THE SPORTS DOC- Dare ‘ya! Pac Man scares Mayweather to death

Pacquiao looks so sweet, doesn't he?

I readily admit that my childhood was spent relatively dare-free. Girls don't really dare girls to do things— they're just mean to each other. When Schwartz triple-dog-dares Flick to lick the icy flagpole in A Christmas Story, the scene doesn't resonate with girls as much as with boys. A girl would have laughed in Schwartz's face, and his tongue would have stayed in his mouth.

Too bad Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. is not a girl. If he were, he might not be on the wrong end of so many triple-dog-dares right now. Even before Manny Pacquiao took his seventh title in his seventh weight class last Saturday night, the boxing world was calling for the recently unretired Mayweather to pencil the Filipino in on his dance card. Now, after watching 12 rounds of Pacquiao's fists of fury, the calls are about an inch shy of becoming hoots.

And why not? For some reason (vanity), "Pretty Boy" Floyd still touts himself as the best boxer in the world pound-for-pound, but as Ra the Rugged Man so aptly asked Mayweather on Eminem's satellite radio channel, "So Floyd, when you gonna fight somebody your own size?" 

It's becoming more and more apparent that if Floyd has his way, the answer is never. Mayweather, not known for being shy and retiring, has spent the last few months putting his mouth to work instead of his fists. 

When Mayweather told Sky's Adam Smith, "The thing is, with Pacquiao I don't see any versatility as a fighter," he's really saying, "I'm scared." When he says, "He's a good puncher but just one-dimensional," he's saying, "I'm scared." 

When he says, "If I beat Manny Pacquiao, do you know what they [the critics] are going to say? ‘You're supposed to beat him; you're Floyd Mayweather,'" he's saying, "I'm scared."  

And why not? The 32-year-old knows better than anyone that he ought to be out of his mind with fear when it comes to Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is the strongest, fastest, most energetic and exciting boxer to come down the pike in many years. Last December, the southpaw made mincemeat of Oscar de La Hoya, who— the 2-1 favorite– threw in the towel after the eighth round. In May, as a junior welterweight, Pacquiao KO'd Ricky Hatton in only the second round. 

Then, last Saturday, fighting as a welterweight, "Pac-Man" dropped Miguel Cotto in the third round, again in the fourth, and kept him cut and bleeding until the ref called a TKO in the twelfth.

You can tell yourself whatever you want, Floyd Mayweather Jr.; Manny Pacquiao is the real deal. 

So what if Pacquiao has been beaten three times? Two of those losses were over 10 years ago, and the third was against Erik Morales at super-featherweight in 2005. (Pacquiao has beaten Morales twice since then.) Sure, Mayweather may have a 40-0 record, but again, I have to remember Ra the Rugged Man when he asked Mayweather, "If you wanna be great, don't you gotta fight the best?"

According to Mayweather, the answer is no. Actually, his verbatim answer to Rugged Man was, "Boxing doesn't work like that anymore"– and perhaps in Mayweather's mind, it doesn't. For Floyd, being the best means not losing and making money, and if that means ducking fights, then that means ducking fights.

Since his return to boxing, Mayweather has made an art of ducking not just Pacquiao, but Cotto, Paul Williams and Sugar Shane Mosley. As well he should. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a multi-millionaire, and he got that way by fighting people he knew he could beat, people who were smaller or older. Take a look at the welterweight rankings: Mayweather is ranked number two, but he hasn't fought anyone in the top 10 of his division.

What conclusion can you draw?

In his heart of hearts, Mayweather is terrified. He can make all the excuses in the world– not enough money, it's too easy, the promoters don't like him, and so on– but one day the triple-dog-dares are going to get to him, and he's going to have to face the truth: he can't beat anyone of merit.

That's something the boxing world would pay to see. 


Juanita Giles lives in Keysville where she makes videos and updates her">Sports Doctor site.