By Lem Satterfield
Golden Boy Promotions' CEO Richard Schaefer believes that unbeaten Floyd Mayweather has been wrongly castigated over the course of his nearly 25-year career in general, and, when it comes to comparisons with eight-division and WBO welterweight titlist, Manny Pacquiao, in particular.
The 34-year-old Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) and the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) have vanquished four common opponents in former world titlists Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs), Ricky Hatton (43-2, 32 KOs) and Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs), as well as current WBA and WBO lightweight king Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs).
In succession, Mayweather split-decisioned De La Hoya, stopped the previously unbeaten Hatton in the 10th round, respectively, in May and December of 2007, and then decisioned Marquez and Mosley in September of 2009 and May of 2010.
Pacquiao, respectively, has battled to a draw and a split-decision over Marquez in May of 2004 and March of 2008, scored eighth, and, second-round knockouts of De La Hoya and Hatton in December of 2008 and May of 2009, and decisioned Mosley in May of 2011.
Golden Boy Promotions has announced that Mayweather will challenge 24-year-old WBC welterweight king Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22KOs) on Sept. 17. In April, Ortiz survived two knockdowns and scored two of his own during a unanimous decision that dethroned previously unbeaten WBC king Andre Berto (27-1, 21KOs).
Two months later on November 12, Pacquiao is scheduled to face Marquez a third time, this, assuming Marquez gets beyond a July 2 defense of his belts against an opponent to be determined.
Last month, Golden Boy Promotions and Pacquiao reached a mutual agreement in the settlement of a lawsuit that appears to have paved the way for a new working relationship between Golden Boy and Pacquiao's Top Rank Promotions and its CEO, Bob Arum.
Although Pacquiao still has an ongoing suit against Mayweather, his uncle and trainer, Roger, and his father, Floyd Sr. that seeks damages for alleged accusations of steroid use, the newfound good will between Schaefer and Arum could be good news for the future should the twice-failed negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight be resumed for a third try.
Still, Schaefer defended Mayweather's legacy during a Wednesday interview with BoxingScene.com.
BoxingScene.com - Richard Schaefer on the ongoing public and media debate concerning who is fighting the more credible opponents -- Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao:
Who is fighting the better opponents? That's not really up to me to discuss. But, you know, as for the role of the boxing writers in this, that's going to be the boxing media's job. I think that a reporter has the responsibility to report the facts and to not make up fiction.
But I'm sure that the fight fans are going to be speaking out on that subject as well. I don't need to add to that. But you know, I think that the fact is that I always like to look at the facts and not fiction. But there are certain facts in this situation.
And the facts are that Floyd Mayweather went to go and fight Oscar, and then Manny Pacquiao went to fight Oscar. And then Mayweather went to go and fight Ricky Hatton, and then, Pacquiao went to go and fight Hatton.
Every single time, Floyd won the fights, and remained undefeated. And he defeated Ricky Hatton when Ricky Hatton was undefeated. And then Floyd Mayweather went on to fight Marquez.
Against Marquez, Mayweather dominated every single round and probably won every single round. And now, Pacquiao is going to fight Marquez again. Floyd Mayweather goes and fights Shane Mosley, and then beats him.
I would say that maybe with the exception of one round, Mayweather won every single round of that fight with Shane Mosley and made Shane look silly. Then, Pacquiao goes and fights him. So, you know, this is not something that I'm making up. That's the truth.
So, when people in the media or others say that Manny Pacquiao is fighting Floyd Mayweather's leftovers...I wouldn't say that Oscar, Shane, Marquez or Hatton were leftovers. I think that they were all legends. But I think that it is interesting if you look at that trend.
With Manny Pacquiao, instead of fighting a fresh, younger fighter, you basically go and fight the older guys. I understand that it's a business. So, you know, there is nothing wrong with that in that sense. But I think that at some point, if you do it over and over again, then the media and the fight fans are starting to evolve and they're starting to ask questions.
Until recently, that hasn't really been the case with Manny Pacquiao. But I've been reading the blogs and the opinions and all of that stuff, I think that more and more people are starting to criticize Manny Pacquiao's opponents.
