Pacquiao: Blunting Greatness

By "Old Yank" Schneider on November 9, 2011
Pacquiao: Blunting Greatness
Why has Pacquiao become the catchweight king of championship bouts? (Howard Schatz)

Some sick and sad process of dulling the luster and blunting the greatness of Manny Pacquiao has and is taking place before our very eyes…

Is anyone else but me pissed off that that the Juan Manuel Marquez/Manny Pacquiao bout is being fought at a catchweight? How is it that a fighter as capable as Manny Pacquiao feels compelled to impose impairment on his competition? Am I the only one who sees this as an intentional blurring of achievement? A dulling of luster? A blunting of greatness?

It is totally unnecessary to visit Biblical plagues on my jogging suit in some attempt to accuse me of failing to see Pacquiao’s greatness. He is the finest pure fighting machine active in the sport today and perhaps the finest since the era of Robinson and Armstrong. It is entirely possible that Pacquiao belongs on the top-five pound-for-pound fighters of all time and arguably someplace in the top-three. Since we are all in agreement over Pacquiao’s greatness, you can call off the chaffing boils from inhabiting the crotch of my jogging suit. Can you help me answer just one question? Why?

Why is Manny Pacquiao fighting Juan Manuel Marquez at a catchweight?

And why has Pacquiao become the catchweight king of championship bouts?

How does fighting championship bouts where you demand a compromise from your competition that he arrive at a weight under the championship limit for the bout add to greatness?

OK. OK! I get it! That was more than just one question. But this has genuinely got me pissed off. I’m upset at having to imagine how, in an age of sliced and diced weight divisions in the first place, we catalogue for history exactly what Pacquiao is accomplishing here. Is he the Bigger than Junior but Smaller than Normal Welterweight Champion of the World? And exactly how does that get stacked up against the greats in history that came before him?

Here is what he’s chronicled so far in this netherworld of Roncomatic, “It chops, it slices, it grates…and that’s not all” watchamacallit collection of weight divisions:

Beginning in 2008 we have the not quite welterweight bout pitting Pacquaio against Oscar De La Hoya. Since 2004 De La Hoya had been campaigning as a junior middleweight and suddenly he’s fighting in the sunset of his career at a dried-out 145. Agreed! This was not a catchweight bout. De La Hoya had the freedom to drop from the 154 and 160 he’d been fighting at and was only required to make 147. But at the tail end of a career it ain’t easy to shed those last few pounds.

This was followed in 2009 by a fully legit quick KO of Ricky Hatton at 140 pounds for the Junior Welterweight Championship of the World; a great accomplishment.

And then the blunting of greatness began to take on a serious dulling of luster in earnest when Pacquiao required Miguel Cotto to put up his Welterweight Crown at a catchweight of 145 pounds. We were all expected to look the other way because Pacquiao was such a small guy that we had to grant him a measure of sympathy for moving up. It’s only two pounds folks; what’s the big deal? It’s only one of the oldest recognized weight divisions in the history of the sport; what’s the problem with turning over a belt below the limit? The next thing you know we’re going to be asked to swallow belts being turned over for TKO wins without any boxing move involved. It’s all OK! We are only talking about the grand history of one of the oldest sports on the planet!

Pacquiao’s achievement was grand to be sure. A little guy with the sympathies of the masses was being granted a pass from fans and historians alike. After all, he’s no legit welterweight! He’s just a lightweight in disguise accomplishing great things. How can we ask a 135-pound fighter of Pacquiao’s greatness to not be granted a pass? It’s a big jump from 135 to 147 and such a little guy deserves a break!

So in late-2009 we quiet the skeptical masses and anyone like me by taking on a legit 147-pound Joshua Clottey at the legitimate limit of 147 pounds. And Pacquiao proves that he needs no handicap. But we already knew this! Pacquiao does not need to compromise any opponent. He is great enough to do it straight-up without any Roncomatic slicing and dicing.

Unfortunately the seriously legitimate win over Clottey was followed up by a serious slap in the face to boxing history. In 2010 the vacant WBA junior middleweight belt was auctioned off to Pacquiao for meeting a disgraced welterweight at a catchweight—Antonio Margarito. Exactly how does one sell legitimacy in filling a vacant 154-pound belt by having two, non-154-pound fighters (neither with any legitimacy at 154 pounds) contend for the belt at a catchweight below the limit? Disgraceful! Disgraceful and unnecessary! The fraud perpetuated here in calling Pacquiao a champion at 154 pounds is evidenced by the number of defenses of the 154-pound title Pacquiao engaged in. ZERO!

And just to make sure no one gets too close to calling flimflam flimflam, after the disgraceful Pacquiao/Margarito affair (a one-sided beat down if one ever existed), Pacquiao is thrust into a seemingly legitimate bout at 147 pounds against a legitimate 147-pounder by the name of Shane Mosley—a Hall of Fame-bound fighter. Pacquiao performed well and Mosley seemed unwilling to engage so Pacquiao added to his air of greatness.

So we have a pattern emerging here: one flimflam bout at some Roncomatic, sliced and diced catchweight, followed by a legit bout fought at the limit without a forced compromise on an opponent.

Naturally what comes next following a legit bout without compromise against Shane Mosley is this upcoming flimflam bout pitting Juan Manuel Marquez against Manny Pacquiao at guess what? You nailed it! A catchweight! A catchweight of 144 pounds! And this time there is no sympathy for the little guy. The little guy is not Pacquiao. That little guy is Marquez this time around and he is the one expected to suck it up and move up from 135 to a swift move through 140 and onto 144 as if we never saw any sleight of hand in Pacquiao’s demand for compromising an opponent.

