Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Merchant: “Maybe he [Mayweather] thinks that he won’t” [win]

By Scott Gilfoid: HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant doesn’t understand why Floyd Mayweather Jr. has created such a big deal about the random drug testing in recent weeks, saying to Boxing Fanhouse “If it’s not gamesmanship [by Mayweather], then what they’re really saying is that ‘Nobody can be as good as Manny Pacquiao unless he’s helped by something.’ Maybe it reflects on Floyd Mayweather. Even if he believes he’s going to win, maybe he thinks that there’s a change he won’t.” This makes a lot of sense. Mayweather appears to have a doubt in his mind that he won’t be able to beat Pacquiao.

Why else would he make a huge production about the random blood testing for his March 13th bout against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Pacquiao? That looks like a fear-based move to me. If Mayweather was really as confident as he portrays himself, he probably wouldn’t be worrying so much about the drug testing. After all, it isn’t like Pacquiao is going to come into the fight out-weighing him like Mayweather did against his last opponent Juan Manuel Marquez in September.

If he’s the same weight as Pacquiao, if not heavier, than why should Mayweather be worrying so much about the drug testing? It just seems to me that Mayweather has doubt in his mind about whether he can beat Pacquiao, and by having him drug tested numerous times, it would somehow quiet Mayweather’s self doubt.

Merchant doesn’t understand the logic behind Mayweather calling so much attention to drugs for this fight, remarking “I thought that it was gamesmanship, because I didn’t see anything to be won by this. If you think that he’s [Pacquiao] been using illegal substances, do you want him called out before the fight and revealed, and blow the whole deal? I never got the point of all this.”

I don’t understand that either. By doing that, Mayweather is basically talking down the fight, because many boxing fans might be turned off about a fight if they think one of the participants is using illegal performance enhancers. What good is it to mention that kind of thing if you want boxing fans to get excited about the fight and purchase it in droves by pay-per-view?

If anything, Mayweather should be keeping his trap shut and trying to talk up Pacquiao or at least say how he’s going to beat him. The worse thing, I think, for Mayweather to do is to put so much emphasis on the drug testing methods for the bout. That’s like a huge turn-off, at least for me.

I don’t think Mayweather has clearly thought this issue out and seen what kind of adverse effect it would have in drumming up ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. I’m just left with the impression that Mayweather is afraid about this fight about losing and ending up with his first defeat on his record.

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