COMMENTARY | We have yet to see how gracious Floyd Mayweather is in defeat, but we're absolutely sure that the five-division world champ is not the most gracious of victors.
Since fans and media learned of "Money" Mayweather's six fight, big bucks deal with Showtime, the controversial fighters has not been shy about taking several victory laps to celebrate his unprecedented deal and, perhaps, the victorious kill shot in the Manny vs. Floyd debate.
From what the pound-for-pound kingpin chooses to gloat about in these winning moments, it's clear that Mayweather, just like many fight fans, uses Pacquiao as a measuring stick by which to qualify his greatness. This latest press bombardment is no different.
"I don't think people are really giving me the credit that I'm due," Mayweather would tell Boxingscene, referring to the current attention given to the need for more stringent drug testing in boxing. "I am the pioneer that is in sports that said that we need to take random blood testing and urine testing. Once Pacquiao got knocked out, after the fight, from what I heard, I don't really know, he was talking about that Marquez was on something. I guess things happened and you live and you learn."
During a recent ESPN interview, Mayweather would jump at the chance to take another swipe at his arch-rival when asked about the possibility of the two ever facing one another:
"I don't think the fight holds that much weight anymore," Mayweather said. "I don't know if it will or it won't happen...First Pacquiao has to get past Marquez, a guy I beat with ease...Manny Pacquiao still has Timothy Bradley problems, he still has Marquez problems. First, Manny Pacquiao has to get past those guys, then he can step into the lion's den with Floyd Mayweather."
Even at a press conference for Saturday's Cornelius Bundrage-Ishe Smith IBF junior middleweight title bout, Mayweather couldn't resist adding a few yards to his virtual victory lap.
"The fans want to see a lot more of me," Mayweather told the assembled media at the MGM Grand Detroit, referring to his Showtime deal. "I will give you excitement."
And, when asked about Manny Pacquiao, the future hall of famer, merely shrugged off the mention.
"If people don't know, Floyd Mayweather's not scared of (any) opponent," Mayweather said. "You just don't wake up overnight and just become (the best) pound-for-pound (fighter). And sometimes people talk about my legacy. If my legacy was based upon just one fight, then I didn't need to fight 43 fights."
If history has taught us anything about the heart and character of Floyd Mayweather, it's that the self-congratulations and subtle (or not-so-subtle) digs at Pacquiao will continue.
Mayweather is right about one thing, though. Manny Pacquiao's road to even billing with Mayweather will need to take him past Marquez, Bradley, and, perhaps, one more young, hungry challenger like Brandon Rios. But, by then, Mayweather may already have his wins over Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez behind him and maybe a date with someone like Devon Alexander on the horizon.
At this point, when comparing the two arch-rivals, it's clear that Mayweather is at least two full steps ahead when it comes to the "who's best" foot race to boxing glory, but that could all change with a loss for Floyd.
Given the fact that Mayweather is thirty-six and that he's being asked to fight six times in thirty months, when it previously took him sixty months to book as many bouts, the possibility of an upset loss before the end of the Showtime deal is reasonably high.
Until then, though, close your ears and/or tune out if Mayweather's gloating gets on your nerves. This victory lap is not even close to coming to an end.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Boxingscene, ESPN, Newser.com