By Bert Eljera
Would Ali be Ali without Frazier? Or Frazier without Ali?
Manny Paquiao kind of see it the same way. He wont really attain his greatness without a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Although tied not the same as Ali and Frazier, who fought three memorable fights, Pacquiao and Mayweather would each see a “hole” in their careers if they don’t test who is the better fighter in the ring
At a press conference here Wednesday, Pacquiao addressed the Mayweather question.
“I’m happy with what I’ve done in my boxing career,” said Pacquiao, who has won titles in eight weight classes. However, he said a fight with Mayweather completes him.
He said he had agreed fully to comply with Mayweather’s demands for random Olympic-style drug testing, an issue that had held up negotiations for the past two years, although he added that the disagreements are beyond mere drug-testing..
“One of the reasons that fight is not happening is the sharing of the currency from the pay-per-view,” he said. “That’s a problem.”
Pacquiao exuded supreme self-confidence during the press conference, a far cry from the self-conscious, little-English speaking boxer who debuted before American fight fans in 2001.
Through self-studies and coaching, he has emerged confident during interviews with the world press, including American television, and has embarked on a budding movie and music career.
In May, he was voted to the Philippine House of Representatives, representing Saranggani. Sixty of his colleagues have flown from Manila to be at ringside for his fight against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.
That such a huge delegation is necessary from an impoverished country, such as the Philippines, was not an issue Pacquiao addressed – or cared to – but it was an indication of his popularity among his fellow lawmakers.
He did jokingly say, “Session adjourned,” after the press conference, as if to simulate the Philippine Congress, or to poke fun at his colleagues.
Pacquiao is highly motivated to not only put on a good fight against Marquez, with whom he had a pair of sensational battles, in 2004 and in 2008, but to end any controversy. They fought to a split draw as featherweights in 2004 and Pacquiao won a razor-thin split decision four years later.
The Filipino boxer is intent on proving he’s the better man, and he pointed out that he’s hardly the same fighter he was when last they met.
“The problem before [against Marquez] is that I never studied the style of being a counter puncher,” Pacquiao said. “I learned that after we fought two times. From then, I studied how to fight a good counter puncher like Marquez. I think I improved a lot. I’m ready to fight a counterpuncher boxer.”
This is a guy, who despite all his money, fame and celebrity, doesn’t take himself too seriously.
He’s an average guy who just so happens to one of the world’s elite athletes and one of its richest men. He’s guaranteed $22 million for Saturday’s work and promoter Bob Arum said with pay-per-view upside figured in, he should make “well over” $30 million.
He’s an entertainer, he said, and whether it’s by fighting or singing or just shaking hands, he gets his motivation by seeing others smile.
“If the people are happy and they like what I’m doing, then I am happy,” he said. “That’s the most important thing.”
A wiseacre said that the people who will be watching Saturday would be most happy if Pacquiao knocked Marquez cold. Pacquiao didn’t miss a beat.
“Oh, I know,” he said. “I know. And I’m going to try.”
– Yahoo Sports