By Joel Huerto
The Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather superfight recently got a major jolt when the Mayweather camp, mainly Floyd's adviser Leonard Ellerbe, publicly stated that the undefeated boxing champion intends to fight on May 5, 2012, and has reserved that date in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Naturally, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, called the move a "joke" and a ploy on Mayweather's part to steal some of Pacquiao's thunder as his Nov. 12 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez approaches.
The back-and-forth verbal joust may be the closest thing we'll ever get to see a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight until both sides agree on how to implement the Olympic-style drug testing and distribute the massive pay-per-view revenue.
If the two camps can't agree on a showdown in the ring, how about a winner-take-all, one-on-one battle on the basketball court? Sounds like a crazy concept, but not silly enough to stir a debate.
Pacquiao and Mayweather like to hoop it up, and both men have shown some decent skills on the basketball court.
Even though boxing is his chosen profession, Pacquiao has often said basketball is his first love. He has hosted a basketball tournament in Baguio City in the Philippines the past two years while training for fights against Shane Mosley and Marquez. Filipinos are huge basketball fans, and Pacquiao shares that same enthusiasm with his countrymen.
Here's the scouting report on Pacquiao:
He has quick and decent handles. Naturally, he loves to go left when he drives to the basket and can finish at the rim. He has a bit of a hitch in his jumpshot, which could be a problem against shot-blockers. But since nobody touches the champ on the court he always seems to find a way to knock down jumpers. He uses his quickness to get by defenders and has surprisingly good hops for a little guy.
Here's the scouting report on Mayweather:
Just like Pacquiao, Mayweather is quick on his feet and can handle the ball. He can drive to the hoop and has a better form on his jumper than Manny. One thing that separates Pacquiao and Mayweather on the court is defense. Pacquiao prefers playing offense while Mayweather doesn't mind putting a lot of effort on the defensive end. Interestingly enough, those are similar approaches each man takes into the ring. Pacquiao is very aggressive and likes to attack his opponents, while Mayweather is one of the best defensive boxers of all time.
If HBO decided to put the one-on-one matchup on pay-per-view, would I pay $50 to see a Pacquiao-Mayweather basketball game? Probably. It would certainly be a lot more entertaining than watching glorified pickup games involving LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.
And who would win on the court: Pacquiao or Mayweather? You be the judge. Let's get it on!
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