Does anyone remember all the lines fed to us about the effort it took to get Manny Pacquiao large enough to compete up here with the big boys? Our ears were filled with sympathy-inducing tales of 5,000 calorie a day diets being force-fed to little Manny as if he was some duck having his liver fattened for us to enjoy a delicious dish of perfectly brazed foie gras. These stories were followed by mystery supplements taken by the fistful in order to keep Manny’s weight on. He could barely hold 142 to 144 without the latest and greatest invention of them all—Famous Ariza Chocolate Chip Protein Shakes. This is what WE were fed in order to buy into the sympathy-inducing tales of all the effort and hard work it took for Manny Pacquiao to be able to fight above 135 and 140.

So why is the Pacquiao/Marquez bout not being fought at 140?

The only answer I am left with is that some sick and sad process of dulling the luster and blunting the greatness of Manny Pacquiao has and is taking place before our very eyes.

Redemption for Pacquiao’s flimflam, Roncomatic, slicing and dicing can be found in a bout against Floyd Mayweather where NO WEIGHT is specified on the contract. Let the fighters enter the ring at whatever feels natural and let’s see who the best man is—it would be a fitting and sharp ending to the blunting of Pacquiao’s greatness.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya [1/4]

Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya [2/4]

Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya [3/4]

Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya [4/4]

Pacquiao Vs Hatton In HD / Full Fight

Boxing Classics: Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto (HBO)

HBO Boxing: Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito Highlights (HBO)

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  1. Gajjers 10:21am, 11/13/2011

    It’ll be interesting to see how Team Pacquiao handles this rather unexpected wave of negative feedback. I’m pretty sure Pacquiao is smarting a little bit, and would want to prove the doubters wrong regarding his true worth as a great fighter. If this doesn’t nudge us closer to the Money-Manny mega-fight, I don’t know what will…

  2. Cuervo138 09:53am, 11/13/2011

    Pacquiao’s fights have been carefully arranged by Arum.  He’s never fought anyone at the opponent’s prime.  He’s fought great names but never great fighters.  Marquez way past his prime at 38 fighting way over his weight….he managed to school Pacquiao…AGAIN!  So this is the great Pacquiao?!  Please.  In order to be a great boxer (and I’ve seen great boxers, Chavez, Sugar Ray, Ali, Sanchez, etc.) You have to beat great fighters….Pacquiao has never done that.  Before facing Mosley, Cotto and Margarito, these three were coming back from brutal losses.  I’ve been watching boxing since the mid 80’s and it’s really sad that it has turned into nothing more than a fat business and a really bad joke.  Boxing is dead.  Ladies and gentlemen, as planned…...Mayweather vs Pacquiao May 5th.

  3. Lakota 08:38am, 11/13/2011

    Pacquiao is a fighter…In every bout, he is coming forward to engage…Fighters like Marquez AND Mayweather have made careers out of counter-punching.  This is why Mayweather made minced meat out of Marquez (Two Counter Punchers)...He is faster.  Don’t put down a great fighter and CHAMPION like Pacquiao, because he brings on the fight…The others are just looking to get paid, including the PUNK Mayweather….In the Pacquiao/Marquez I, the physical difference was evident…Pacquiao was smaller…EXPLAIN THAT!!!

  4. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:55am, 11/13/2011

    D Rose—Pac/Marquez first fought at 125 pounds.  The rematch (over 3 1/2 years ago) was at 130.  Marquez had been begging for the trilogy for 3 1/2 years.  I can assure you that after only one FAILED attempt over 140 (the Marquez schooling at the hands of Mayweather), Marquez was not angling for a bout above 140.  Your information regarding the weight Marquez wanted for this bout is simply and painfully WRONG!  You want us to believe that a fighter most comfortable at 135 requested a catchweight of 144?  PLEASE!

  5. Gajjers 06:19am, 11/13/2011

    Very well put, ‘Old Yank’ - some of the so-called ‘fans’ need to cool their ardor somewhat anyway, so it may be a good thing. Team Pacquiao will definitely go back to the drawing board (they can’t afford not to), so the sound bites over the next few weeks will be pretty interesting. JMM nearly threw a damned monkey wrench into the $100M works there…

  6. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:08am, 11/13/2011

    THE OBVIOUS—It must be said.  Marquez did not win a a single round off of Mayweather.  In fact, through my eyes Mayweather applied a schooling on Marquez.  We’ve now all got to wonder (after watching Pacquiao struggle with Marquez and Mayweather having a cake-walk with Marquez), will we see the bravado of Pacquiao fans calm down a bit over their conviction that Pacquiao will beat Mayweather?  Last night was no confidence-builder for any fan’s belief that Pacquiao can beat Mayweather—this is for certain.

  7. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:04am, 11/13/2011

    Gajjers—The good news is that catchweight bouts for championship belts is only a De La Hoya and Pacquiao thing so far.  Let’s hope this virus does not spread.

  8. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:01am, 11/13/2011

    MR BILL—It was a great fight.  Worth the money for sure.  No knockdowns.  Marquez found a right hand that he could throw across his chest to catch Manny as he was backing out or coming in at an angle.  I did not think Manny was able to be caught by so many right hands.  I had the bout 115-114 for Pacquiao.  One judge had it 116-112 for Pacquiao (as did Harold Lederman)—this card seems out of line to me.  I had a houseful of fans (no wild-eyed fools), and every one saw Manny winning a very close bout.

