Don't like to read?
Word out of Vegas is simple this week; Mayweather continues to live in an alternate reality and the press that has been covering him these past ten weeks continues to demonstrate brain-stem only analysis and sycophantry. In an interview with Jim Gray of Showtime, Mayweather called Manny Pacquiao out for his cowardice in not properly shouldering what he saw as an obvious loss and threatening not to give him an earlier promised rematch.
As covered earlier, this threat is simple Money May hyperbole meant firstly to punish Pac for thinking so highly of himself, and to secondly, set the tone and tenor for both financial negotiations as well as the business of selling the sure-to-be-made MayPac II. Reliable sources continue to insist that, despite the venomous rhetoric to the contrary, a second fight will be made.
In addition to Mayweather’s rant and effectual impugnment of Pacquiao’s character, the mainstream boxing press, by-and-large, continues to show its relative incompetence and herd mentality in refusing to see the fight for what it was; close and competitive despite the major rotator cuff injury sustained by Pacquiao earlier in training and aggravated early in the fight.
In the Gray interview, Mayweather continued to demand that Pac admit defeat and that any mention of his being hindered by a shoulder injury is nonsense. The obvious problem here, and it applies to the press as well, is that the injury was in fact significant and fight altering. Mayweather is demanding that Pacman simply admit that Money May is the better fighter with the implied threat that if he fails to do so, his greatness will not grant a rematch. In so doing, he is trying to force Pac to admit to something that Pac knows is not true. Pac will never, under any circumstances, short of absolute domination in the ring, admit that Mayweather is the better fighter. Not even, it must be underscored, on a night where Mayweather’s hand was dubiously raised in victory.
As Mayweather continues to live in his alternate reality surrounded by the sycophantry of a brain-stem-only press, there are a select few boxing journalists including ESPN’s Skip Bayless, who made cogent and highly rational arguments that Pacquiao won the match. Many journalists, like the three judges who sat ringside and scored the fight, saw an inexplicably different fight. If the actual punch stats, not the amateurish and inaccurate HBO numbers, are taken into account, then a Mayweather win should raise eyebrows. In a recent experiment, a group of boxing journalists from Boxing News 24 turned off the sound and watched the fight, blow-by-blow and suggested that, in a vacuum, without the emotion and energy of the stadium, as well as the oddly biased rhetoric and bombast of ringside announcers, the actual fight demonstrated that Pac may well have won the fight outright.
Pre-fight, there was a rumor floating around that the fix might be in for Pacquiao, in order to force a second fight. Now the rumor is that the fix was in, but for a Mayweather win. While there is no objective evidence to support as much, the three scorecards are out of sync with what actually went on in the fight itself. It is possible that the judges, like the herd-mentality driven press watching the fight, were caught up in the Mayweather mystique and the magic of his defensive maneuvers. Like a self-admitted liberal press fawning over a clearly under-prepared and over-hyped Barack Obama and now Hillary Clinton, the herd-like press oohs and ahh’s over the little things Mayweather does that actually have less to do with fighting than self-preservation.
A few examples of the fawning that goes on are the ubiquitous headlines declaring Mayweather’s genius, or his absolute mastery over Pacquiao or of a problem finally solved, that Money May is indeed Pac’s superior. What the brain-stem only, emotion-based, and in some cases, sycophantish Stephen A. Smiths of the world fail to admit, like their hero Mayweather with Jim Gray, is that the authentic Pac still has yet to fight Mayweather.
Anyone in the medical world who knows anything at all about the kind of rotator cuff injury sustained by Pacquiao will admit that the actual, formidable, all-engines-running Pacman did not make his appearance at the MGM Grand on May 2. To continue to analyze the fight as if it communicated anything other than a) one man fighting scared with all of his tools available, and b) another fighting to knock his opponent’s head off with only one arm is to render one’s objectivity suspect. Surely, such an individual knows not only very little of the trauma that is a rotator cuff injury, but very little about what a proper display of real fighting is all about. One guy punches, the other guy is demonstrably scared of getting hit, and basically runs all night. Right.
Teddy Atlas, ESPN’s boxing analyst, known chiefly for pulling a gun on a young Mike Tyson and poor fight prognostications, after ridiculing Pacquiao’s effort and demonstrating his lack of medical know-how, expressed sentiment that a second fight is no longer needed and even the thought of same is onerous. What he fails to see and admit is that the first fight never actually took place. There are all-to-many journalists who should know better, but because of a range of group-think blinders are simply not seeing what the objective observer clearly sees.
In the end, Mayweather, ensconced in his alternate reality, surrounded by the admiring sycophantry of his brain-stem-only admirers in the press, wants to control the message and change a history already made. He demands that Pacquiao admit not only defeat, but confess to the world that the self-styled, best-ever is his technical superior. If Money May wants it so badly, then he might consider actually respecting Pac’s effort under extraordinary circumstances, and instead of ridiculing him, he might follow Skip Bayless’ objective lead in summation of the fight. Bayless honors Pac for fighting under such extraordinary circumstances and refusing to quit when circumstances conspired against him. Indeed, Pac is no one’s inferior when it comes to heart, fortitude, and willingness to fight through unimaginable obstacles. It is time to give Pac his due. Not only does he deserve a rematch, he deserves the public’s praise.
Opinion By Matthew R. Fellows