Manny Pacquiao tells Ronnie Nathanielsz that Floyd Mayweather Jr could have been in trouble had the fight with Victor Ortiz lasted longer than it did on Saturday night. As you've heard by now unless you just came out of a coma this evening, Mayweather knocked out Victor Ortiz in controversial but legal fashion in round four.
Here's what Pacquiao had to say:
Pacquiao said Mayweather "is still good but I think in the third and fourth round when Ortiz attacked, Mayweather got rattled. If Ortiz didn’t get knocked out and the fight continued through seven or eight rounds Mayweather could have been in trouble."
What third round Pacquiao remembers I'm not exactly certain, because that thing was all Mayweather and he was beating the hell out of Ortiz, but here's the one thing I really, really, really regret about this fight ending the way it did, which I've mentioned before: Ortiz was losing, yes, and could well have been dominated. My guess, post-headbutt, is Mayweather was going to tear into him, and I don't think Victor Ortiz is anywhere close to the mental specimen required to deal with an aggressive, focused, angry Mayweather.
But he was doing some body work here and there and landing really good, hard shots to Mayweather's breadbasket. If the fight had lasted longer, I was becoming very interested in how that might add up and take away the 34-year-old's legs later in the fight. Now, maybe nothing happens. Definitely a possibility. Floyd adjusts well and tends to take things away when his opponents are having success. Ask Oscar De La Hoya and his jab.
Still, Floyd's legs aren't what they used to be. It's the one thing about him that has shown any sign of real decline the last few two fights. And with Ortiz fighting at 164 pounds (on the unofficial HBO scales) and Mayweather at 150, the fact that Ortiz was starting to get his body into him also could have been something that sapped Mayweather going forward.
Listen, I still think Floyd would have won the fight going away -- even stopped Ortiz at some point. Especially with that headbutt from Ortiz that did nothing but flip Mayweather from his normal mode into a lion. (An old, hungry lion?) But I do wish we'd seen it all play out, and I think perhaps with time taking the sting and shock out of the finish, that might be what most bothers people: We just didn't get a full meal.