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By Maloney L. Samaco

Sun, 08 Feb 2009

After Oscar de la Hoya, the number one pay-per-view earner in boxing, was beaten by Manny Pacquiao in the Dream Match that turned out to be his nightmare, the name of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. again cropped up as the next possible Pacman foe after Ricky Hatton. The welterweight division is now crowded with boxing superstars and promoters have a wide variety of quality names to choose from.

In a sport now highly regarded also as an entertainment business, matching big names would perk up live television sales through PPV, which is main source of revenues for the boxers and promoters alike. The boxing world needs popular matches to revive sagging interest in boxing which is slowly eaten up by Mixed Martial Arts.

The real dream match is the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather encounter, the battle of number one pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Mayweather was rated by The Ring Magazine from July 18, 2005 through June 2, 2008 as the pound for pound king until he announced his retirement again. After that it was Pacquiao?s turn to reign supreme until the present.

Mayweather?s last encounter was with Hatton, coincidentally Pacquiao?s next opponent, took place more than a year ago on December 8, 2007, in a fight named ?Undefeated.? If Pacquiao hurdles Hatton on May 2, 2009, which is most likely, then the eyes of the boxing world will focus on the two pound-for-pound rulers.

Retirement did not hamper the Mayweather hype in boxing, just like Michael Jordan in basketball. After all, he has won six world boxing championships in five different weight classes and the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year in 1998 and 2007. But one of the most qualifying credential Pretty Boy has is his being listed as No. 48 on the list of their "50 Greatest Boxers of All Time."

Mayweather has an unblemished record (39-0, 25 KOs) to protect. And the name Mayweather always rings a bell in boxing. He is the son of Floyd Mayweather, Sr., a former welterweight boxing contender, now a very popular trainer-coach. His two uncles, Jeff Mayweather and Roger Mayweather, are former world champions.

Mayweather has won six world titles in five different weight divisions and many experts regard him as a far more dangerous fighter than de la Hoya and Hatton. The more than a year of retirement though would have a slight effect on his skill. But he is still at the prime age of 31.

The de La Hoya-Mayweather WBC junior middleweight championship on May 5, 2007 broke all existing box-office records with 2.4 million PPV buys, earning around $120 million. The Mayweather-Hatton tussle was also reportedly a top grosser, especially in the United Kingdom.

But it will not be all for the money. Because if the fight of Pacman and Pretty Boy will push through, it will settle a long time issue of who is the real pound-for-pound king. And it will be the first time that Pacquiao will fight an African-American boxer because the Pacman has fought only American-Latino and Mexican greats.

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