The fight of the century that so many boxing fans waited for, also let most of those fans down. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was a tactical fight that lacked the action and moments of drama that fans had hoped for. While the fight itself did not call for a rematch, the news that Manny Pacquiao had an injury going into the bout has some people wondering if he could have done better and provided boxing fans with more of the fight they wanted, if he had been healthy.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, I talk with him about Manny Pacquiao’s injury and if he thinks Pacquiao owed it to the fans to be fully fit going into the fight. Mancini also talks about boxing’s rising stars, Canelo Alvarez and IBO Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Additionally ‘Boom Boom’ talks about how he wants to be remembered as a fighter, and passes along a message to his fans. Here is what Ray Mancini had to say.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao came into the fight with a torn rotator cuff, do you think he owed the fans more? Do you think he should have come in at one hundred percent?
Ray Mancini: First of all, he didn’t have a torn rotator cuff coming in, he hurt it during the fight or after. I’ve never had a torn rotator cuff but I know guys who have and you ain’t lifting your hands over your head like that pumping your fists like that. He had a shoulder injury, he had an injury coming into the fight but it wasn’t torn, it got torn during the fight.
I thought he fulfilled his obligation, he fought through the pain, he could have quit on the stool but he didn’t. He had more of a chance to quit than most guys, but he didn’t. The problem was, he couldn’t catch him. I thought he hit Mayweather with some good shots at times and he tried to flurry on the ropes but then Floyd moved away and he couldn’t catch him.
Pacquiao had an obligation to be the best he could be at that moment and that’s the best he was. If he would have pulled out of the fight, that’s a bigger disservice to the people. Every athlete wants to give themselves the best chance to win but every fighter goes in there with problems. People don’t understand, every fighter goes in there with something, you’re never one hundred percent.
I’ve gone into fights where I wasn’t one hundred percent but you have an obligation to the paying public to give them the best fight that you can at what you are that night. Pacquiao trained hard but sometimes you’re not one hundred percent, for whatever reason. All the stuff that was made about his shoulder, I think it’s a lot to do about nothing, to be honest with you.
Jenna J: Ray, after Mayweather-Pacquiao, the boxing fans that were feeling disappointed with that sort of fight got a nice treat in Canelo vs. Kirland. What did you think of that fight?
Ray Mancini: I taped it but I haven’t seen it yet but I am going to watch it. I heard it was a three round war, but what else would it be? There you know what you’re buying, that’s the perfect example.
When Floyd fought Canelo, I said, “If Canelo jumps on him right from the start and makes it a dog fight, he wins the fight. If he sits back and lets Floyd do what he does, he won’t beat him.” Sure enough, he sat back. Canelo needs a guy to come at him. The fights that Canelo has not looked impressive are with the guys that move, movement give him problems. Floyd, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout, they all gave him problems.
Jenna J: I’m curious, what guys out there in boxing excite you?
Ray Mancini: The best fighter in the world pound-for-pound bar none is Gennady Golovkin. He’s dismantling people, he’s not just beating them, he’s destroying them. What I like about this kid is that he’s called everybody out, from Floyd to Andre Ward and nobody has stepped up, including Canelo and Miguel Cotto. Nobody has stepped up, that’s pretty impressive. All the elite guys, he’s called out and nobody has stepped up.
They’re saying the biggest fight out there is Canelo vs. Cotto, if Cotto beats Daniel Geale. In theory, yes because the Mexicans versus the Puerto Ricans is the biggest fight, money wise. But the biggest fight boxing wise is Canelo vs. Golovkin. People say, “What if Floyd fights Golovkin?” Floyd ain’t gonna get one hundred yards within Golovkin, are you kidding me? Floyd fighting Golovkin, get out of here, Floyd’s not delirious, that would be a stupid fight for him.
That’s the thing, Carl Froch who is a big, strong guy at 168lbs and Golovkin called him out and Froch said, “I ain’t getting fifteen feet from that guy.” He either said that because he meant it — which I don’t think he did because he thinks it will push up to make the fight — but that’s a bad fight for Golovkin. Not that Golovkin couldn’t beat him, but Froch is a big, strong guy. Style wise it’s not right.
Styles make fights, fighters don’t make fights. Froch is a bad style for Golovkin — not that he couldn’t beat him but it’s just one of those fights where you may win but you’re gonna leave a pound of flesh too. But Cotto, Freddie Roach won’t let him within the same area code as Golovkin. I understand that Canelo vs. Cotto is the biggest fight financially because the Latinos are the biggest fight fans, they’re the biggest pay-per-view buyers, but as far as fight wise, Canelo and Golovkin is the best fight. That would be the best fight for boxing.
Jenna J: When you think about your career, how do you want fans to remember you?
Ray Mancini: I think I’d like the people to remember me as a guy who gave people their money’s worth, gave his all, put on a good show and wasn’t a bad fighter.
Jenna J: Is there a message you want to pass to the fans that supported you throughout your career?
Ray Mancini: I can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve given me over the years. I certainly appreciate it and I hope I gave you your money’s worth.