Separate ways: Boxing stars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao prepare for big-time Spring fights

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Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao may be two of boxing’s biggest fighters never to fall lure to the payday a super-fight would offer them. A bout between these two felt inevitable; at least through the delusions of a boxing fanatic.

The sour rivalry between Mayweather/Golden Boy Promotions and Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank Boxing has received more than its fair share of coverage, and any cross-promotional experiments seem improbable.

Still, fans have waited tediously for these men to make compromise and get serious about making “the” fight of the 21st century. Newsflash — it hasn’t happened, and probably won’t ever.

Either way, both men contest in significant bouts in the upcoming months; bouts which may further aggrandize their legacies — or come crashing down before them.

“Money” faces Marcos Maidana (35-3), the WBA welterweight champion from Argentina.

Maidana recently upset Mayweather’s so-called apprentice Adrien Broner. Broner was a rising star with multiple division titles. He was talking his name up long before many felt he had earned the right. It didn’t deter Maidana, a veteran, who butchered Broner with power punches for most of the fight, which went the distance.

The efforts to market the fight as a perceivable threat to Mayweather are tantalizing, but not intriguing, as Mayweather has brushed off most recent opposition, including the young Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, without difficulty. Mayweather’s skills are actual, but, as age sets in, his indubitable qualities, such as his flawless defense and movement, may begin to erode.

Can Maidana upset Floyd, or will Mayweather add another win to his impeccable résumé? Find out on May 4th, live on Pay-Per-View.

Manny Pacquiao faces Timothy Bradley (31-0) on 4-12 in Las Vegas.

Before analyzing, we must ask, who is Manny Pacquiao?

Four or five years ago, one could gloat on about the speed and power of “Pac-Man.” But is that still the case?

Pacquiao hasn’t scored a stoppage win in five years. And he was also knocked out cold in a six-round war with Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012.

Pacquiao has only fought once since, showing flash, but less fire, in a fight with Brandon Rios. A bout which grew bitter between the two training camps.

Pacquiao looked exceptional. He hadn’t fallen back a step.

Could the same be said for Timothy Bradley?

The California-based boxer scored a baffling split-decision nod over Pacquiao in June of 2012. Fans and media alike were revolted by the verdict, feeling that Pacquiao had handily beaten the now 30-year-old Bradley, who has since collected decision wins over fellow-rival Juan Manuel Marquez and Pacquiao training partner Ruslan Provodnikov.

Bradley has good footwork, hand-speed, and an overall high ring-IQ, but questions remain due to his first encounter with Pacquiao.

He couldn’t seem to deal with the spotlight. Pacquiao stole rounds and made Bradley look somewhat average at times. However, a lot has happened in what will be 22-months. Bradley looked in fine form when out-boxing Marquez last time out, even though he engaged in a brutal war with Ruslan Provodnikov twelve months prior.

You could say, Bradley learned. Pacquiao…aged.

Will Pacquiao win back the WBO Welterweight title and officially push back into the upper-level pound-for-pound lists? Can Bradley prove he’s here to stay?

I guess we’ll find out on HBO PPV on April 12th!

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Corey Quincy

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Corey Quincy

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