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article imageOp-Ed: A Mayweather loss to Pacquiao better for legacy than ducking him

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 13, 2015 in Sports
Every fighter Floyd Mayweather takes on as he nears the end of his career — he said he'll retire this year — has added significance now. At 47-0 he could retire undefeated so there was a notion by some that he'd pick opponents carefully.
Mayweather - Pacquiao fight
But with a Pacquiao fight that notion will be dispensed forever. Of course fighting the Filipino legend is dangerous but a win would make his entire career more meaningful.
And multiple reports are now saying Mayweather and Pacquiao will sign to fight by the end of the month with a date sometime this Spring or early Summer, possibly May 2. So the superfight is coming and so is the biggest risk to an unblemished record Mayweather has ever faced.
Rocky Marciano is one of the few fighters who went undefeated and untied throughout his pro career. He wound up at 49-0, considered one of the greatest won-lost records in sport an Mayweather may want to surpass that and retire at 50-0. Fifty wins has a nice ring, especially next to that '0.'
Here's this: ducking Pacquiao for easy fights that would get him to those 50 wins without a loss wouldn't work in any case. He's going to look better at 49-1, with the loss being to Pacquiao, than at 50-0 with his credibility thrown out of the ring by avoiding tough opponents in his last year. Actually he arguably has avoided tough opponents for stretches of time throughout his career.
Mayweather undefeated record could fall
And it's hardly just this pundit saying that. As noted in this space before, former boxer and current-trainer, and one of the best in the business, Joel Diaz, pointed out last month that fighting Pacquiao would be a must for Mayweather to be considered among the best boxers in history.
"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 just before Christmas.
"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. Mayweather is already at the point where people are not believing in his ability anymore because he hand picks his opponents."
That's absolutely right. Who has Mayweather fought of late that brought a record, and talent, to the ring which gave you pause to think Mayweather would lose? Not the 31-year-old Marcos Maidana, who lost by unanimous decision each fight and never threatened. Granted Saul Alvarez seemed a worthy opponent, especially given the Mexican is 13 years younger, but Mayweather handled him with relative ease.
When he came out of that 21-month retirement and fought Juan Manuel Marquez, that was an opponent. But some of his fights before his brief retirement, the likes of DeMarcus Corley (who sits at 22 losses), Carlos Baldomir (16 losses) and Zab Judah (9 losses) didn't impress anyone.
No question though that he'd be the man should he fight Pacquiao, which according to his trainer, Freddie Roach, is a fight closer to being signed than ever before. It's the right decision and he'll be more respected, win or lose, at the end of his fight career than had he ducked the Pacman.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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