  9. Wiki 04:21am, 11/13/2011

    Dont like the rules??? Make your own !!! WBS - WORLD BOX of SHIT~

  10. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 04:10am, 11/13/2011

    I didn’t see the fight…. I heard it was an majority dec. for Pacman…. I hope to see the replay next week…...

  11. Ewa from Poland 03:38am, 11/13/2011


  12. Marco 10:10pm, 11/12/2011

    Pacquiao you fucking cheater marques won not you if you fight with mayweather he well win you ass

  13. Gajjers 08:59pm, 11/12/2011

    Hey Old Yank, it seems like you’ve got your hands full with a few less knowledgeable ‘fans’. I wonder what Leonard makes of this catchweight ‘title fight’ can of worms he opened in 1988 (and yes, I place a lot of the blame at his doorstep). I guess there was more than one inauguration the night he defeated Donny Lalonde…

  14. D Rose 08:36pm, 11/12/2011

    Dumbass writer, this fight is for the 147 crown of Pacman. Marquez was the one who wanted the catch weight. You calling yourself a writer and not knowing the facts!!!

  15. Paul 06:24pm, 11/12/2011

    The real shame is Hatton was allowed to punch Kostya in the balls for 10 rounds denying us the real fights that are now a dream. Kostya’s power and accuracy would of dismissed Floyd and Manny at Jnr Welterweight. Manny has never fought anyone in their prime and let’s not go down the drug test road.

  16. anacorita miras 06:18pm, 11/12/2011

    good fight!!

  17. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:56pm, 11/12/2011

    Nice try fellas, but not historically accurate.  Championship bouts are fought at or below the championship limit.  The “leveling field” is the division weight.  Outside of Lelonde/Leonard (in the inaugural 168 pound belt being contested at the same time as Lelonde’s 175 pound belt), you will be hard-pressed to find another championship belt contested at a catchweight.  I’ve got no problem with catchweights for non-title belts—this is as old as boxing.  But CHAMPIONSHIP belts are to be fought at the championship LIMIT—NO CATCHWEIGHTS.  THAT’S BOXING HISTORY FELLAS!

  18. grayfist 05:28pm, 11/12/2011

    There ought to be catchweights in brains just so the author can have a chance at making sense.

    If he bothers to take off his dunce cap long enough, he will realize quickly that catchweights serve the fighter going up in weight more than the fighter who has been fighting in the higher weight. It might be news to the author that in this bout, that’s Marquez who had to bulk up for this fight, managing to get to 142, only, after all that effort. Requiring no catchweight can allow Pacquiao to go to the scale as high as 147 lbs.

    Of course the author doesn’t see that. Using what little brain he has can wear him out.

  19. Gray 04:09pm, 11/12/2011

    Wiki: Professional boxing
    A welterweight boxer’s weight is greater than 140 pounds (63.5 kilos), but not greater than 147 pounds (66.7kilos).

    Marquez-Pacquiao 3, 144 pounds catch weight.

    Yahoo Answer:


  20. monstertiki 04:07pm, 11/12/2011

    To author of this article, you do realize that marquez is the one that wanted to fight at a catch weight right? The man normally fights at 140lbs and below.

    Catchweights aren’t new to the sport of boxing. Serfio martinez just recently fought at a catchweight fight, I think it was against Dzinziruk. The last fight manny had at a catch weight was with margacheato who normally fought at welter weight 147. The catch weight for that fight was 150lbs, which was 3lbs higher than margo’s regular weight, that was actually to his advantage.

    Manny always weighs in at 144 to 145 on the night of the fight. It is rare to see him come in more than that.

    For this fight with marquez, the catch weight is actually to marquez’s advantage not pacquiao’s.

    If pacquiao beats marquez tonight, there is a very good chance he might fight sergio martinez at a catchweight of 150. That I don’t agree with because they will be making martinez come in at a weight which will weaken him. I don’t have a problem with catchweights as long as it doesn’t weaken one of the fighters.

  21. Gray 03:57pm, 11/12/2011

    Understood. Wiki rules!.

  22. Wiki 03:53pm, 11/12/2011

    The purpose of a catch-weight is to compensate for the ability of bigger boxers to cut weight before a “day before” fight weigh-in and re-build to a weight more than the specified limit (division or catch-weight) on “day of” the fight with little effects to his performance. The catch weight is not only to provide a level playing field but also to prevent weight mismatches that can endanger the fighters. And more importantly, the catch-weight is to ensure the fight is not canceled due last minute disagreement on fight time.

  23. imakaiw 01:52pm, 11/12/2011

    In the old days, fights were done based on weights reckoned on the day of the fight.  Before you cry and claim that his fights were blunting his greatness, take time to look at the weights of Pac and his opponents on fight night and compare it with what weights boxers fought “in the old days”.  For me, I just relish the fact that the I get to see the greatest boxer fight live as much as I could in my lifetime.

  24. the thresher 09:54am, 11/11/2011


  25. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:53am, 11/11/2011

    Gajjers—Thank you!  Much appreciated!

  26. the thresher 09:53am, 11/11/2011

    Naw, I picked Oscar because I though Manny was just too small. I learned a lesson.

