Manny Pacquiao is so far ahead of his current competition that he just might have to start a whole new race.
With the exception of Floyd Mayweather Jr., there are very few remaining tests to gauge Pacquiao’s effectiveness as a boxer these days. But if the Filipino champion isn’t afraid of a little challenge, that competition could be waiting for him at the 154-pound mark in the form of 2010 Fighter of the Year, Sergio Martinez.
During a recent interview with On the Ropes Boxing Radio, Martinez made it very clear that he didn’t want to be unreasonable in regards to a possible match with his Filipino counterpart. In fact, the middleweight champion spelled out specifically what type of compromises he was prepared to make.
"I never said to Pacquiao or Mayweather to come up to my weight at 160 pounds," Martinez said.
"What I said in the past was hey, let's make an agreement. Let's do a catch weight or let’s fight at 154 pounds," he added.
In the spirit of fairness, it’s also important to note that Martinez wants Mayweather as well. However, Mayweather is currently busy juggling the allegations that he’s ducking Pacquiao, so no need to pile on with this case of ducking as well. Furthermore, between the idiotic lawsuit that Pacquiao has levied against him and his upcoming September showdown versus Victor Ortiz, the undefeated Mayweather seems to have his hands full.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has far fewer things to worry about. Sure, there is his November bout against Juan Manuel Marquez that he’s guaranteed to win, a slight medical scare and his thriving singing career – but nothing that the congressman can’t handle. So, if that’s the case, why is Pacquiao’s promoter, the ever-shady Bob Arum, making it so explicitly apparent that his boy wants no part of Martinez?
Very recently, in fact, Arum went so far as to call the murmurs suggesting a possible battle between Pacquiao and Martinez “absurd.” Really now? Absurd? It’s absurd to think that perhaps a fighter who is so versatile that he held the distinction of being an eight-division champion might want to move up in weight to prove that he’s truly the pound-for-pound best in the sport?
It doesn’t sound that absurd.
Martinez has his own theory on Pacquiao’s reluctance, though. He seems to believe that Pacquiao is simply ducking him for now, waiting for the 36-year-old to get a little more seasoned, a little slower, and a little more primed for a Shane Mosley-style massacre.
"I'm pretty sure that’s probably what their intentions are. I mean Pacquiao is fighting everybody that's either 36 or 37 or 38, and it's the same thing with Mayweather, besides taking on (Victor) Ortiz," Martinez said. "A lot of his opponents are really much older so that might be the case."
In a sport where ducking has become almost as commonplace as cheating, lying and stealing – is it really so crazy to think that Pacquiao is simply ducking a fighter he sees as a legitimate threat?
You be the judge.