Floyd Mayweather Jr. spoke with FightHype's Ben Thompson and attempted to discredit Manny Pacquiao's last two victories against Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton. This is really nothing new, but I think it's worthy of a good discussion.
Mayweather, as usual, partially blows smoke and hopes that his bluster will be enough to convince people that he's right. That or he's actually kind of dumb, and I don't think that's the case at all.
On Pacquiao's win over Oscar:
"De la Hoya is more comfortable at 154 ... [W]hen he fought Pacquiao, basically he was on a diet. He was training to lose weight instead of training to fight. Go back and look at the fight when I fought de la Hoya. They said, 'Oh, he's over the hill.' How is he over the hill if we both are in our thirties?"
I believe Floyd beat the better Oscar and that it's not even close when comparing the 2007 Oscar at 154 pounds to the 2008 Oscar at an unbelievably weight-drained 145 on the scales for Pacquiao. No one on earth that has any sense whatsoever that watched that fight or looked at Oscar can believe he was in good shape. He wasn't. He was almost sickly looking once the bell rang. Pacquiao, on the other hand, looked very strong, very fresh. And the end result confirmed their appearances.
"I laid the blueprint on how to beat Ricky Hatton and [when] he went out there and fought [Pacquiao], that wasn't my daddy's gameplan. Anybody can get caught cold in the first couple of rounds in the sport of boxing."
I believe Pacquiao beat the better Hatton. Ricky Hatton at 147 is not the same as Ricky Hatton at 140. Hatton was in good shape, re-hydrated up to 152 for the fight, and looked really sharp. What happened in that one was Pacquiao was a lot better and beat the crap out of him. I often say that early KOs on the championship level are fluky, and I believe they are, but Hatton was just overwhelmed. I don't think that was any fluke.
Mayweather's criticisms of Pacquiao reek horribly of jealousy. I don't think there's any getting around that. He's clearly somewhat hurt by the fact that Pacquiao is not only regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, but that it seems like a majority of people believe Floyd needs to beat Manny to reclaim that throne, and a win over a bulked-up Juan Manuel Marquez -- with no disrespect to JMM -- just is not good enough.
I think Floyd is also bothered by the fact that Pacquiao is incredibly popular across the world. Mayweather can put on all the fronts he wants about how much money he makes and how that's the main goal, and maybe it is, but he has long had a desire to be loved. When it turned out that that probably wasn't in the cards, he did very well for himself playing villain.
There's also a reason that Pacquiao's next fight is being eagerly anticipated and the talk on Floyd's centers on the fact that it's not going to sell. Pacquiao is stepping up and fighting a guy you can argue as the No. 1 welterweight in the world, a guy Floyd never fought. Mayweather, meanwhile, is fighting a man who's never been over 135 pounds in his career, is 36 years old, and that Pacquiao has already fought twice.
And there's the rub. Floyd really does have to prove something. Pacquiao continues to try and prove everything.