  27. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:52am, 11/11/2011

    Ted—Those are kind words for sure.  It is a humbling experience to be around real “experts”—I can’t hold a candle to the guys who write here from an historical perspective.  I’d never get a single article out due to spending too much time in research—history of boxing is not at my fingertips like it is for most of the “experts” who write here.  I am the luckiest man alive—I get to love a sport, have no particular depth of expertise in it and write purely from a place of truth from a fans perspective.  You embracing me as a member of “experts” is truly appreciated; heartwarming actually.  My opinions are bold.  My respect for you guys who are the real experts is deep.  And I simply prefer to be a fan with so much passion that I can’t help but write about it.  As they occasionally joke with me at work about it, “Someone help him; he’s talking and he can’t shut up!”  Peace old friend

  28. Gajjers 09:44am, 11/11/2011

    Yeah Ted, Old Yank is a tad too modest, I’d say. I always read his posts wherever I come across them, because I know my boxing IQ would go up a notch…

  29. Gajjers 09:40am, 11/11/2011

    Well Ted, you could have made a mint on the fight (i.e., if you didn’t put your money where your mouth was), since most pundits, and hence the fight public at large, saw it more as a publicity stunt & reward for Pacquiao’s exploits 2 & 3 divisions south. I also saw how below-par Oscar looked against Forbes, but I was watching Pacquiao with my mouth agape during that bout; no way did I foresee the fight unfolding the way it did…

  30. the thresher 09:38am, 11/11/2011

    Yank, please don’t take this the wrong way, but you are either a fan or a writer. You can’t be just a fan if you are going to write because once you start writing, you assume some degree of expertise. (which you have in spades). So stop with that “fan” stuff and call yourself a writer and an expert. Calling yourself a fan is too situational for me. .


  31. the thresher 09:32am, 11/11/2011

    “ was rather unexpected…” No, not after I saw the Forbes fight. Man, he lookes terrible. Like Roy Jones after coming down from the Ruiz fight. I don’t know what happened, but he surely was shot going into the PAC fight

    His reflexes were gone and was his stamina. .

  32. Gajjers 09:30am, 11/11/2011

    Ditto, Old Yank. That was when the name “Henry Armstrong” started creeping into my conversations with fellow fight fans, with reference to Manny Pacquiao. He’s been a breath of fresh air, so even though I want the warrior JMM to perform creditably (e.g. go the distance while holding his own), I want Manny to preserve the pristine state of the long-awaited mega-fight…

  33. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:28am, 11/11/2011

    And NEVER confuse my opinions for that of an “expert”.  I am a FAN—nothing more.  I cannot contain my passions as a fan so I am compelled to jot a thing down from time to time and am newly amazed (and gratified) that other fans get some play off my pen.

  34. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:24am, 11/11/2011

    Gajjers—I had NO NEED to hedge my wager on De La Hoya over Pacquiao—it was a bridge too far in my mind and I was caught with my proverbial pants down!

  35. Gajjers 09:18am, 11/11/2011

    Oh, I’ve read your banter before guys, so I know there was no malice there. Hindsight being what it is though, I’ve heard & read so many ‘expert’ opinions on the state of Oscar’s decline before & during his beat-down by Manny, but ‘fess up fellas, it was rather unexpected, wasn’t it? That performance heralded the arrival of Pacquiao as the “sport’s savior”. It’s been a helluva ride since then, and I’m totally captivated. Like I said before, all will be forgiven re catchweights & washed-up opposition should he meet & beat Floyd. Anything short of that (avoidance or defeat) would surely detract from his overall legacy…

  36. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:52am, 11/11/2011

    Provocation is good!  Makes a man think on his feet or perish.

  37. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:49am, 11/11/2011

    Ted—I was talking about the De La Hoya/Pacquiao bout not Mayweather/De La Hoya (re: drug-induced delusions).  And De La Hoya quit on his stool against Pacquiao.

  38. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:46am, 11/11/2011

    Ted—And of course you have NAILED the point: Manny does NOT need catchweight bouts—he’s good enough to win without them.  Therefore, using them can only detract from his greatness.

  39. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:44am, 11/11/2011

    Ted—De La Hoya admitted himself to rehab.  In public statements he discussed how and when drugs came into his life.  By his admission he’d already drifted down the drug highway before the Pacquiao bout.  I’m not making an accusation; I’m reflecting on De La Hoya’s own admissions – I take his confessions at face value.  PEACE

  40. the thresher 08:04am, 11/11/2011

    Gajjers, I think Oscar was just done. He was shot. You could see it in his fight against Forbes where he could not pull the trigger. That’s what Roach said as well. He and Pac knew they would crunch he Golden Boy.

  41. the thresher 08:02am, 11/11/2011

    Oh, my bad then, It wasn’t a put down. Just a provocation for a debate. Yank knows my style. He and I have been duking for 8 years. Of course, I am way ahead!! :)

  42. Gajjers 07:54am, 11/11/2011

    Ted - regarding your put down of Old Yank “...He lost a SD. Thta’s pretty good for a guy in a drug-induced state of delusion.”; I believe he was referring to the Pacquiao fight, which was anything but a split-decision. I don’t know what pharmacological state Oscar was in, but there was definitely something wrong there…

  43. Gajjers 07:46am, 11/11/2011

    Fair comments, Thresher. I read where Manny says he thinks the 3rd fight with JMM is unnecessary, whatever the weight. I believe all will be forgiven should he meet & defeat Floyd, which I’m almost certain would take place at 147, if it does at all…

  44. the thresher 07:38am, 11/11/2011

    The issue here is whether a catch weight fight in Manny’s favor will take from his greatness. I agree it will.

  45. the thresher 07:36am, 11/11/2011

    Gajjers, Mayweather was 146 for JMM, but he rehydrated close to 160. He looked like a monster in there compared to Marquez who looked like a midget. Like I said, JMM was in there for the payday. He knew he was probably toast going in.

    The thing is, if you stand next to these guys, they are very small. Casamoyer and Bradley are like midgets. But in the ring, they look much bigger. That’s why live fights are different than TV. You can get a sense of what reality is all about. Lennox Lewis is a monster in real life.

