By Chris Robinson
Take a visit to the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas these days and you will find trainer Jeff Mayweather working his star pupil, WBA featherweight champion Celestino Caballero. At the moment Caballero is getting ready for a December 31st defense of his belt in Kanagawa, Japan against local favorite Satoshi Hosono and he and Mayweather have a little over three weeks left in camp before venturing overseas.
Jeff of course has a vested interest in a possible bout between his nephew Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, a fight that has been discussed endlessly for the past few years.
Earlier this month Pacquiao was seen going life and death during his trilogy bout with Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand. Pacquiao was a heavy favorite heading into the contest but struggled thoroughly as he ate several telling shots from Marquez before rallying late to pull out a majority decision verdict.
At the moment there are conflicting reports as to whether Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum truly wants to push for a fight with Mayweather or whether he would be more comfortable with a fourth encounter against Marquez.
Mayweather is unsure of how everything is going to play out.
“It’s just hard to tell. No one really knows,” Mayweather stated before his session with Caballero. “It’s just one of those situations, really just a ‘wait and see’ type situation. I mean, to be honest I think they will be taking a very valuable risk trying to fight Marquez again. And if he looks bad or actually loses like I really thought he did the last time, I think that will basically just kill the fight. Because already the fight has lost some luster because of his performance against Marquez in his last fight.”
As far as the unexpected, by some at least, competitiveness of Pacquiao’s third go-round with Marquez, it was something Jeff could see coming a mile away.
“Even before the fight even happened I wrote an article about the fight and basically what happened was exactly what I thought would happen,” said Mayweather. “It was another tough, close fight. Don’t get me wrong, I leaned towards Pacquiao in the fight but I also knew it would be a very tough fight. It just so happened this time around I thought Marquez did more than enough to win. He was more effective. He landed the cleaner and the better punches in the fight.”
Pacquiao again complained of cramps in his legs after his last performance so it remains to be seen if it was just an off night for him or whether the soon-to-be 33-year old is on the downside a bit.
Either way, Mayweather seems certain that his nephew would be able to handle the situation accordingly.
“I would favor Floyd over any version of Pacquiao, so it doesn’t matter. That version of Pacquiao would probably get stopped by Floyd,” Jeff continued.
Nothing has ever wavered Mayweather’s belief towards the matchup but it’s one that he honestly doesn’t know if we will ever see.
“It’s kind of hard to say because Arum, of course, is a businessman. And he’s been proving that in the last two years. All he’s done is had Pacquiao fight in-house fights. But like I said, this time it’s a high-risk to take another chance at fighting Marquez and possibly getting beat by Marquez or even looking bad against Marquez. So right now the fight with Floyd and Pacquiao still has some luster, you still have some people willing to spend some money to see the fight. With that said, I think if the fight doesn’t happen now, it probably won’t ever happen.”
[Reader's note: Continue on for the latest images from the boxing world Photo-journalist Chris Robinson captures the boxing world / HBO's 24/7 Cotto-Margarito, part 2 ]
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]