THE question on everyone’s lips these days, and the one I get asked daily, is who is going to win Pac Man or Moneybags?
I go for Manny Pacquiao, but I am not certain enough to put any money on it. I just have that old fashioned feeling about the Filipino. He knows how to dig deep, has that raw doggedness inside of him, and along with a large amount of boxing ability, he knows how it feels to win and lose. Consequently, Las Vegas holds no fears for him but maybe the selection of the four officials will – considering Manny is the ‘away’ fighter – so I expect him to go that extra mile.
Floyd Mayweather, meanwhile, will have no problem with Vegas because it’s his home, he will have no problem with the officials, the referee will be local as that is a rule in Nevada, and he will be confident about his outstanding boxing ability.
I have been aware of the different views of the boxing world and yes, sometimes I have wavered slightly, but the only time I seriously doubted myself was when Abel Sanchez, the renowned United States trainer who is in charge of middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin, came out in favour of Mayweather.
I think Abel is one of the best if not the best in the business at his job and found myself wavering, but I think rightly or wrongly you go with your first instinct and so far in life it has been quite successful for me.
On that note though the first time I saw Josh Warrington I couldn’t see what all the excitement was about. I thought he was a good fighter, but nothing special, and then after watching his career progress, he improved with every fight. His boxing weaknesses were honed, his fitness improved, and his overall ability took him to the next level. All of a sudden Leeds has those heady days of a Henry Wharton era back again with a new Leeds arena to showcase his talents, although even the new arena won’t be big enough to hold the fans if he carries on as he is.
TV pundit Paul Smith was very sceptical about his ability to hold his own at the very to of his weight class, sighting his lack of power, but I remember the late great former world featherweight champion Howard Winstone – the Welsh wizard who had the tops of his fingers missing on one hand after a punch up with a bacon slicer – also had suspect power but made up for it with his speed and boxing brain. Warrington makes up for it with his work rate and is still learning his trade. Yes, there is a need to find some more power but when you win 11out of 12 rounds against a Top 20 fighter, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over that. What I would lose sleep over is Josh’s habit of dropping his right hand on too many occasions when throwing the left but he will learn.
Featherweight rival Lee Selby is going for the IBF title and if he wins it there is talk of Josh and Lee getting it together which is a great fight. For me it’s a matchup that rivals Carl Frampton vs Scott Quigg, and if they were both on the same day, and I could only go to one of them I would have to choose Lee And Josh. That said, if my old pal Colin Roberts the time keeper is working, I hope he invests in a new stopwatch and if the referee is Victor Loughlin I hope he remembers that the fighter that lands the low blow gets the warning and his opponent gets recovery time, not the other way round.