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article imageDiaz: If Floyd Mayweather ducks Manny Pacquiao he'll lose respect

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 23, 2014 in Sports
Joel Diaz, one of the best trainers in boxing and a former fighter himself, said that if Floyd Mayweather ducks a fight with Manny Pacquiao then he stands a chance of losing credibility. He also suggested Mayweather is gaining a rep boxers don't want.
That reputation is of a fighter who picks his spots instead of fighting the best or most deserved opponent on the way up or best opponents ranked even with or above him. There is of course, in the eyes of many, either no boxer above Floyd Mayweather, or just one: Manny Pacquiao.
The two have talked fight, they have done the hype thing, since 2009 in fact, but still haven't met in the ring. But it now looks, judging from the comments made by both Mayweather and Pacquiao, that a May 2 date in Las Vegas will finally see them get at it. If not though, Diaz says, the unbeaten record sported by Mayweather (47-0) won't mean as much.
"If Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, just through my experience and my knowledge, I can tell you that right now Mayweather is between the sword and the wall, he’s cornered," Diaz said told ontheropesboxing.
"He either has to step it up and fight Manny Pacquiao or he’s gonna lose a lot of credibility because I can hear it and I can see it," he added. "Mayweather is already at the point where people are not believing in his ability anymore because he hand picks his opponents."
Diaz trains Timothy Bradley
Diaz trains Timothy Bradley, who won his first 31 professional fights before losing to Pacquiao (who he'd beaten for win number 29) last April. So Diaz, whose brothers Antonio and Julio are both champion boxers, has been in the opposite corner of Pacquiao twice, though his fighter has never fought Mayweather, so he hasn't seen him fight up close.
Nonetheless, Diaz feels he knows what it will take to beat Mayweather and believes the 37-year-old best pound for pound fighter in boxing is no longer at the top of his game. He would have once gone with Mayweather over Pacquiao but he''s not so sure now.
"If two years ago that fight had would have happened, I would go Mayweather because Mayweather is very slick, he has great reflexes, he’s a great counter puncher and Mayweather waits for you to make a mistake and makes you pay for it," said Diaz.
"Right now if that fight would happen, it’s an even fight, it’s a 50-50 because Mayweather slowed down a lot. I don’t know if age is catching up to him and Manny Pacquiao is at that point where it’s whoever wants it the most."
And if Mayweather doesn't want it, doesn't take it, doesn't fight, no matter the excuse, his reputation, whether he remains unbeaten or not, will always be tarred by his failure to fight the Pac Man, Diaz said.
More about Floyd mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, mayweather pacquiao, joel diaz, Timothy bradley
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