  46. the thresher 07:32am, 11/11/2011

    “He was already in a drug-induced state of delusion at the juncture.” How do you know this? He lost a SD. Thta’s pretty good for a guy in a drug-induced state of delusion.”

    I really think we need to show a tad more respect to these guys than calling them drugees. But that’s just my opinion. What they do after their career is fair game, but while they are fighting, we should be more circumpsect. IMO

  47. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:25am, 11/11/2011

    Gajjers—I think De La Hoya weighing in at 145 for the Pacquiao bout was a look-ahead to prove he could make 140 for a mega-bout against Hatton.  He was already in a drug-induced state of delusion at the juncture.  As for Marquez being SHOCKED, it is a mental shock I expect.  No doubt (as you suggest), Marquez has prepared well for the “new” Pacquiao.  There is not enough physical prep in the world available to overcome a mentally defeated will when the mental shock hits Marquez that he can’t win – his entire BELIEF system about what he can do with Manny will be shot.  I expect this MENTAL shock to be palpably evident inside 4 rounds and the fight to be over in less than another 4 after that.

  48. Gajjers 06:06am, 11/11/2011

    @‘the thresher’ - Mayweather doing battle at 156? That means he must still be growing, since he couldn’t top 150 for Oscar. If JMM is only there for the payday, I’d be well advised to catch a delayed broadcast (would you guys post any video links later?), since it’ll be well past 2 am in my neck of the woods when the fight starts. I hope you’re wrong on that score…

  49. the thresher 05:41am, 11/11/2011

    JMM fought Mayweather at 142. Mayweather was 146 but entered the ring closer to 156. When it comes to weeights, Nacho and Juan are not the sharpest arrows in the quiver and certainly are noo match for Freddie Roach and company. JMM is all about cashing in and I don’t blame him one bit.

    144 will be a hard road for him. For Manny, it’s just another milk shake.

  50. Gajjers 05:27am, 11/11/2011

    @TEX HASSLER - “I do not know why it is being fought at 140”. Is it really? I think I read somewhere that it was being held at 144, which kinda settled the question “who is giving up more at the negotiating table?” in Pacquiao’s favor. A fight at 140 levels the playing field(or whatever is left of it at their respective ages) a tad more, so it should ‘logically’ provide a more competitive encounter.
    @‘Old Yank’ - could De La Hoya stepping DOWN to face Pacquiao (who was going UP two weight classes, by the way) indicate a certain hubris in his make-up prior to his humiliation? Remember, it was still widely perceived as a no-contest before the 1st bell was rung. On another note, should Marquez receive the “shock of his life” in this latest encounter, he & his brain-trust couldn’t have been paying particular attention to Pacquiao’s progress as a pugilist in recent years, which I find difficult to believe. I’m sure they’ve done their homework, so should Pacquiao win as convincingly as you seem to indicate, it would not be due to any lack of preparedness on Marquez’ part, but rather due to his inability (largely because of his advanced age) to carry out any game plan he may have developed during training. I still believe we will gain further insights into how well-rounded a fighter Manny has become…

  51. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:37am, 11/11/2011

    TEX—Vasquez and Marquez seemed to have each others numbers for 3 of 4 bouts.  I was expecting #4 to be competitive because of the history between them.  It turned out Marquez had an easy night and Vasquez was simply no longer able to compete.  He done slipped.  I do believe that Juan Marquez has a lock on Pacquiao IN HIS MIND.  He thinks he’s the better fighter and that can go a long way.  But I’ve seen ZERO new stuff deom Marquez since the last meeting he had with Pacquiao and I’ve seen MASSIVE improvement in Pacquiao over the same period.  Marquez is in for the shock of a lifetime—he’s going to have a totally different fighter in front of him.  This bout is over before it starts—Pacquiao will finish this inside 8 and if Marquez finds something inside himself to continue past 8 he might never be the same for the bravado.

  52. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:31am, 11/11/2011

    Gajjers—It is interesting that Mayweather stepped UP to meet De La Hoya and Pacquiao forced De La Hoya to step DOWN to meet him.

  53. TEX HASSLER 06:52pm, 11/10/2011

    This might turn out to be a tough fight for Pacquiao but I expect him to prevail. I do not know why it is being fought at 140. Styles make fights and this should be a good one.

  54. Gajjers 06:13pm, 11/10/2011

    Old Yank, I’ve no problem with the zero defenses comment, but I believe Mayweather’s motivation here was getting some of the recognition & attendant monetary rewards Oscar had already garnered - did it work? Did it ever! The ‘world title’, I believe,  was at best a tertiary issue at that point in Floyd’s career. Oscar held all the negotiating cards at the time, so Floyd had to go up to an obviously unsuitable weight class just to get the fight. It’s no surprise that he’s not gone up to that division ever again, and I sincerely hope he never does. 154 lb is a bit of a stretch for Floyd. IMHO, he’ll have to pull a Pacman-like ploy to be competitive against the elite Junior-Middleweights…

  55. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:59pm, 11/10/2011

    Gajjers—A champ with NO defenses of his belt is tough for me to take—this is my issue with Mayweather’s 154 pound title.  Honestly I’m not sure about the history behind any banning of multiple titles held simultaneously.  This is a question best delivered to the historians who know this stuff a LOT better than me.

