Earlier tonight, Dan Rafael of ESPN.com reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be keeping his March 13 date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after all, meaning that as of this moment, Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will have dueling PPV dates. Pacquiao faces Joshua Clottey that night at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Isn't that grand?
Before I get on with my thoughts on this, Richard Schaefer has assured us all that the pathetic idea to match Mayweather with Matthew Hatton won't happen, and Rafael says three men are under consideration: Paulie Malignaggi, Nate Campbell, and Kermit Cintron.
Malignaggi has campaigned at 140, Cintron has been fighting lately at 154, and Campbell moved to 140 last year after failing to be able to make 135 pounds any longer. Quick thoughts on these possible fights:
- Mayweather-Malignaggi: Pass. Paulie's a good fighter, but his strengths give him no shot against Mayweather.
- Mayweather-Cintron: Pass. Cintron is far, far too slow to pose any credible threat to Mayweather. Kermit can punch, but Mayweather rarely gets hit, and Kermit would be sorely outclassed by Floyd's speed. It would be hideous, and you'd also have Floyd staying as absolutely far away as possible, making it a huge stinker of a fight.
- Mayweather-Campbell: Really? Campbell looked like he was on his last legs against Timothy Bradley at 140, he's 37 years old ... I mean the reasons are endless. Look, I really like Nate Campbell. He's a scrapper, a hard worker, and a truly genuine guy in a sport filled with bulls***ters. He's had a good career and is still a pretty good fighter. But this is as blatant a mismatch as Mayweather-Marquez, and that cannot be tolerated again.
Rafael also mentions Timothy Bradley, and while Showtime would likely be loathe to let him walk, that's about the only fight for Floyd I really have interest in seeing on March 13, save for, like, a ridiculous jump to middleweight to face Kelly Pavlik, which is impossible as Pavlik is a Top Rank fighter, or a fight against Paul Williams at a catchweight between 147 and 154.
Schaefer says he hopes to have an announcement soon.
Right now, I just don't see a scenario where I order any Mayweather fight over the Pacquiao-Clottey bout, but I guess crazier things have certainly happened.
As for how I feel as a fan, I've got to admit I'm kind of pissed off at the entire situation. Basically, these two camps are so childish that they're forcing every boxing fan out there to choose a cup at Burger King like this is freaking Twilight. I'm on Team Floyd! I'm on Team Manny! It's moronic.
I'm on team boxing, and I don't want the two biggest attractions in the sport having a pissing contest to find out who can win the larger portion when they go ahead and fracture the audience -- but remember, $55 either way you go! Hallelujah! Holy s**t! Where's the Tylenol?
It's really kind of preposterous, and I'm not blaming anyone in particular. I'm blaming everyone. Golden Boy, as Schaefer says, has had this date lined up for a while. It was going to be the date of Hopkins-Jones II, and then it was going to be the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, and now they'll do Mayweather-TBA.
Meanwhile, Top Rank could have easily held a fight on March 20/27. They picked March 13 deliberately, which led most of us to assume that Mayweather wouldn't fight in March.
These guys are burning the midnight oil to jab the boxing public, their paying audience. What's next? Free, cheaply-made ballcaps with proof of purchase?
Top Rank is set to produce the Pacquiao-Clottey PPV themselves, and now the question is whether or not HBO will latch on to either fight. I hope they don't. I hope this is an instance where HBO looks at these guys and says, "You said 'we'd all be idiots to not make this fight happen.' Well, you're idiots then."