By Patrick Drengwitz, Community Relations Assistant
I can say with all honesty that nothing excites me more than the return of baseball in a few days, and the anticipation will keep building until opening day. Of course being an employee for a minor league team, I’m sure you could’ve guessed that. There is, however, another return that has caught my attention and it’s not of a sport, but of an individual athlete that I consider the best in the game.
In 41 days, the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr., will make his return to the ring after his two-month stay in prison. The challenger is WBC Interim Welterweight Champion Robert Guerrero. Now, normally a return for such a dominant and undefeated superstar such as “Money” Mayweather would have people buzzing like crazy. However, that is not the case, and the reason why: the man in the other corner is not Manny Pacquiao.
The fight that would end all fights and likely go down in history as one of the best of all-time would undoubtedly be Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. The two have traded the title of best-pound-for-pound fighter in the world more times than I can count, yet no combat between the two has been seen. Unfortunately, it probably never will be seen and this is where the appeal of boxing almost completely diminishes. When there are two figures in a sport clearly a step above the rest, it is only natural for fans to want to see a clash of the titans. We have been treated to it many times with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, two tennis greats who have given the public several instant classics. So why then can’t boxing get this match booked and set pay-per-view ratings that would stand ‘til Rapture?
Well, I think Pacquiao is scared.
First of all, with the egos that boxers have it’s a shocker that Pacquiao wouldn’t want to be the man that puts the first digit in the losses column for Mayweather. It’s also frustrating because I believe he’s the only guy that could do it. I don’t mean to diminish Mayweather’s past foes, because he’s fought some seriously bad dudes. And because Mayweather has put together a flawless track-record, it’s not completely out of the question to say Pacqiuao is flinching when he looks at that stellar 43-0. Pacquiao’s record is 54-5-2. In case you need a specific fact and not my own speculation, Pacquiao has also been difficult when it comes to the drug testing that has been suggested for the fight. The Filipino doesn’t want blood drawn within thirty days of the match for fear of weakening him whereas news from the Mayweather camp suggest Floyd couldn’t care less how he is tested. Is Pacquiao hiding something or does he have a legitimate gripe? He did, however, say that he would submit to testing directly after the fight, but what point would that be if damage had been done to Mayweather already?
It may have been futile to even write such an article since this argument seemed antiquated years ago when the third try for the fight fell through. But it still bugs me to see Mayweather fight and not have an opponent that legitimately puts that streak in jeopardy. I’m not really a boxing fan at all, but as a sports fan I know when I have the opportunity to watch something with the potential to be monumental. Those pay-per-views aren’t cheap either, but if that fight ever did happen, I would shell out the cash in a heartbeat.
Patrick is starting his first season with the Crawdads and hopes it leads into a long career with baseball. He is from Gaithersburg, Maryland and majored in Communications at Salisbury University. Patrick wrote for his college paper for two years before becoming the sports editor when he was a senior. He enjoys watching all D.C. sports, breaking a sweat at the gym and spending free time with friends.