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Expiration Date: Age, Decline a Concern for Pacquiao vs Mayweather Matchup

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Will Manny Pacquiao seriously decline before facing Floyd Mayweather Jr? (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Will Manny Pacquiao seriously decline before facing Floyd Mayweather Jr? (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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Brad Cooney of 8 Count News did a podcast interview with Joe Tessitore that was posted today, and I really recommend listening to the full 25 minutes. Joe is pretty harsh (or pretty realistic) on the topic of Floyd Mayweather Jr specifically, and a possible fight with Manny Pacquiao.

"Floyd is not good for boxing. ... The most important thing to Floyd Mayweather is to stay undefeated. He hand picks his opponents and he will pick Pacquiao when he feels Pacquiao will be less of a threat to him. I don't know that Floyd could go forward a day in his life if he has a loss in boxing. ... We will see a watered down version of this fight when and if it finally happens."

Tessitore also talks Mayweather vs Ortiz, Pacquiao vs Marquez III, tonight's Friday Night Fights, MMA, the New Jersey commission's decision on the Williams vs Lara judges, and more. It's a really solid interview and Tessitore doesn't pull any punches, which I think is a corny phrase, but he's just a totally honest guy who shares his real feelings in the interview, or at least he comes off that way to me.

This is also something that myself and others have mentioned on our site before: The worry that when Mayweather vs Pacquiao does happen, it won't be the fight that fans have been clamoring for the last three years. It will come after Pacquiao starts declining, or after Mayweather starts declining, or after both have declined, and it will never be what it could have been.

This is a reason I think that 2012 is the expiration date for the fight. Neither of these guys are getting younger -- Mayweather is a 34-year-old, part-time fighter. We saw what happened when Oscar de la Hoya became a part-time fighter, and while I'll argue for hours that Floyd is a far greater talent than Oscar (I won't, actually, so don't try to make me, I'm just saying I really believe that), his age and his inactivity are going to eventually bite him if he keeps fighting. Manny is turning 33 in December and has started showing just a little bit of age. He's not as nimble in his last two, maybe even three fights. He doesn't move the way he did against Miguel Cotto and before.

These are not spry young men in their primes anymore. They've both already been as good as they're going to get, and while they're still in my opinion by far the two best fighters in the game today, that's not going to last forever. The longer the fight is put off, the more likely that Tessitore and others who feel this way are proven correct. I have no concrete hope that we'll ever see the fight, but if I made a pie chart of my guesses about the matchup, it would look something like this:


Maybe that's skeptical, or maybe it's pessimistic, or maybe it's an unfortunate reality. You make your own pie chart if you want to, but I just don't see any progress being made in making this fight. Maybe if one of them has a really bad night in September or November.