Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather

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Chris Rossmann

The fight of the century, the one we’ve all been waiting for. Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather, one for the history books.

Or at least if would have been, if this fight were happening five years ago. Today, the two fighters are well past their respective primes and, at least in Pacquiao’s case, have long since moved on. Today, Manny Pacquiao is 36 and Floyd Mayweather is 38. Today, Pacquiao is a politician and is developing a music career while Mayweather is counting down the days until retirement.

Once upon a time, this would have been a real fight of the century. These two boxers mowed down every fighter that stood in the way. At their respective primes, Pacquiao was respected as one of the greatest offensive boxers in history. Mayweather was widely considered to be more of a brick wall than a man.

Five years ago, this would have been like a nuclear cruise missile smashing full force into a mountain.

Today, this looks like a bit of a disappointment.

While Mayweather brings his undefeated record to the fight, he is beginning to show his age. In his last two fights, both against Marcos Maidana, Mayweather hasn’t looked quite like the Floyd “Money” Mayweather of old. His defense is slower and his counter punches don’t have the power they once had.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, looked quite shaky against Juan Manuel Marquez and was knocked out for only the third time in his career. He has since come back and won his last three fights, but the Marquez knockout coupled with the busy life Pacquiao leads outside the ring puts doubt in the minds of Pacquiao’s supporters.

This fight of the century feels more like the final death throes of a sport in steep decline. Once, boxing existed in a golden era of sport. Fights were some of the biggest sporting events of the 60’s and 70’s, and coverage of the buildup to the fight was a daily story.

Today, newspapers seldom report any boxing results, and you can only watch a fight on Pay-Per-View. Boxing has become a fringe sport in America and this fight just looks like the last hurrah.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see both fighters retire shortly after this fight. Short of something controversial happening, we just don’t see a rematch and we can’t imagine any other fighters that would be worth fighting to Pacquiao or Mayweather. At the ages of 36 and 38, you don’t fight just to fight anymore.

This was the big one. This was the fight both men have thought about for years. This was the fight boxing fans would tell their kids about.

But it came five years too late.