Former boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard has commenting on the continued angst of boxing fans about the failure of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to agree to face each other in the foreseeable future.
The two fighters, both multi- weight champions, had been in discussion for the best part of two months following Pacquiao’s victory of Juan Manuel Marquez last November, but ultimately failed to agree terms and chose other options in Bradley and Cotto.
Fight fans were still hopeful that a deal could be thrashed out for late 2012 as both fighters aren’t getting any younger at 33 and 35 respectively – although either camp are now linked to separate bouts and could be two-weights apart by 2013.
WBO 147lb title holder Pacquiao is being touted to face Marquez for a fourth time in November, whilst WBC welterweight champion Mayweather is eyeing a history-equalling move up to middleweight to face Sergio Martinez.
Leonard is hopeful that the two will finally get it on before either one retires and believes that the pound for pound stars will forever have regrets in the sport if the mega-fight fails to happen.
“More than damaging to boxing, it’s damaging to their legacy. This is for history, for people to say ‘I remember when’. It’s beyond money,” Leonard told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“From the 1990s back to the 1960s, there were great fighters, there was an abundance of talent. Now you just hear about Pacquiao and Mayweather. They are amazing guys who could have dealt with the guys in our era, but they’ve got to do what’s best for themselves, and I don’t mean financially.
“When someone comes up to you and says; ‘you know what, I was with my grandfather when you fought Tommy Hearns’ or ‘when you lost that fight to Duran, my dad cried’ – those are special moments,” he added.