance. The difference however is that Mosley, after going down in Round 3, rode on his bicycle throughout the fight leaving the Filipino very frustrated in victory. Mayweather, on the other hand, almost went down in Round 2 against Mosley. While he eventually toyed with Mosley, Mayweather was not able to intimidate his opponent into retreating.
The tables, however, have now changed.
It is now Mayweather picking up the pieces left behind by Pacquiao by going after Miguel Cotto after the latter had already tasted two devastating stoppage defeats – against Antonio Margarito and Pacquiao. Although Cotto is much younger than Mayweather, one wonders if those two debacles did not render him a damaged good. Cotto is the second Pacquiao victim that is picked up by Mayweather.
The other one was Juan Manuel Marquez, who Mayweather tricked into agreeing to a catch weight limit only for the latter to come in two pounds over the agreed weight. Mayweather indeed taught Marquez a neat boxing lesson but style was the more contributing factor as the smaller Mexican was forced to be the aggressor rather than the counterpuncher that he really is.
Pacquiao will no longer be picking up fights against somebody who was or is defeated by Mayweather. Mayweather has not fought a new face in the welterweight division in the last five years. Besides, Father Time is not on his side with prison awaiting him after his Cotto fight.
Mayweather may again fight late this year and he may choose from among the following – Antonio Margarito, Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander or Amir Khan – when he gets out of jail.
Of the four, Margarito and Bradley loom as the next Pacquiao leftover for Mayweather.
Pacquiao, on the other hand will always have the luxury of giving Mayweather his comeuppance. After all, he fought three of the boxers that should have mattered most in the American’s undefeated record. Where Pacquiao bravely fought the bigger Cotto, Margarito and Mosley, Mayweather avoided them when he should have taken those fights five or seven years ago – the way he is avoiding the Filipino pound for pound king today.
On May 5 (May 6, Sunday in the Philippines), Mayweather will be having for dinner his own words as he goes up against Cotto. (Edwin G. Espejo writes for www.asiancorrespondent.com)