Tag Archives: Top Rank

Mayweather’s formula of success: Grace under pressure

“If I’m scared and I’m a coward, why do you guys want to see me fight?” Floyd Mayweather Jr.

By Alex P. Vidal

IT’S not a walk in the park for any prizefighter to accumulate an intimidating 47-0 ring ledger. Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s record is two wins shy of equaling heavyweight phenom Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 world record, or three wins away from eclipsing it.

Never mind the “low” 55.32 KO percentage.

He is undefeated, period. And Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. is the richest professional athlete in the world.

Mayweather, 38, goes to war, the most important and the biggest in his fistic career that began on October 11, 1996 with a two-round disposal over Roberto Apodaca, against the only man in the planet to win eight world crowns in eight divisions, Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), on May 2 in the gambling capital of the world.

Known for his scientific stance and style, Mayweather is considered by ring experts as “unhittable” or difficult to hit. Most of his KO victims capitulated in later rounds after wasting away so much energy and efforts trying to at least remove a speck of dust on his noggin.


Only Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, Saul Alvarez and Marcus Rene Maidana were able to give him hellish moments in the ring. A bronze medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Mayweather Jr. has destroyed all the marquee names in the sport on his way to be billed as the best boxer pound-for-pound.

Probably the best defensive fighter in the world today, Mayweather is also known as a “relaxed and calm” gladiator. “Floyd Jr. doesn’t panic. I have trained him to focus on his every fight, to have grace under pressure and solve one problem after another in every round. I think that is his formula of success,” Floyd Sr. told this writer during a one-on-one conversation at the MGM Grand’s media center three years ago.

Floyd Sr., 63, himself a former world title contender, invented Mayweather’s much-vaunted shoulder rolling defense, which has become his performance trademark. “I haven’t seen a fighter in this generation who can outwit Floyd Jr. My son fights clean and finishes off his opponents with clean shots. His timing is always perfect,” added Floyd Sr., who retired on November 3, 1990 after absorbing a 10-round decision loss to Robert Turner where he was deducted with two points for excessive holding a rabbit-punching.


The father Mayweather had a 28-6-1 (17 KOs) record. His greatness as a potential world champion was blasted into smithereens when he was TKO’d in the 10th by Sugar Ray Leonard on September 9, 1978 in Rhode Island, USA.

He is the only Mayweather who hasn’t pocketed a world crown.

His younger brother, Roger, 53, once held the WBA super featherweight and WBC super lightweight titles and retired on May 8, 1999 by trouncing on points Javier Francisco Mendez.

Roger, who nearly risked his crown against Rolando “The Bad Boy from Dadiangas” Navarette in late 80’s (if Navarette did not lose by KO to Ramon Marchena in Mexico), had a record of 59-13 (35 KOs). Team Mayweather doesn’t consider Pacquiao, 36, as a threat to Floyd Jr.’s unbeaten record.

Mocking the Filipino congressman’s “recklessness” as the reason for his KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Floyd Jr. foresees his “sure” victory in the colossal joint HBO and Showtime pay-per-view promotion that is expected to shatter all records in combat sports and the potential to earn $400 million.

Retirement may be far from the radar of both titans. Mayweather, who will go home with $120 million, is gunning to equal if not eclipse Marciano’s record, while Pacquiao, who will get at least $80 million, has contractual obligations to Bob Arum’s Top Rank until 2016.

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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in SPORTS


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Let’s not be fooled; no Mayweather vs Pacquiao duel on May 2

“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.” Carrie Fisher

By Alex P. Vidal

UNCLE Bob Arum always has the final say.
Not Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Not even Manny Pacquiao.
Let’s not be fooled to swallow hook, line and sinker that Mayweather will finally swap leathers versus Pacquiao on May 2, 2015.
The fight isn’t going to happen yet—not until Uncle Bob sings.
What Mayweather said was that he wanted the fight with the Filipino congressman to happen on May 2; he did not say that they have already inked the contract.
Announcement is different from contract signing.
The Mayweather vs Pacquiao duel will only materialize next year if Uncle Bob, the wily Harvard-educated promoter behind Paquiao’s astonishing stardom in boxing, is part of it.
Uncle Bob’s Top Rank holds the contract of Pacquiao’s professional career in prizefighting which is still binding until 2015.
Pacquiao has the imprimatur to fight anybody on this planet, including Incredible Hulk and Godzilla, at Top Rank’s behest.
Even Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotion could not unilaterally make the dream fight happen without Uncle Bob’s blessing.
If Uncle Bob says “no, don’t fight Mayweather”, the fight isn’t going to happen even if 20 angels will confirm and announce it.
And it appears Uncle Bob is not yet in the mood to agree to Mayweather (47-O, 26 KOs) that the Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) match will take place on May 2, at least not yet.
In the first place, some of Mayweather’s demands are incredible and impossible to be accepted by Uncle Bob lock, stock and barrel.


