LAS VEGAS – A few more random thoughts and observations in the aftermath of to Manny Pacquiao's 12th-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena before we get to your questions and comments in the mailbag:
- Let's stop the posturing. You want to see Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather. I want to see the fight. So does just about everyone else in the country. So let's knock off this baloney about Pacquiao never mentioning Mayweather's name and whether the fight should be called Pacquiao-Mayweather or Mayweather-Pacquiao and all this other nonsense.
This kind of petty bickering and chest-puffing is why boxing got into trouble in the first place.
There's huge public demand for the fight. Both sides should sit down and make it happen, for the good of the sport as well as the good of their bank accounts.
The percent split of the money is going to be a factor in whether or not the fight gets done. Mayweather insists he's the A side. Pacquiao hasn't said anything publicly, but he'll undoubtedly make the same claim. A simple way to settle that is this: Split the purses 45-45, with the winner getting the extra 10 percent guarantee.
Then, nobody can complain and each man's purse would depend upon his performance.
- Pacquiao said Saturday that he's done moving up in weight and won't chase another world title in order to try to reach championship status in a record eighth class. He's won sanctioning body belts at 112, 122, 130, 135 and 147 and was the linear champion at 126 and 140.
His trainer, Freddie Roach, said after Saturday's fight that Pacquiao would have no trouble landing another belt if he wanted.
When he noted that rabbinical student Yuri Foreman had just won the World Boxing Association super welterweight (154-pound) title, Roach beamed.
"That would be easy," Roach said of a potential Pacquiao-Foreman fight.
Easy, perhaps, but highly unlikely to happen.
- A Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will be the biggest of the year in 2010, but getting a ticket to see it live may not be as difficult as you'd think. That's because major stadiums from around the country are desperate to host the fight. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum has already heard from officials at the New Orleans Superdome, Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Giants Stadium and Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, among others. Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas is reportedly willing to build a 30,000-seat outdoor stadium to host the fight.
Count Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer among those impressed with Pacquiao. He said he expected a tougher fight, especially when thinking of Cotto's 2007 victory over his Shane Mosley.
"When I was sitting ringside to watch Cotto and Mosley, I was surprised how quick Cotto was and how well he was able to handle Shane's speed," Schaefer said. "I felt (Pacquiao-Cotto) would be a more even fight than it turned out to be. I thought Cotto would win, given the way he handled Shane's speed. But Manny was extremely impressive."
We'll have plenty more on Pacquiao-Mayweather in the coming days and weeks. But before I turn my attention to your thoughts, I'll ask you to follow me on Twitter
Now that Pacquiao has soundly defeated Cotto, it seems the next logical fight is with Mayweather. Most experts and insiders say Mayweather has the bargaining leverage based off of pay-per-view results against similar opponents. I disagree considering they factor in when those fights happened. When Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya, Oscar was considered the biggest name in boxing and one of the best in the game. He contributed to the majority of those sales. Pacquiao fought De La Hoya after he loss to Floyd and after Oscar then had some degree of difficulty with Steve Forbes. To add to that, many thought that Oscar was picking on a smaller fighter by fighting Pacquiao. Mayweather and Hatton were each undefeated when they fought and Hatton had a lot hype surrounding him. After his loss and a tough fight with Juan Lazcano, Hatton lost much of that hype. As far as the Marquez fight, Pacquiao fought him when they both were fighting at the 130-pound weight limit and I can't recall a time when guys at the lower weight classes did a huge number on PPV. What helped sell the Mayweather-Marquez bout was the fact that Marquez gave Pacquiao his fill and many observers thought he won both of those fights, so people were interested in seeing how he would fare against Mayweather, who was coming off a lengthy retirement.
St. Louis, Mo.
They're very good points and I can't argue with any of them, Brian. There is more than enough money in a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout (see, I take turns) that it shouldn't be the reason the fight fails to happen.
