Lord Of The Force
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Manny Pacquiao: "Floyd Mayweather Can Fight Me Next If He Gets Past Ortiz”
By James Slater
By far and away the biggest boxing news that came out this week was the announcement that superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior will return to action on September 17th against reigning WBC welterweight boss Victor Ortiz. As soon as this news was confirmed fans everywhere were buzzing. Set to fight for the first time in over 16 months, “Money” has been away too long and most fans seem happy to know his sublime talents will be back on display soon.
And, for what it’s worth, I can’t believe the negativity the unbeaten 34-year-old great is getting from some fans, who see “Vicious” Victor as a poor opponent for Floyd. A very good and also intriguing fight against a very dangerous, young fighter, Mayweather should be given credit for taking a risk. Sure, most fans (and Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao) see the September fight as basically a high-level “tune-up” fight for Floyd, with the WBC title challenge preceding a Mayweather-Pac-Man clash, and hopefully this is indeed Mayweather Junior’s plan.
Certainly Pac-Man told the media in General Santos City yesterday how he feels Floyd is using the fight with southpaw Ortiz as a final prep for a super-fight with him. And, like the majority of the fans, Pacquiao is pleased Mayweather is getting back into the mix.
“That’s good,” Pac-Man told reporters as quoted by The Manila Bulletin. “Ortiz is a southpaw like me so I think Mayweather is preparing. If he gets past Ortiz [then we can fight.]”
Will it be that simple though? Of course we all hope to see the two modern day legends get it on, say, next May, but a lot must happen first. Mayweather must defeat Ortiz and, despite what some fans say, the fight is a potential banana skin for the 41-0 master. Then, a couple of months later, Manny must come through his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. Another risky-looking fight for the betting favourite (and both Floyd and Manny WILL be odds-on to win their upcoming bouts), Pacquiao-Marquez III is no forgone conclusion.
Then, assuming both guys have won, there will have to be all terms for the super-fight agreed to and settled. Will Floyd still demand $100 million to fight, to say nothing of his blood test stipulations? Will Mayweather’s still to be resolved legal issues throw a spanner in the works? Will Pacquiao agree to take a slightly lesser amount of the fight purse, and will he agree to all the other demands Floyd may or may not make? The fight the whole planet wants to see is seemingly and tantalizingly within reach once again, but we’ve had our fingers crossed for so long now it hurts. Can we really afford to get optimistic for a second, or third, or fourth time?
At least we now know Mayweather has not lost interest in the sport any more than he has lost the desire to fight. Maybe, the smart business man that he is, Floyd purposely waited as long as he has so as the let the Pacquiao fight grown and grow and grow. It’s certainly done that, and the prospective collision will only reach even bigger proportions if “Money” beats Ortiz in dazzling style on September 17th!