Although it’s Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley who will face each other across the ring this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, many of the questions asked of Pacquiao in the lead up to the fight have instead related to long term rival Floyd Mayweather.
The reason for this is likely twofold.
Firstly as well regarded in the boxing community as Shane Mosley is, he isn’t known for his headline grabbing quotations.
Being respectful and polite about opponents is all very well, but in an encounter between two fighters known for their manners out of the ring, inevitably the press are going to search for other storylines.
Secondly Mosley was Floyd Mayweather’s last opponent, and most fans are hoping that a Pacquiao victory this weekend might eventually lead to he and Mayweather squaring off. Something attempted at least twice depending on which side you listen to, and both times ending in failure.
Speaking to several members of the press yesterday including BoxingScene’s Rick Reeno shortly after he and opponent Shane Mosley arrived in Las Vegas, Pacquiao said of Mayweather:
“I don’t want to talk about Floyd Mayweather’s issues. I’m the kind of person where I don’t want to talk about behind his back. Yes, I believe that boxing is healthier when that happens, but I don’t think he (Mayweather) really wants to fight.”
Mayweather, speaking later to FightHype fired back with his usual material about random blood testing, denied being scared of Pacquiao and even found the time to call Shane Mosley his ‘leftovers’.
“Floyd Mayweather has never been scared fo Manny Pacquiao at all, Never”
“All I say everyday is this, just take the test! Floyd’s scared of you? Ok. If I’m scared of you why won’t you take the tests?”
See the full interview at FightHype.com.
Yesterday a story broke in which Roger Mayweather claimed that his nephew would be fighting in the near future at the Cowboys stadium in Texas.
Mayweather denied this today however, and instead stuck with his go-to quote regarding a ring return: He’s not thinking about fighting, he’s focussing on enjoying time with his family.
In short Pacquiao believes Mayweather is scared to fight him. Mayweather continues to comment on the issue of Olympic style drug testing.
So which of the two is right?
After a lifetime spent in the ring and 41 professional bouts, it isn’t that likely that Mayweather is as scared as many fans tend to believe of Manny Pacquiao. While he might not have faced a who’s who of the best fighters on offer of late, there was a time when Mayweather took on all comers, and he knows what it’s like to be in against difficult opponents.
At the same time however he also doesn’t appear interested in facing Pacquiao in the ring or in fact boxing at all. Whether this is down to lack of hunger or interest, his ever lengthening rap sheet or something else is hard to say. And it isn’t as if Mayweather can really come out and admit it if he can’t fight due to his legal problems.
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Conversely since the initial attempt to put together a fight between the pair, Pacquiao has publicly stated on several occasions that he will now agree to Olympic style testing.
So Mayweather’s oft repeated tactic of simply jabbering on about ‘taking the test’ whenever he mentions Pacquiao isn’t really valid either.
Of course since Mayweather gives so few interviews at least to the boxing press and tends to be rather picky about who he will speak to, it isn’t likely that anyone given the opportunity to interview him will present him with this information and demand a real answer.
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Obviously ardent fans of either will each claim their guy to be in the right.
The biggest thing separating the pair at the moment appears to be that one is still fighting regularly while the other is more often that not making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Until that changes it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong about why they haven’t fought, and a meeting between the pair will continue to look unlikely.
Harry Denilson, Pitt: “Mayweather does himself no favors by referring to himself in the third person and avoiding every question that gets put to him. At least Pacquiao gives honest answers”