Mythbusters: 5 Mayweather v Pacquiao ‘facts’ that simply aren’t true.
A lot of assumptions about their huge fight that couldn’t be further from the truth.
MYTH ONE: Floyd Mayweather had no choice but to fight Manny Pacquiao
If Mayweather’s two contracted fights in 2015, the last on his deal with Showtime, really are his final professional bouts, it would not matter who he fought as people would still flock to see the end of an era.
This May fight, sans Pacquiao, perhaps would be less appealing than what Floyd claims in the autumn will be his 49th and final bout, but he would have done what he always has on Cinco de Mayo weekend: line up a formidable but easily-beatable latin fighter (such as, say, Lucas Matthysse), enjoy the profits from that particular can’t-miss marketing, and then go full-steam-ahead towards that last bout later this year.
And, even if he had a change of heart and went for that big 50th win next year to beat Rocky Marciano’s undefeated streak, that in itself would also sell regardless of opponent, obviously.
So, to convince yourself that Mayweather reached a stage where he finally needed Pacquiao in the ring is absurd.
MYTH TWO: Manny Pacquiao is a shell of his former self because of those two straight defeats in 2012.
Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in 2012, make no mistake about it. The record books will state that he lost, but the judging in that one has been universally panned. Such an unjust ‘loss’ hasn’t really demoralised Manny, only angered him.
Perhaps it angered him so much that he approached the fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez the wrong way. He was unbeaten in their first three meetings and agreed to the fourth due to constant complaints that the officiating had, too, been unjust in their prior bouts. He was ahead on points as the sixth round was about to conclude, where he made the daft error of lunging in at Marquez for one more attack with seconds to go.
He’d already won the round in most people’s eyes and merely had to circle his foe for another few seconds, but instead walked into one hell of a knockout blow. But considering how sharp Pacquiao has looked since that bleak year in his career, and how those two defeats on his part boil down to one solitary lapse of judgment, don’t for one second think he’s past his prime.
MYTH THREE: This bout will be a crock without a decisive finish, just to set up a rematch in the autumn. Floyd even has a rematch clause ready!
Newsflash: Floyd always has a rematch clause. As the superior draw in every one of his fights for several years now, he is in a position to ensure he gets a chance to avenge that first loss, if it ever comes.
Besides, Marcos Maidana secured himself a return bout last year despite losing the first, just by putting in enough of an effort to trouble Floyd at times and really get the fans behind him. And if Pacquiao does that and loses on Saturday, nobody’s going to be calling the fight a ‘crock’, are they? They certainly didn’t about Mayweather-Maidana I.
MYTH FOUR: Who cares what records this fight breaks, boxing as a whole is dead. It has been for 20 years.
Tyson vs. Holyfield II did 1.99 million buys in 1996 . Lewis vs. Tyson did 1.97 million in 2002. De La Hoya vs. Mayweather remains the current record-holder (for now) at 2.4 million, and that only happened eight years ago.
In fact, of the 24 HBO/Showtime boxing events that have done a million buys or more, only one of them happened more than 20 years ago (Holyfield vs. Foreman).
Yeah, boxing was declared dead 20 years ago. By who? The usual tribe of ‘it’s not as good as it used to be’ moaners? Well, good for them.
MYTH FIVE: This is it for boxing, at the very least. Nothing will ever top this.
It will take something special to beat the records Mayweather v Pacquiao will set, that’s for sure. Let’s not fail to attribute much of that to just how much anticipation and interest there is for this fight, rather than it being a desperate ‘Hail Mary’ by a sport which hasn’t operated as a collective indsutry in decades.
Indeed, boxing, perhaps somewhat fittingly given the name resemblence, is more about box office than sport. Sure, the thing people are paying to see is unscripted (or at least, it’s meant to be!) but it operates on a basis much closer to the cinema industry than it does to heavily-regulated and mandated sports.
To believe there’ll never be another huge boxing event after Pacquiao and Mayweather is absurd. But it is fair to say that the two men who WILL one day break some or all of these records may not be boxing – or even born – yet.
However, we’re no more than a few years away from the next top 10 of all time showdown. It could, perhaps, come in a heavyweight division that is slowly threatening to find a new lease of life thanks to the Deontay WIlders and Anthony Joshuas, with Wladimir Klitschko surely not far from being ready to pass the torch.