For years fans have been scratching, clawing and practically begging for a showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. As the prospects of a bout settled on the back burner, both champions have steadily continued their boxing careers with fights other qualified boxers. But after Saturday's embarrassing defeat by Juan Manuel Marquez, leaving Pacquiao face down on the canvass late in round six, is Mayweather/Pacquiao still worth the wait? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley debate.
Riley: Of course. Why wouldn't it be? Pacquiao is still one of the top prize fighters around and Mayweather is still the best-selling ticket out. A defeat by Marquez does take a little steam off the possible bout but it would still remain as the top attraction of the 21st century should it ever occur.
Green: Did you see the fight against Marquez, Riley? Pacquiao was already knocked down once before visiting la la land with his face planted strongly into the floor. I'm not saying that Pacquiao has lost a step but clearly he's not the same fighter that he was a few years ago when the debate of whether Mayweather and Pacquiao should fight was at its highest peak. Maybe Mayweather was right about Pac-Man being on performance enhancement drugs because since he made the claim, Pac hasn’t looked like the same fighter. Maybe he ditched the drugs finally and is starting to look like any other ordinary boxer. Pacquiao's loss definitely puts a fight–that probably wasn't going to happen anytime soon no way–into further jeopardy.
Riley: Before we just bury Pacquiao we have to give credit to Marquez and understand the dynamics of what we just saw. This was the fourth bout between the two fighters and, although the series arrived with Pacquiao leading 2-0-1, it was widely believed that Marquez should've at least won one, and possibly two, of those fights so him beating Pacquiao wasn't too much of a shocker to me. Now, Marquez knocking Pacquiao cold raises some flags but when you fight a guy three times without winning you should arrive to that fourth fight with a direct blueprint of your opponent and Marquez took advantage.
Green: That should work both ways then because it's not like Pacquiao didn't have film on Marquez, either. So trying to dust off Pacquiao's fall off to the fact that he fought his opponent three previous times just isn't going to do it for me. Truth be told, Marquez won the last two fights against Pacquiao but the judges cheated him and gave the decisions to Manny. But if we're on the subject of Mayweather/Pacquiao then there's just simply no way we can still be charging hard to see that fight after the performance we saw out of Pacquiao on Saturday.
Riley: There aren't too many great fighters in the history of the sport who haven't suffered some kind of embarrassing defeat. It happens all the time. A knock-out at the hands of Marquez doesn't just derail everything Pacquiao has accomplished. And ticket sales wouldn't slow down for a bout with Mayweather simply because he lost to Marquez.
Green: Mayweather must be the exception to that theory because he doesn’t have any embarrassing losses on his resume. He doesn’t have any losses at all, as a matter of fact. And it wasn't just a loss though, Riley, it was a crushing knockout that left him on the floor for a few minutes while Marquez danced around the ring. It's no different than college sports where you wait all season for two undefeated teams to meet up and then one of them losses, or in this case, gets blown out before we get a chance to see what we've been waiting for. It definitely zaps the hoopla for what we've been hyping no matter how you slice it.
Now if it had come down to a decision and Pacquiao lost, then fine. But since he was decisively knocked out in the sixth round, can we honestly sit here and say he has a great chance of beating Mayweather? And if we can't say that then why are you still sitting around hoping he fights Mayweather? If they fight then great but I won't be rushing out to preorder for a guy I just saw fall flat on his face because I already know who will win the fight with ease and that is Floyd “Money” Mayweather.