Mick Hennessy promoter, and head of Hennessy Sports accompanied his top star Tyson Fury during final media preparations for his fight with Christian Hammer on the 28th of March in Liverpool, England. No doubt his focus is on that heavyweight clash. Hennessy looks to direct Fury towards a title shot at Wladimir Klitschko sometime later his year should he come through successfully. But he allowed his thoughts to drift several weight division south when he talked to James Helder from iFL TV.
While it is debatable whether Floyd Mayweather Jr(47-0, 26KO’s) and Manny Pacquiao(57-5-2, 38KO’s) are still the best welterweights in their division, it is indisputable that they both are the two biggest stars the sport has seen in a number of decades. They will finally trade blows after years, and years, and years of waiting, and it’s for all the marbles with Mayweather’s WBA Super and WBC World titles on the line along with Pacquiao’s WBO strap.
I’m sure the sentiments Hennesy put forth on the matter are shared by many who have waited so long, as the excitement and anticipation we are all feeling has been ever so slightly diluted with a hint of regret.
“I’m glad it’s happening, tremendous event, spectacle. It transcends boxing worldwide, great for the sport. Would have loved to have seen it a few years ago when they were both in their prime, especially Pacquiao. Disappointed it hasn’t happened in for the last three years but still, the main thing it’s on. I think it’s a tremendous fight, but I think, you know, Mayweather is going to use them brilliant defensive skills and outpoint Pacquiao, that’s my view.”
If Pacquiao isn’t on the decline, he is certainly more conservative than when he was bludgeoning his way up through divisions from flyweight. He no longer charges forward with reckless abandon and is increasingly vigilant in combating what is thrown at him with evasive tactics rather than meeting fire with fire. Despite his noticeable lack of knockouts since moving up to the 147.lb. Division, he still packs enough power to have scored six knockdowns in his last fight against Chris Algieri, so he may still have enough pop to put Mayweather in trouble if he lands clean.
“Yeah absolutely, Pacquiao’s trait of speed, power and angles, but I honestly believe his speed and power has deteriorated a little bit, and I think it’s Mayweather’s defensive capabilities and brilliant boxing ability that’s going to kick in here. If it was a few years ago, I think it could have been a different story.”
Anybody who knows Mayweather knows what capabilities Hennessey is referring to here. The ‘Philly Shell’ posture, the shoulder roll, the lead straight right hand, either from a static posture or right after he has pulled back from a punch, the stab jab to the body…He has so many signature traits it’s a wonder he can still pull them off with impunity against high-level opposition. If we do see a diminished version of Pacquiao in this fight, he could easily fall victim to some of these maneuvers.
But will the perception that Pacquiao is now not once what he was count against Mayweather if he wins? People still criticize him for his bouts against Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley on the basis they took place when both fighters were past their primes. It would be a shame if the biggest fight in history were marred by such notions. They’re both to blame to some extent for the delay we have all endured, and Mayweather can’t help it if some spectators feel he hasn’t receded as much as his rival.
That is just one of the never-ending condemnations that Mayweather is the target of and, his personal antics aside. You would think most boxing fans would hold him in higher regard just for the manner in which he has conducted himself between the ropes for the last nineteen years; sixteen of which he has been a champion for in several weight classes, barely coming close to losing a fight in the process.
Hennessy feels that, much like Joe Calzaghe -and Lennox Lewis if I may be so bold as to add his name here- time will be very kind to Mayweather. Fans just need a little bit of space from him to really take into account what he has accomplished. And this Pacquiao fight will facilitate that change in attitude.
“I think this fight’s gonna go a long way to help people appreciate him even more than they do right now.”