The outcome of the Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto middleweight championship bout over the weekend was quite a treat for fight fans, but still did not measure up to the marquee bouts of the 1980s in the welterweight to middleweight division.
Even if Alvarez squaring off with the still undefeated Gennady Golovkin is now being planned, I doubt if that fight will push through immediately given that Alvarez failed to stop Cotto and the Mexican’s handlers might be hesitant at this point to put their ward inside the lion’s den against Golovkin.
So what matchup can save boxing now?
Prior to the staging of Alvarez vs Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr. clarified that his camp wasn’t in talks for a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. And talks for that rematch is now virtually dead and I hope it stays like that.
The overhyped Mayweather-Pacquiao megabout turned out to be a dud and won’t be talked about by fight fans in the next decades to come in the same breadth as Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns, Hearns-Marvin Hagler, Leonard-Hagler, Roberto Duran-Leonard and even Leonard-Wilfredo Benitez. Hell, even Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez 4 will be more talked about than Mayweather-Pacquiao. The same goes for Alvarez-Cotto.
In boxing history, rematches are warranted if the first fight left many questions unanswered and its outcome was compelling. The first Mayweather-Pacquiao bout did not produce questions and its result was NOT compelling. Period. So why bother for a rematch?
Honestly, it is hard to believe that Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 will pack the thunder that the first match lacked. The only way a rematch will pack thunder is for the American to trade leather with the Filipino, but only a fool will believe Mayweather will trade leather with Pacquiao in a rematch. Also, a healed right shoulder will not give Pacquiao a chance to stop Mayweather.
Let’s face it – Mayweather isn’t stupid to stake his undefeated record and give fight fans a treat by standing toe-to-toe with Pacquiao. That was very obvious in the first fight.
Also, Pacquiao never had a deadly right hand (his lead hand), so a completely healed shoulder will not result to his having a right hand that can knock the daylights out of Mayweather should it land. And as with most Filipino boxers that I have seen at the championship level, Pacquiao never had a jab that could unsettle his opponent. I guess the “crackling” or “head snapping” jab is not the favorite weapon of Filipino fighters.
And like what I predicted in the second fight between Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, the American had already “measured up” Pacquiao. So expecting Mayweather to be beaten is close to impossible.
In the first Mayweather-Maidana fight, the Argentinian brawler gave the American the fight of his life. The fight ended in a split decision.
With close result, the clamor for a rematch was great and eventually happened. But in the second fight, it was obvious Mayweather was already familiar with the style of Maidana and walked away with a unanimous decision win. Maidana could not come up with something new during the rematch and looked desperate in trying to land a knockout punch during the latter parts of the fight.
I actually wrote an article about the rematch between Mayweather and Maidana making no sense at all. And it turned out to be such. My thesis was simple – Mayweather had already measured up Maidana in the latter part of their first fight.
So a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch won’t be the bout to save boxing. And forget about a rematch between Alvarez and Cotto too because it was obvious the Mexican was the superior fighter although he showed much respect for the Puerto Rican.
Now, what could take boxing out of the morass or doldrums? Maybe Cain Valesquez vs Vitali Klitschko.