Mayweather, 37, wanted the rich duel to be televised on a pay-per-view by Showtime, HBO’s rival network.
Just like saying that “Bob, you are not part of this deal.”
Uncle Bob and HBO are like Siamese twins and are inseparable.
It was Uncle Bob and HBO that made Pacquiao a multi-millionaire, not Showtime.
Mayweather can’t just ease out Uncle Bob from the deal.
You can’t discuss about Mickey Mouse and Snoopy without involving Walt Disney.
It has to be a joint HBO-Showtime project or none at all.
By hook or by crook, Uncle Bob should not only be a part of the transaction, he should be on top of the transaction; he should be the main negotiator, not a curtain raiser.
And Mayweather can never accept this.
Unknown to some sports fans, Mayweather and Uncle Bob are not on speaking terms.
There is no love lost between boxer and promoter.
It’s a common knowledge in Las Vegas that Uncle Bob has an ax to grind against the unbeaten welterweight champion.
The feeling is mutual.


Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican week celebration could not be the main reason as invoked by Uncle Bob why he was against the May 2 fight.
The main reason was that Mayweather announced he wanted to fight Pacquiao on May 2 under Showtime and hinted of overstepping Uncle Bob’s authority over the future Philippine senator.
Over Uncle Bob’s body.
In world boxing, Uncle Bob is king.
No world boxing body, including the dominant World Boxing Council (WBC), can sway his decision.
When WBC refused to scale down its exorbitant sanction fees, Uncle Bob hied off tothe WBO and WBC didn’t raise a whimper.
No boxing superstar can dictate the terms while Uncle Bob is at the helm.
Uncle Bob is like a demigod. What he wants he gets.
What Uncle Bob does not want to happen won’t happen at all.
That’s why I’m betting my media credentials in the future Las Vegas fisticuffs that the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight won’t happen yet on May 2.

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Posted by on December 15, 2014 in SPORTS


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How we report, predict fights of Manny Pacquiao

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” Niels Bohr

By Alex P. Vidal

Boxing journalists make their respective pre-fight analysis and predictions while inside the media center of a host hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Only those accredited by Top Rank and Magna Media International are strictly allowed inside the media center where celebrities and VIPs proceed to be interviewed from time to time a week before, during and after the event.
Whether you are an American, a Latino, a Russian, a Japanese or a Filipino writer or newscaster, your opinion matters. If the opinion is impressive, it lands in the blogs and newspaper pages the following morning with proper attribution. Boxing writers also compliment each other by sharing and swapping data and sources. Sometimes they interview each other.
Not all predictions are accurate though. Nobody had expected Pacquiao to lose against Timothy Bradley when they first collided on June 9, 2009. Although most experts believed Pacquiao was robbed, the controversial 12-round split verdict was never reversed. The WBO 147-lb belt stayed in the waist of the black fighter otherwise known as the Desert Storm.


Hours before the official weigh-in or a day before the first Pacquiao-Bradley fisticuffs, Filipino writers having lunch in a Filipino restaurant on Las Vegas strip predicted a knockout win for Pacquiao. Nick Giongco of Manila Bulletin said he saw Bradley going to dreamland before the 10th round. Roy Luarca of Philippine Daily Inquirer and Abac Cordero of Philippine Star agreed with him. Vancouver publisher Rey Fortaleza and publicist Robbie Pangilinan did not disagree. I reiterated what I earlier told Rey and Robbie that “2012 is not the year of Pacquiao” and that I saw Bradley winning by a split decision.
My analysis was consistent with the statement I made in a long distance noontime interview with Bombo Radyo anchorman Don Dolido that Pacquiao would suffer his fourth loss since yielding via 12-round unanimous decision to Erik Morales for WBC international super featherweight title on March 19, 2005. The same statement I made to RMN-DYRI Iloilo anchorman Novie Guazo, GMA-6 Ratsada, and many other colleagues in Iloilo media.
When the American TV analyst posted the interview he gave me on youtube where I pushed for Pacquiao’s mandatory retirement after the Bradley fiasco, I was sledge-hammered by angry Pacquiao fans and called names.


Many of us also failed to anticipate Pacquiao’s 6th round KO defeat to Marquez nine months later. Prior to the December 12, 2012 debacle, Filipino, American and a few Latino writers and analysts had predicted a stoppage win for Pacquiao in his fourth meeting against the “slow” and “aging” Marquez.
We sensed something wrong when instead of egging Pacquiao to retire after the loss to Bradley, Top Rank boss Bob Arum still signed Pacquiao up for a record fourth clash against the grizzled Mexican bomber. Ergo, I picked Marquez to win on points.
On the eve of Pacquiao’s bout against Brandon Rios in Macau last November 24, 2013, posted my pre-fight prediction of a Pacquiao victory by unanimous decision even as Manila experts made a cocksure prediction of a KO ending for Rios.


While I am proud to mention that I was able to correctly predict Pacquiao’s last three fights as well as some of his past fights, I also goofed when I claimed that Pacquiao stood no chance against the legendary former Olympic gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya, who capitulated in the 8th round on December 6, 2008.
As sportswriters, we are not in business to compete with Madame Auring or Nostradamus. We only report the facts and events based on what we see and the interviews we make. Attendance in press conference is also important. Direct quotes from news sources are essential for the story we write. We are given accreditation because of our credentials and experience, not because we are good in our forecasts and because we belong to giant news networks and publications. We don’t claim to be experts, but we have the edge when it comes to calling spade a spade and chronicling the events on a blow by blow account.

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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


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