  56. Gajjers 04:21pm, 11/10/2011

    @Old Yank - “De La Hoya took some candy from Mayorga while Mayorga was on a cigarette break” LOL. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t De La Hoya considered the best 154 lb fighter when he faced Mayweather? That’s enough reason for me to call it a note-worthy win, even though I thought at the time that Oscar had done enough to retain his title. On another note, were those ‘business interests’ you referred to responsible for prohibiting the possibility of simultaneous multiple-division titlists?

  57. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:02pm, 11/10/2011

    Gajjers—Armstrong was fighting when, ahem, organized businessmen controlled the sport.  With three belts in the hands of one man, spreading the wealth around became a tad more difficult.

  58. "Old Yank" Schneider 03:59pm, 11/10/2011

    Gajjers—I’m actually with you 100%.  I do not see Leonard as a legit 175 pound champ.  I do not see Pacquiao as a legit 154 pound champ.  And I struggle to see Mayweather as a legit 154 pound champ as well with the one proviso that he actually TOOK the belt from a champion without any catchweight restrictions (De La Hoya took some candy from Mayorga while Mayorga was on a cigarette break).  My bet is that the purist in you is in great simpatico with the purist in me.  PEACE!

  59. Gajjers 03:15pm, 11/10/2011

    Old Yank, I do understand the ‘intrigue factor’ present in the Leonard-Lalonde inaugural WBC Super-Middleweight fight. Didn’t Hearns fight for the WBO version of the same brand-new division? There was much less glamor & subsequently attention there, of course, but I’d hesitate to call Leonard a Light-Heavyweight champion at ANY POINT in his career. Call me too much of a purist, but there you have it. If you’re gonna set or break records, please let it be on the level. Weren’t multiple, simultaneous championships banned after Armstrong swept all 3 (count ‘em - only 3) titles between 126-147? Why was that? To give others a chance at making a good living as world champ maybe? How did the top 175 lb contenders feel when Lalonde took the WBC diadem down to 168? Pretty much the same as the 154 lb contenders did when Pacquiao pulled the same crap with Margarito at 150, I guess…

  60. "Old Yank" Schneider 03:01pm, 11/10/2011

    Gajjers—GREAT POST!  Armstrong did NOT need catchweights because he had no need to change his weight.  You are 100% correct - -he took a welterweight title (NO!  he took THE welterweight title—there was ONLY ONE WORLD CHAMP BACK THEN) when he weighed in at 130-something.  I’ve got a tad more sympathy for the Lelonde/Leonard bout than you do—but I certainly understand you being pissed-off about it.  The bout was THE inaugural bout for a brand new division at 168.  NO ONE knew the RIGHT way to crown a champ for this new division so Lelonde took a shot at being a dual title champ and blew his 175 pound belt for the trouble.  I just think a guy moving up and a guy moving down was a reasonable way to decide the new 168 pound belt.  Lelonde allowing his 175 pound belt to be tossed into the mix was a bad move on his part.  But it was HIS decision to try to be a two division champ at the same time.  To be sure, the Leonard camp sweetened the pot for Lelonde to toss in the 175 pound belt, but no one FORCED him to do it.

  61. "Old Yank" Schneider 02:52pm, 11/10/2011

    Ted—Nailing down what puts “fanatic” back into a fan would be a very interesting piece in the context of boxing fans—we’ve got our heavyweight fanatics, Latino, rivalry fanatics (PR vs Mexico), venue fans (The Garden vs Vegas), Euro fans, the fans from Down Under, old school vs contemporary, style arguments, power arguments, entertainment and flash and on and on…GREAT IDEA.  When can we expect the piece?

  62. Gajjers 02:48pm, 11/10/2011

    Good article again, ‘Old Yank’ - I concur with a lot of your points regarding the possible dilution of an otherwise solid legacy with catchweight ‘title fights’. Catchweight fights go back a long ways - they just weren’t called world title bouts. Good business moves on Pacman’s part for sure, as things turned out, but I just wish some of the fans would stop talking about ‘world titles’ in 8 divisions, when all these iffy clauses were part of the deal.  Being the cash cow grants you a lot of leverage in negotiations, but please call ‘em as they are. Leonard did that crap with Donny Lalonde, and I was just as pissed with Leonard for claiming 2 ‘world titles’ (168 lb & 175 lb) in one bout, which was fought at well below the 175 lb limit. It was hogwash then, and it’s hogwash now! Hey, ‘Homicide Hank’ defended his 147 lb. title a time or two while weighing under 140 lbs! How about that?

  63. the thresher 02:16pm, 11/10/2011

    The issue about knowledgeable vs. non-knowledgeable fans might be interesting to wxplore. It could be that a fighter like Pac has literally millions of fanatcial Filipino fans who are not all that knowledgeable about any other fighters. However, Mexican fans who are knowledgeable about JMM likly know about PAC. Not sure what this all means, but I think knowledgeable fans are those who buy PPV or who post on the sites and their number may not be all that great. Hmmm.

  64. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:51am, 11/10/2011

    Ted—Agreed—good debate.  I would add that any fan who does not know who Marquez is, would, by definition, not be a knowledgeable fan.  The composer who wrote for the most discerning ear likely also caught the ear of the less knowledgeable listener.  Likewise, bouts that play to the most discerning/knowledgeable fan might have an appeal to those less knowledgeable as well.  The more “fanatic” in the fan, the greater likelihood that these things like catchweights have meaning.  The loss of fans is an evolutionary erosion – loss of the most fanatical is a bad sign that the pace of erosion is picking up.  Some evolutionary changes to a sport have no effect on fans over the long haul.  I suspect that a slow growth of catchweights for championship belts is not akin to placing a backboard behind a basket or moving the goal posts from the goal line to the back of the end zone.  I fear that a shift towards more pure entertainment is feeding a lot of problematic stuff for boxing – kids not being trained properly in technique in deference to wanting to entertain instead; removal of technical nuance from fan discussions as apples to apples comparisons become more and more difficult to make, and more.  As I said, I’m pissed off.  I see a lot of what’s going wrong with boxing in the BLUNTING of Pacquiao’s greatness.  I mean, c’mon – a VACANT championship belt getting filled by a man who had ZERO intent of ever defend it and did not earn it at the division limit and did not fight anyone even legitimately ranked in the division?  This is erosion of a sport that might not cause a blip on the radar of a casual fan, but the discerning ears of real fanatics can hear something going wrong from a mile away.  Perhaps I’m far too much of a purist to see the benefits of this compromising, Roncomatic, slicing and dicing, catchweight nonsense.

