Now Is The Time

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 21, 2009

Floyd Mayweather outclasses Juan Manuel Marquez

Floyd Mayweather outclasses Juan Manuel Marquez

NEW YORK (BASN) — The timing for a Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) vs. Floyd Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) bout couldn’t be better. Now is the time to make the fight happen.

It makes no sense for Pacquiao or even Mayweather to fight other opponents. Pacquiao and Mayweather have far surpassed the preliminary, record-padding stage of their careers.

Both fighter shave fought some of the very best fighters in the world.

They have a wealth of professional fights and have won multiple world championships in as many weight divisions.

Pacquiao and Mayweather need to fight one another to determine the very best fighter in the world “pound-for-pound.” The distinction of “pound-for-pound” once belonged to Floyd Mayweather. That was until Mayweather subsequently “retired” following a tenth-round KO of Ricky Hatton in December 2007.

Following Mayweather’s absence, Pacquiao, who had already established his reputation as the “Mexican Assassin” had already dominated several weight divisions. Pacquiao became this global phenomenon that blew past Hatton, David Diaz, future Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya, and most recently WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto.

The astonishing thing about Pacquiao is that he hasn’t shown any indication that he’s going to slowdown in the near future. Pacquiao has become a tropical storm that has emerged into a raging hurricane that has elevated from a category 2 all the way to a category 5.

Pacquiao continues to improve much to the credit of trainer Freddie Roach, who has worked tirelessly in recent years to enhance the Filipino’s use of the right hand. Pacquiao is a complete fighter. His movement, combination-sequence, and punching power in both hands have become so fluent.

Mayweather isn’t very impressed.

“All I can say is he’s a fighter like I’m a fighter. I don’t see no versatility in Manny Pacquiao, I just see a good fighter, a good puncher, but one-dimensional,” said Mayweather as quoted by The Telegraph.

The last opponent to have given Pacquiao fits in the ring was Juan Manuel Marquez, whom Pacquiao has floored four times in their two meetings dating back to their disputed draw in 2003 and split-decision verdict in 2008.

Pacquiao-Cotto revisited

Cotto had a legitimate punchers chance to beat Pacquiao when they fought at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV in front of more than 15,000 last Saturday. Cotto was on his game plan; hurting the often too-resistant Pacquiao with left jabs and stiff body punches.

However, a sudden right hook dropped Cotto in the second round. Cotto was back on the grind, as was a similar case with Manny.

Cotto did well, but it was clear that his face (not gloves) was in the way for Pacquiao’s rapid-fire combinations.

Manny Pacquiao rips into Ricky Hatton

Manny Pacquiao rips into Ricky Hatton

In the fourth round, Cotto pressed Pacquiao against the ropes with some heavy shots. Suddenly, during a round Cotto was a winning, Pacquiao had Cotto against the ropes and caught him coming forward with a sharp left hook inside, not over, the right hand of Cotto.

From that point forward, Pacquiao had already forced Cotto into submission. Cotto backpedaled around the ring the way he did when Antonio Margarito (loaded gloves or not) caught up to him and stopped Cotto in the eleventh round.

Cotto looked like he wanted to quit. Even Pacquiao accused Cotto of “running” when the Filipino superstar wanted to fight. Pacquiao was stalking Cotto, hurting Cotto around the ring with his energetic southpaw style.

Roach knew it was only a matter of time before Cotto was going to get KO’d.

Looking to quit while he was on the tail end of a lengthy beating after eleven rounds, referee Kenny Bayless took Cotto out of his misery by stopping the beating less than one minute into the twelfth and final round.

Pacquiao-Mayweather: let the debate begin

There are many differences between Mayweather and Pacquiao. One difference is the fact that Mayweather, throughout his career, has outclassed his opponents. Mayweather has had his share of knockout wins – Hatton, Arturo Gatti, Angel Manfredy, and Diego Corrales – but he has also outclassed opponents through twelve rounds.

