Sinabi ni American boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard na kikita nang malaki kung maghaharap sina pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. at eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao bagamat naniniwala siyang magwawagi ang hambog niyang kababayan sa Pinoy boxer.
Sa panayam ni James Lopez ng Tha Boxing Voice, iginiit ni Leonard na magandang wakas sa karera ni Mayweather ang laban kay Pacquiao.
“If Mayweather fought Pacquiao that would be the best encore to his career. Do we still want to see it? No question about it. The fight would generate so much money,” giit ni Leonard na tumanyag sa buong mundo sa mga laban kina world champions Roberto Duran ng Panama, Wilfredo Benitez ng Puerto Rico at sa mga kababayang sina Marvin Hagler at Thomas Hearns.
Tulad ng ibang nag-aanalisa sa professional boxing, naniniwala si Leonard na magwawagi si Mayweather kay Pacquiao na malaki ang inihina mula nang matalo sa 6th round knockout kay Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
“Mayweather vs. Pacquiao used to be a 50/50 fight until Pacquiao suffered a devastating KO from the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez,” diin ni Leonard. “Mayweather is a very technically sound boxer and Pacquiao is still gifted with hand speed. The issue is Pacquiao may have gotten a bit gun shy as a result of being knocked out. Both fighters have enough handicaps where the fight will still be incredible.”
Tinuligsa rin niya ang Showtime na sunod nang sunod sa estilo ni Mayweather na piliin ang makakalaban na madaling talunin para manatiling perpekto ang rekord nito.
“The networks have to bring the fights back where they are evenly matched and competitive. That’s what is has to be. Sometimes these guys believe it’s about an undefeated record but it’s not. It’s about showing up to fight, and every now and then moving up a notch and raising the bar,” paliwanag ni Leonard. “People don’t want to see a fight where they know who is going to win. I always wanted to be undefeated, but with the mentality of I am going to kick everyone’s butts.”
Idiniin ni Leonard na noong panahon niya, hindi siya namimili ng kalaban sa ibabaw ng ring dahil kung sino ang ikasa sa kanya ay haharapin niya.
“I never asked my guys whom I’m fighting next, just get me a fighter and I’ll fight,” dagdag ni Leonard.