“Catchweight” Manny Pacquiao is all set to make boxing history tomorrow – hoping to win his unprecedented EIGHTH (8th) division championship. He is considered by most boxing aficionados as the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer.
Like everyone, I am impressed by the “Pacman”. But I am more impressed by Roach’s idea of challenging champions or former champions of heavier weight categories with the proviso that they agree on a “catchweight” figure. This means that the heavier boxers would have to dehydrate themselves or lose so much weight in so short a time to fight Pacquiao.
I’ve seen history’s greatest boxers lose because they tried to lose so much pounds in a short time. It happened to Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran and even to Pacquiao himself.
When Pacquiao defended his FLYWEIGHT title to Medgoen Singsurat, he had to lose so much pounds before the fight. In fact, he weighed in above the limit and lost his title even before the bout. In the bout itself, Pacquiao had no strength at all and his legs were watery. He was knocked out in the third round.
DE LA HOYA
In 2008, the wily Roach and other advisers of Pacquiao were able to entice De La Hoya to fight at the Welterweight limit, some 16 POUNDS under de la Hoya’s usual fighting weight. The middleweight De La Hoya’s last win at Welterweight was in 2001 against Arturo Gatti!
Pacquiao’s handlers wanted to fight for a title at the Welterweight division. The De La Hoya fight was a non-title bout. They wanted to bait another De La Hoya, i.e., a natural super welterweight or middleweight to fight Pacquiao.
They tried baiting Floyd Merriweather or Antonio Margarito or the other big guys. There were no takers.
Pacquiao went back to junior welterweight and defeated Ricky Hatton.
And then came welterweight champ Miguel Cotto. He agreed to fight the Pacman at a “catch weight” of 145 pounds. Pacquiao pounded him and got the welterweight title.
Cotto realized that he is better heavier than lighter, went up to super welterweight and is now the WBA superwelterweight champion.
Next was Joshua Clottey, a heavy welterweight. At first there were rumors of another catch weight. But the Pacquiao camp announced there would be none. After all, Clottey is known to have difficulties weighing in at 147. Clottey had weighed past the 147 lb.-limit at least 11 times in his career. Twice he fought at 154 pounds!
There may not have been a catch weight, but the fight was so dull. Clottey was just covering himself. He did not go there to fight. He wanted merely to get the money.
CATCH WEIGHT SUPER WELTERWEIGHT / LIGHT MIDDLEWIGHT
The Pacquiao Team is getting very ambitious. Now they want the Super Welterweight crown. Fortunately, they are very smart, too. The catch weight formula is back. Antonio Margarito has agreed to fight at a catchweight of 150 pounds
Margarito lost his WBA Welterweight title to Shane Mosley in January 2009 amid a “plaster in the gloves” scandal and his license to fight was suspended.
His next fight was against Roberto Garcia for the vacant WBC International Light Middleweight title.
So, Margarito is the WBC INTERNATIONAL Light Middleweight champ. This is NOT the same as the WBC LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT (world) CHAMPION. The “international”category” is a “consuelo de bobo” category. The Margarito-Garcia fight was just a 10-rounder.
WHY THE WBC LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT BELT?
The WBC Light Middleweight crown is currently vacant. The contenders for the crown should be the top two or three Light Middleweight contenders. Margarito is not even in the top three in the various boxing organizations’ light middleweight division rankings!
And Manny Pacquiao is the WBO Welterweight Champion. So, what is his credential for fighting for the WBC Light Middleweight Belt?
Aren’t there any more respect for rankings in the boxing world? Can anybody just fight anybody for a championship belt? Does it all boil down to popularity at the gates?
For the Pacquiao-Margarito bout, Margarito weighed in at the catch weight 150 lbs. But Pacquiao weighed in at 144.6 lbs! Pacquiao weighed in BELOW the WELTERWEIGHT limit! This means that Pacquiao is fighting as a welterweight and not as a super welterweight! Is that allowed? Isn’t the purpose of weight divisions to make the fight more equal, at least in weight?
CONGRATS TO THE PACMAN
I am glad that a Filipino is benefiting from all the shenanigans in today’s boxing “industry”. We have too many great boxers who became victims of the world boxing industry.
I am sure Catchweight Manny will win against Margarito. I really don’t think he needs to use Catch Weights. He can beat any heavier fighter – even a light heavyweight — if they go down to a catch weight of 150 pounds or so.
But he doesn’t have to go to higher divisions. There are so many good fighters in the 147-lb division.
LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT CHALLENGE
With Pacquiao as the new WBC LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT world champ, legitimate light middleweights or super welterweights can now challenge him for the title. And he would not have any reason to ask for a catch weight, because he would be the Light Middleweight / Super welterweight champion even though he weighs only within the welterweight limit.
Miguel Cotto, the WBA superwelterweight champion can now challenge him. And this time, Cotto can come in not at 145 pounds but as heavy as 154 pounds!
If I were the Pacman, I would choose to retain the WBO Welterweight championship and give up the Light Middleweight title. He can then unify the Welterweight division.
He can fight Shane Mosley or lure Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to a megabucks super fight. These would be legitimate Welterweight fights. No catch weights.