The fall-out from the so-called Fight of the Century – thank goodness there’s 85 years left to find a worthier one – is proving to be far more fascinating than the mega-bout itself.
Who shoulders the blame, so to speak, for Manny Pacquiao’s failure to disclose a training injury which he now claims may have cost him the fight against Floyd Mayweather Jnr?
Surgery on a torn right rotator cuff is likely to put Pacquiao out of action for nine to 12 months and it seems the only fight will have in that time will be with the legal authorities. It said he faces a possible perjury charge for signing an official pre-fight medical document that he was not suffering from any injury and under Nevada law this is deemed to be perjury, punishable by imprisonment or a hefty fine. He could also be banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
And on top of this two aggrieved fans are suing him, alleging he defrauded ticket buyers, viewers and gamblers with this apparent deception.
Oh dear!. If nothing else it means we won’t be seeing Mayweather v Pacquiao 2 at any time in the future.
As it happens I don’t believe the Pacman would have beaten Mayweather even with his shoulder intact.
The Filipino has been fantastic performer but he’s no longer the fighter he was. Mayweather would beat him ten times out of ten.
Commonsense told you what the result would be, and how the fight would pan out. Being generous, I gave Pacquiao only three rounds.
Commercially it was an unprecedented success of course, word is it’s currently tracking at 4.5m PPV buys; but did the fans get value for money? Some who paid to view would say not, but what did they expect? It was vintage Mayweather.
Whatever you think about Mayweather as a man you have to admire him as a boxer. Here’s a guy who is never out of shape, has a fabulous boxing brain and is going to come out of the game stinking rich and with all his marbles. What’s not to applaud about that?
But what a complex character. It is hard to reconcile how sometimes reckless he is in his personal life outside the ring with how ultra-conservative he is inside it.
Mayweather insists he will retire in September after one more fight –which I doubt. I’ll bet he goes on to 50 fights and breaks Rocky Marcianio’s record whatever he may be saying now. After all he’s the Money Man and money talks. He’ll want that record and a load more cash in the attic.
Anyway, can you take him at his word? He told us after the fight he’d be handing back all his world title belts on Monday. Yet he still seems to be wearing them.
He says he has fallen out of love with boxing and, if so, maybe that’s because he feels he’s not appreciated. Some of that booing at the MGM Grand was way out of order.
Meantime would-be contenders are forming a long queue to cash in on the Bank of Mayweather. Amir Khan is jostling at the head of it but I can’t see him being the chosen one. Vulnerable as he is in defence, his speed and versatility can give cautious Mayweather the sort of problems he doesn’t need.
I don’t think the IBF champion Kell Brook is in the frame either as it is far more likely Mayweather will take on a tried an trusted opponent better known to a US audience, like Miguel Cotto, Keith Thurman or Timothy Bradley.
And finally there was Bob Arum. He promoted Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier 2 in 1974 and there he was 84 years young as the joint promoter of this event. Hats off to him!
Among the mass of post-mortems on the fight was one from a British scribe who asked: ”Was Mayweather v Pacquiao the end of boxing as we know it?.”
The question was was as wide of the mark as the majority of Pacquiao’s punches.
In fact, I believe it heralds a new beginning with the massive interest it has created globally. Here the sport is healthier than it has been for years with the UK well-established as the second biggest sock market outside the US.
In May alone we have a fistful of Brits involved in major international fights and by the end of the month we could have at least three more world champions.
Mind you, as M v P showed, making natural matches is not that easy. There are much-anticipated punch-ups that may never happen, for all sorts of reasons, political and fiscal.
Brook v Khan is one that is very much on the back burner, Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg another, the latter mainly because Barry McGuigan seems to have fallen out big-time with Quigg’s people over promotional rights. And if Frampton is being offered one and a half million you can be sure Quigg will want the same. It takes two to tango.
But there are also great matches that are being made. Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury is definitely on – it is now just a question of where and when. And fans can look forward to the potential mouth-watering re-match between Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jnr for the summer.
The BoxNation-televised show on Saturday night will feature several of Britain’s rising stars, including Frank Buglioni, Mitchell Smith and Bradley Skeete, all hoping to manoeuvre themselves into position as future world title contenders.
The 27-year-old Skeete, who meets Italy’s Brunet Zamora for the WBO European title, is building a terrific following. He is a most unusual-looking fighter. Tall for a welterweight at 6ft 1in, with an angular, almost skeletal frame. But he has great boxing skills, and has been defeated only once in 20 bouts. And that was on a close decision against Frankie Gavin, who now has a world title shot against Brook.
Skeete comes from Penge, in south east London, hardly a celebrity hotbed..Indeed the only big names I can recall hailing from Penge were Frank and Peggy Spencer, and their famous formation dancing team, back in the sixties. At least Skeete can certainly match them with his quickstep.
A really decent guy, too. He used to be managed by the late Dean Powell, who sadly took his own life, and he still gives a percentage of his purse to, Dean’s partner, Lisa. A proper guy!
Another battling Brit with a great chance of becoming a world champion is Manchester’s lightweight star Terry Flanagan who is to face Jose Zepeda for the WBO title.
The WBO have ordered Flanagan and the similarly undefeated Mexican to meet for the vacant title with promoters Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank allowed 15 days to negotiate. A purse bid will be held if an agreement isn’t reached.
Flanagan, the current WBO European champion, was due to face the winner out of Ray Beltran and Takahiro Ao who fought last Friday but when Beltran failed to make the stipulated weight the title was declared vacant even though Beltran won by stunning second round stoppage.
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