Fight fans’ worst fears have been confirmed. Mayweather finally chose an opponent rather than take a 50/50 split with Pacquiao. Is Mayweather scared because he refused 50/50? Or is Pacquiao scared because he lets Bob Arum speak for him and wouldn’t take Floyd’s offer over the phone? Or maybe Bob Arum is the devil and has been trying to sabotage fight fans’ dreams from birth?
Floyd is going to jail for a long time, in terms of boxing. Pacquiao might take a fight with Timothy Bradley. What? The guy whose best punch comes from the top of his head? Okay. So the best we can hope for now is an early 2013 announcement of the megafight. However, even if it happens, it’s not going to be the epic clash between the pugilistic deities we once envisioned. No, both men hit their peak and began their gradual decline months or even years ago. The marketability of the fight won’t be the same either. While it’s not speculation to say that the fight would still be the most lucrative in history, it just won’t be the same. I can’t express how disappointed I am that after years at the top of the division and a career-altering beating from loaded gloves, and then a much more legitimate beating from Pacquiao, Cotto is only now being given this opportunity. Maybe a couple of years ago Cotto could have given us a fight to remember. After redeeming himself against Margarito I was hoping to see Cotto retire in the limelight. Hell, even taking a couple easy fights to show fans how good he still is against B+ fighters would have been satisfying. Taking on the best in the division, though, is just unfortunate for him. No way will it be a bloody mutilation like it was against Pacquiao, but it might not be far from it. Mayweather’s much too fast, accurate and defensively sound to give Cotto much hope. There’s always the chance that Mayweather’s legal entanglements might distract him enough that he’ll take more formidable left hooks to the body than he should, or that Cotto’s chin might give him an extra edge in the fight. Either way, I still see a one-sided victory for Floyd and an unfitting end to Cotto’s glorious career. Personally, I would have liked to see Cotto fight Alvarez because, while a legitimate challenge, I think he could beat the up and comer, securing his legacy and allowing him to go out with a bang.
With the megafight in gutter and Berto-Ortiz off the radar because of an injury, I don’t know what to look forward to anymore. Hopkins-Dawson II? That’s a sorry substitute. ESPN’s Friday night fights have been abysmal lately, as well, even with last week’s injection of Ruslan Provodnikov. To keep myself occupied I’m adding a fight prediction page to the blog. I’ll try to include some specifics to justify the anticipated result.
I don’t mean to downplay the significance of the passing of one of boxing’s most beloved and timeless icons, Angelo Dundee. More than just Muhammad Ali’s trainer, Dundee is one of boxing’s benefactors and an example for others to emulate. With the rest of the boxing community, I say a fond farewell to this profoundly influential fight fan. We’ll never forget.