By Chris Robinson
Earlier this week I caught up with welterweight contender Mark Jason Melligen, who had recently flown into Las Vegas from the Philippines in order to finish up his preparation for his forthcoming bout with Mexico City's Freddy Hernandez. The two men face off on July 1st in San Antonio on ESPN's Friday Night Fights in a battle that could propel Melligen into a different limelight.
As I watched Melligen train diligently inside of the Floyd Mayweather Boxing Club, I couldn't help but have a few words with trainer Roger Mayweather, who is always one for an outlandish sound byte or two. A week earlier I had pegged Roger for his thoughts on his nephew Floyd's September 17th tussle with WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz and it was only fair to get his take on another one of the division's hottest tickets.
On November 12th, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao will face off with Juan Manuel Marquez in a trilogy that has been simmering for a few years now. Pacquiao fought Marquez to a draw in May of 2004 at 126 pounds and won a split-decision over him nearly four years later. Both fights were dramatic and could have went either way but Pacquiao's career has been on an ascension since their second encounter and he is looked at as a clear favorite.
Uncle Roger has always been one to take his shots at Pacquiao and tried his best to give a fair assessment of the fight.
"Pacquiao has stopped guys that I never thought he would stop," said Roger. "With Marquez, they fought twice and he had Marquez down two times in the first and even the second time they fought. He had him down three times altogether. I think it's still going to be a hard fight because they know one another."
I asked Roger what he felt was the bigger event, Pacquiao-Marquez III or Mayweather-Ortiz. Speaking eloquently as only he can, Roger cut straight to the chase on the fight everybody wants to see.
"Mayweather-Pacquiao is going to be the biggest fight in the history of boxing," he continued. "The highest grossing fight in this time in boxing was Floyd and De La Hoya. And you know a Floyd and Pacquiao fight is going to gross more than that. Remember, Pacquiao beat Shane Mosley, he beat De La Hoya, he beat Ricky Hatton. He beat all these dudes. Motherf**ker aint never took a test to fight one of them, but he beat them all."
True enough, drug testing and other issues have held back the fight from happening in the past but Roger's faith hasn't wavered. If there is something positive he can say about Pacquiao, it may just be the fact that he feels the fight will one day come off.
"It's going to happen. If it don't happen that will be the biggest fight in the history that never happened. I think it's going to happen. My nephew is still in boxing and I can't see why it won't happen."