Pacquiao's dominance of Cotto is noteworthy because I think Cotto was a much stronger puncher than Mayweather. Frankly, if Pacman can walk through Cotto's power, he won't be hurt by Mayweather. What I think is amazing is coming into the fights with Pacquiao, all of his recent opponents were legitimately considered threats. After the fights, he beats them so badly they seem washed up. I don't see this as Manny picking on weakened foes. Floyd beat De La Hoya and Hatton, but neither looked washed up after those fights. Manny is so good, he made them appear completely finished. Only Juan Manuel Marquez seemed to survive enough to have a reason to continue after these recent fights. Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, David Diaz, De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and now Cotto. All came into their fights with Manny and were given good shots to win. When Manny was done with them, they appeared as if they were done as fighters. He's more devastating than Mike Tyson, when you think about it. He might have had the highlight-reel knockouts against mostly bums, but with the exception of Michael Spinks, he never ended careers of top-level fighters in the manner that Manny has. (Michael Spinks may be the exception)
Oak Creek, Wisc.
What Manny has done has been remarkable and is the biggest story in boxing in the last 18 months. He hasn't put all of those guys into retirement, but given the quality of that list, sending just one to the rest home is a huge accomplishment and speaks to his talents.
Didn't the Pacquiao-Cotto fight have a "no standing eight-count" rule? The rules were announced just before the fight. Cotto was given one in the fourth round. Had he not gotten a standing eight, the fight would have been much shorter.
There is no standing eight in what are known as the unified rules, put forth by the Association of Boxing Commissions. There was no standing eight given on Saturday, either. Cotto was knocked down in the fourth by a punch and was given the mandatory eight-count. A standing eight is where the referee jumps in and gives the fighter an eight-count when he's knocked down to give him a break from punishment. A mandatory eight-count occurs after all knockdowns. The fighter scoring the knockdown must go to the farthest neutral corner and the referee makes a mandatory eight-count to determine if the fighter is able to continue.
Freddie Roach was right. Rumors are that Emanuel Steward has been for years proposing himself to train Cotto. I don't know if that is true, but what if he had? On the Island, most people thought Felix Trinidad stalled because he needed to add a different trainer after the fight with Oscar De La Hoya, when his shortcomings were visible. I think the same regarding Cotto. I don't know if it is too late, but he should try.
San Juan, PR
Joe Santiago clearly was no match for Roach. He made no adjustments in the fight and he didn't have a clear, sensible game plan. None of it would have mattered on Saturday, though. This was one of those fights where one fighter was so much better than the other. Cotto could have performed better, but in the end, he still would have lost. His future is murky after the severe beatings he's taken at the hands of Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. I'm not sure he'll ever be the same.
After the winner of Mayweather-Pacquiao is crowned the pound-for-pound champion, he should fight Paul Williams. How does that sound? To be fair we shouldn't call either man pound-for-pound unless they give Williams a shot down the line. Once that's over, we'll have our "Boxer of this generation."
Jesse, I'd like to see the winner fight Williams, but to withhold recognition of that man as pound-for-pound champion is ridiculous. Williams is a great fighter, but he hasn't had the kind of wins that either of these two, particularly Pacquiao, had. So why should he default into that kind of position. Plus, I'm not sure by late next year he'll even be able to come close to making 147 pounds any more.
A month ago, I wrote you saying those journalists who voted Pacquiao best pound-for-pound weren't giving Mayweather his due. After Pacquiao's destruction of Cotto Saturday, I'll be the first to agree that the question of pound-for-pound king is a complete toss-up, a question that can only be answered in the ring. My question is this: In terms of fight preparation, would you say that Mayweather needs to make bigger adjustments for Pacquiao than vice versa? In other words, while Pacquiao will bring his perpetual motion onslaught into the ring against any opponent, will Floyd need a fight game tailor-made for the non-stop tsunami of violence that is Manny Pacquiao? I know Floyd will come prepared. Any ideas on what it takes to "get ready" for Manny Pacquiao?
I think an issue in getting ready for Pacquiao is that he hits much harder than he looks and he's so fast. He had Cotto hurt early in the fight, not after it went a long way and Cotto was tired. That's significant. Floyd poses Manny problems with his defensive skills, which are exceptional, and his speed/quickness. Manny poses Floyd problems with his varied offensive game, his chin and his willingness to attack. It's the perfect style matchup for an excellent bout.