  65. the thresher 09:03am, 11/10/2011

    My last post. Actually, I suspect it’s all about fans wanting to see PAC fight. Even those on the pheriphery of boxing know who he is. As for JMM, nobody knows and nobody cares. PAC is the MAN.

    Good debate.

  66. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:50am, 11/10/2011

    Ted—It might come down to how the question is asked of a knowledgably fan.  For example, if the question were asked months ago if they would prefer Pacquiao/Marquez at 140 or at a catchweight above 140, I suspect most knowledgeable fans would have picked 140.  Your point is true; fans drive the bouts.  But they don’t always get what they really want out of them by the time the side holding the cards is through messin’ with the perfection fans would prefer.  I could be wrong.

  67. the thresher 08:37am, 11/10/2011

    Well yes. But here is my underlying point. What the fans want is what exactly drives the businessperson (promoters). I’d be willing to bet that if you polled 10 fans, 9 would not even mention the issue of catchweight. Don’t get me wrong. That dosen’t mean it’s not an important issue.

  68. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:30am, 11/10/2011

    Ted—Thanks for the comments—there is a lot of meat in there.  The business stuff I’m in total agreement with.  To play on words, I’ve got no beef with Roach and Manny calling the shots as businessmen.  The thrust of my critique is from the perspective of a need to offer fans a fight that they can appreciate as a level playing field – no cherries, no concessions, no catchweights, no bs.  I agree with everything you said from a BUSINESS perspective, but the perspective of a businessman is not always in concert with that of a fan.  Since I’m not Berto or Marquez making a fortune off of Pacquiao, I have no need to compromise my views (no need to jip myself out of fair play for a buck) – there is nothing in it for me to speak from any perspective but that of a fan.  I KNOW what I want as a fan!  When I say I’m pissed; it’s true.  This is a trilogy that HISTORY and FANS would have gotten more out of if it had happened 3 years ago and at 135 or 140.  IMO, this bout is too late; wrong weight; and open for criticism from a fans perspective on many fronts.

  69. the thresher 07:42am, 11/10/2011

    I do think Manny cherry picks (or at least enjoys the shrewd matchmaking ability of the ultra shrewd Roach). But, I submit you might want to seperate your “innocent suspicions” re Manny. The fact he is the BOSS and he got thtat way by beating a number of guys we (me included) all thought were too big for him. Manny is the best right now and therefore he deserves to call the shots. That’s one of the perks you get for being the best. What we call “compromise,” he and Roach call “the biggest payday in your life—you retirement money.” I’m not sure I would label that mangle. Boxing is a business and like all businesses, it is driven by supply and demand. If the fans want JMM, Manny will give them what they want but he will do so on his terms like any smart businesperson would do. When you are on the throne, you dictate the terms. I get that. No big deal. If they want the winner of Ortiz-Berto, he will give them that but on his terms. And either Ortiz or Berto will do a triple back flip to get that opportunity for that kind of money. Same with the Klits. That’s why you get a delusional call-out once a day to fight one of the bothers.

    Pac fought his last four at 144-45. Why should HE come down? Who is JMM to dictate terms? And note that he hasn’t because he smells the big money.

    The other thing is that if the PVV numbers jump through he roof, that will futher reinforce the business perspective of this fight. However, I plan to pass on it because the undercard is a disgrace.

    Just some observations, but I submit the catchweight argument re Manny (which you have done a fine job with) is diffrent from the concept of catchweights, though I am no expert on the subject.

    Good job.

  70. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:10am, 11/10/2011

    del-g—Thanks for getting it!  I FULLY agree.  Wrong weight; too late; too sad!

  71. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:08am, 11/10/2011

    TIP: Highlight an entire post and right-click to “copy” before you hit the submit button.  Should a superb post get lost in cyberspace, you can simply paste it back and re-submit.

  72. del g 07:06am, 11/10/2011

    I agree Yank, this fight should be fought at 140…..if a trilogy is what the fans deserve (which we do) should be fought at LWW….....shoulda happened 2-3 years ago tho…...i reckon JMM will fall in 9. Nice read btw

  73. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:05am, 11/10/2011

    Ted—I fully agree!  I might add…The Golden Rule in boxing is just a tad twisted from the real one: Those with the gold make the rules.  This gives Manny the leverage to bend, dangle, twist and mangle any tradition or condition he wishes.  EXAMPLE: For the purists among us, we ask if the “old days” would have tolerated a VACANT 154 pound belt (a technical impossibility in the “old days” because this sliced and diced division did not exist in the “old days”), being contested by two NON-154-pound fighters at a catch weight below the limit?  There is a Fiddler on the Roof-like messing with tradition going on here that I don’t like!  Why not a belt for every pound; and then for ever ounce until nonsense so blurs what’s going on that the proud history of this fine sport is tossed in the trash?  The heart of my point in this article is such nonsense is UNNECESSARY when greatness the likes of Pacquiao climb in the ring.  The NONSENSE blunts his achievements.  Thanks for getting it!