Whether justified or not, that's not up to me to decide. But again, I'm just saying that facts are facts. The facts are that the fans and the media are starting to criticize the selection and the quality of opponents.
BoxingScene.com - On the selection of Floyd Mayweather's opponents:
I have to tell you when you ask about the selection of Floyd Mayweather's opponents that, with the exception of maybe a few writers, I am getting sick and tired of people attacking Floyd about the selection of his opponents.
You know, when Floyd went to go and fight Oscar, everybody said that, 'Oh, Oscar's is way too big at 154,' and, you know, 'Floyd is never going to take that fight,' and this and that. They said, 'It's too dangerous,' and, 'That's not something Floyd will do.' And then he took it and he won the fight.
Then he went to go and fight an up-and-coming, forward-coming guy in Ricky Hatton. Hatton was undefeated at the time, and these were two, undefeated guys. But again, he dominated the guy and then he knocked him out.
Then, Floyd goes on and fights a guy in Juan Manuel Marquez. This was a guy who gave Manny Pacquiao two, close fights, and some people thought that Marquez won both of the fights against Pacquiao, and some people think that he won one. But the fact is that here is a guy who clearly did a number on Pacquiao.
And then he goes and he's fighting Floyd, who, at the time Marquez fought him, that was at the same weight that Marquez is going to be fighting Pacquiao at in their third fight, give or take a few pounds. But you know that Floyd made Marquez look silly.
Marquez had no chance. I mean, Floyd just played with him. But then, after that fight, it was, 'Well, you know, Marquez was the smaller guy.' And then Floyd goes and fights Shane Mosley, who had just knocked out Antonio Margarito at the Staples Center.
Everybody said, 'Oh, Floyd is never going to take that fight against Shane Mosley.' They said, 'It's too dangerous.' I mean, you can go and look it up. I'm not making this shit up. But then he goes and fights Shane Mosley, who was coming off of maybe one of his biggest wins.
I mean, next to the Oscar De La Hoya fight, Shane is going into the fight with all of the confidence and had put a game plan together. But then, Floyd dominates him for every single round but maybe one round. Floyd made Shane look silly.
But then it's, 'Oh, you know, Shane was a bit over the hill.' And yet, all of these same opponents were acceptable for Manny Pacquiao, even though the media didn't really give Floyd his due credit.
BoxingScene.com - On the selection of Victor Ortiz as Floyd Mayweather's next opponent:
Well, interestingly enough, I have been reading and did read last night that finally, it seems that even the media is running out of excuses now. Because the fact is that Floyd Mayweather is always challenging himself with the best fighters.
Do we all want to see a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight? Yes, we want to see a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. But you know what? Sometimes things don't happen right away, and there are many reasons why.
But again, to say that this didn't happen because of Floyd Mayweather is unfair. And to say that it didn't happen because of Manny Pacquiao is unfair. The fact is that Manny Pacquiao did lock himself in with Juan Manuel Marquez.
So what do we do? We go and we fight the youngest and most dangerous and a bigger opponent and a southpaw opponent in Victor Ortiz. This is as dangerous an opponent as it gets. Victor Ortiz is younger, bigger, stronger and has an unbelievable punch. And he's a southpaw.
So Victor Ortiz is not only a big test for Floyd, but also, a big danger for Floyd. For Floyd to come out and to take this guy on, you know what? This really shows you what Floyd Mayweather is all about.
Floyd could have easily said that this is more about Floyd Mayweather's comeback and his return to the ring. He could have taken on a much easier opponent and nobody really would have said anything different because he has been out of the ring for 16 months, and Pacquiao already is fighting somebody.
So with Mayweather, we could have said that Floyd will fight somebody and it's about Mayweahter's return and that's the end of the story and nobody would have really said anything. But the guy actually has the balls to go in and pick the youngest, strongest and most dangerous guy at 147 pounds other than Manny Pacquiao.
That shows you what Floyd Mayweather is all about. That really says what Floyd Mayweather is all about, and it seems that finally the media and the fans are realizing it. And you know what? You really can not criticize the selection of Floyd Mayweather's opponents. You really can't.