Guys like De La Hoya, Jose Luis Castillo, Zab Judah, and as recent as September 19, Juan Manuel Marquez simply couldn’t keep pace with Mayweather’s speed, defense, combination punching, and movement.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, isn’t outclassing guys solely. Manny Pacquiao is knocking opponents out one, after another, after another, after another.

Manny Pacquiao reminds me of Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Pacquiao is a great fighter because great fighters can box well and they have explosive punching power. The fighters listed in this paragraph were terrific punchers.

They had speed, and were very determined, prideful fighters.

They simply stopped guys. Therefore, there was no question as to who won their bouts because they stopped nearly all of their opponents.

Either Mayweather is going to outclass Pacquiao or Manny may have to perform in overdrive in order to catch an illusive and difficult-to-hit target in Mayweather. The longer Mayweather waits to fight Manny, the better Pacquiao will become over the course of time.

At age 31, with increasing periods of inactivity, Mayweather could be losing his time. Sure he looked terrific in dismantling Marquez, a unified WBA/WBO lightweight champion. But fighters decline – Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, Foreman, Holyfield, and even Muhammad Ali, Ray Robinson, and Joe Louis faltered.

Pacquaio-Mayweather is a terrific match-up and it will happen. Hopefully sooner rather than later, as is the case with many big fights in boxing.

Bernard Hopkins returns, seeks win # 50

Fighting for the first-time since his astonishing 12-round unanimous decision win against unified WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in October 2008, former undisputed world middleweight champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins is looking for his 50th professional victory.

Hopkins (49-5-1, 32 KOs) returns to his native Philadelphia, PA to battle Enrique Ornelas (29-5, 19 KOs) in a 12-round light-heavyweight bout entitled “Broad Street Brawl” on December 2, at the Liacouras Center.

The bout is part of a split-site doubleheader to be televised on VERUS beginning at 8 pm ET. The second-half of the telecast features a tape-delay broadcast of Roy Jones, Jr.’s trip to Australia to battle hometown favorite Danny Green.

Former World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier (left), Philadelphia Flyers great Dave Schultz (middle), and former World Middleweight Champion Bernard Hopkins (right)

Former World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier (left), Philadelphia Flyers great Dave Schultz (middle), and former World Middleweight Champion Bernard Hopkins (right)

Should Hopkins and Jones emerge victorious, there is already a deal in place for the two to meet in a rematch 17 years in the making. The first time they fought, Jones outpointed Hopkins through twelve rounds to claim the vacant IBF middleweight title.

Tickets for Broad Street Brawl: Hopkins vs. Ornelas” are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are on sale and available for purchase exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at ComcastTIX.com, by calling 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Liacouras Center box office.

Doors open at 5 PM ET. First bout is at 6 PM ET.

In addition to fighting for his fans, Hopkins will be fighting for charity as he has committed to donating one dollar from each ticket sold to three select charities.

Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Philadelphia & Susquehanna Valley, The Hero Thrill Show and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Winky Wright returns too

Former undisputed WBC/WBA and IBF junior middleweight champion Winky Wright (51-5, 25 KOs) is hot on the comeback trail following his decision loss to Paul Williams in April.

Winky Wright

Winky Wright

Wright is getting “Back To Business” on December 11, when he meets former season 2 of “The Contender” reality boxing series Grady Brewer (26-11, 15 KOs) at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The bout will be aired live on pay-per-view.

The bout will also mark the 516-year celebration of the famed Christopher Columbus’ New World discovery of San Juan Batista which is known today as Puerto Rico (rich port).

“Just like Columbus discovered Puerto Rico hundreds of years ago, December 11 will be the day that I discover victory once again and show the world that I am still one of the best fighters in the sport today,” Wright stated.

“I feel great, and I’m ready for a hard fight. Brewer is coming in with high hopes. I’m preparing to deflate those hopes on fight night.”