  74. the thresher 06:36am, 11/10/2011

    argh, I just finished along and suoerb post and it got lost in cyber space. That sucks.

    But long story short is that if you sepearate Manny from the others, the argument for catchweights becomes a bit more plausible because the playing field becomes a bit more level.

    Many’s uncommon leverage allows him to compromise his opponents. But that might not be true with others.

  75. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:23am, 11/10/2011

    At 125 and 130 pounds, without question, the total of the official scorecards show Marquez winning more rounds than Pacquiao over 24 rounds of boxing.  It is no secret that many objective fans are split over who really won those bouts.  It’s a long way up the food chain to get to the Roncomatic, sliced and diced weight division that lies north of junior welter and south of welter.  Have we been LIED TO about how hard it is for Pacquiao to maintain 142 to 144 pounds?  Why not give Manny a break and not force him to eat like a stuffed duck?  Why is this bout not being fought at 140 pounds?  WHY?

  76. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:13am, 11/10/2011

    bergmuff—All joking aside, I do get your point.  If Marquez wants Manny’s belt, the weight is 147!  That’s TRADITION!  So please get my point.  Why did Pacquiao REQUIRE Cotto to defend his 147 pound belt at 145.  Was not Pacquiao to be held to the same standard you require of Marquez?  My point is that Pacquiao is crapping all over tradition and in the process BLUNTING his achievements.  He is TOO GOOD for this!  No fan would have any excuses if Pacquiao was fighting Marquez at 140.  Since Pacquiao is forcing Marquez to fight at a catchweight, it leaves the door open for the “what if” game.  What if the bout was at 140…could Marquez beat Pac at the weight?  WE WILL NEVER KNOW!!!

  77. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:15am, 11/10/2011

    bergmuff—I see your feathers have been ruffled.  Martinez offered to take Pacquiao’s 154 pound title.  Was Pacquiao a legit champ at 154?  If he was, then defending a championship is essential if legitimacy is to be retained.  By your logic, the WBA should have insisted that no catchweight be used to sully their 154 pound belt.  C’mon, Bergmuff, let it out…what’s really bothering you?  Someone swipe your Devil Dog from your lunch bag?

  78. bergmuff 07:56pm, 11/09/2011

    old yank, top rank should have made marquez fight at 147lbs at the pacmans weight division , then flomos like you would have more issues to write about. just like flomos left and right complain about the pacman not fighting martinez at 160lbs. who is calling out who and who is challenging whom for whose title, just as there are fake fighters there are also fake boxing scribes with fake boxing knowledge.

  79. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:47pm, 11/09/2011

    Ted—You make the Pac/Marquez bout sound like a great escape from it all—I’m buyin’ the PPV; doin’ the fight-night thing at the house with old and new friends and my favorite white wine—STOLI!  It cracks them up in the wine shop when I only buy reds and claim that Stoil is the only “white” worth drinking!

  80. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:39pm, 11/09/2011

    Ted—I’m off my diet… and one too many shakes off it at that!

  81. "Old Yank" Schneider 06:38pm, 11/09/2011

    sthomas - -Thank you.  You might be on to something!  Keeping Pac at or near perfection without much variation might be necessary prep for Floyd!

  82. the thresher 06:34pm, 11/09/2011

    This fight may compete with the end of the world. Penn State is a mess. A Texas judge beats his daughter on video. Greece and Italy are going down the tube. Jacko’s doctor is in the hoosegow. Cain looks to be a serial groper and Gloria Allred is now on his case.. The Dems have won serious elections. Tea baggers are on the run. And poor Pac fights JMM. Does anyone really care?

  83. sthomas 05:51pm, 11/09/2011

    Hey there Yank.  Nice read.  Regarding this fight, Paq. is the welterweight champ.  He’s doing this to look like the champ is making a compromise for his opponent but still hold all the cards.  On the other hand, he’s not getting any younger so going down to 140 and then to go back up to 147 for Mayweather may be an issue, however slight that is .  Perhaps he is at the point where his camp wants to maintain maximum physicality for the near future.

  84. the thresher 05:46pm, 11/09/2011

    Ariza Chocolate Chip Protein Shakes actually sound tasty.

  85. the thresher 05:46pm, 11/09/2011

    A catch weight fight between the two willl never happen because neither side will be compromised. Damn shame. Floyd looked like a monster when he fought JMM. I wonder how manny will look.

  86. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:39pm, 11/09/2011

    Imagine the mega-spectacle a true pound-for-pound, no-weight restriction bout between Manny and Floyd could be.  Each man allowed to enter the ring at the weight they are most comfortable at.  Both had to stretch to fight once at 154—neither sticking around to defend at 154.  Floyd with 7 bouts at 147 and Manny (after Saturday) with 6.  Both spent years between 130 and sub-147 before fighting at 147.  I am now officially lobbying for a no-weight restriction, bonified, genuine pound-for-pound bout between Manny and Floyd.  Let’s give them both a shot at removing all blunting and settle this once and for all.  No PEDS, no weight restriction—#1 and #2 P-4-P for the undisputed bragging rights of a century—a purists dream come true!

  87. the thresher 03:46pm, 11/09/2011

    Given Manny’s leverage resulting from his ability to provide mega paydays for his opponets and given the shrewd matchmaking ability of Roach, I’d have to agree with your conclusions here. However, as to whether they apply to other catchweight situations, I will give that more thought.

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