LAS VEGAS – Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. hasn't had a bad personal relationship with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the past, but that may be about to change.
The former four-division champion lauded Manny Pacquiao for taking risks and seeking out fights that would be history making, while he said Mayweather is simply more concerned with being unbeaten.
Pacquiao weighed in at a career-high 147 on Friday, not looking nearly as ripped as his opponent, Timothy Bradley. Bradley, whose physique was so heavily muscled that he could have passed for a Mr. Olympia contender, weighed 146 for their pay-per-view welterweight title bout Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden.
Jones said Bradley is a high-risk opponent who is more difficult for Pacquiao than Mayweather would be. Boxing fans have lusted after a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight for more than three years, but the sides have never been able to reach agreement.
Jones, who won titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight and was considered the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world for nearly a decade, said during an interview Friday on Yahoo! Sports Radio he didn't think Mayweather wanted the Pacquiao fight.
And, Jones added, Mayweather doesn't particularly care what the public or the media thinks about it.
"Obviously he doesn't, or he would have fought Pacquiao already," said Jones, who will meet Dawid Kostecki on June 30 in Poland in a cruiserweight bout.
He said Pacquiao had taken on high-risk fights, singling out his 2010 super welterweight fight with Antonio Margarito and Saturday's bout with Bradley. Jones also said that when Mayweather failed to jump in and prevent Pacquiao from taking those matches, it sent off alarm bells.
Margarito was far too big for Pacquiao, who could make the lightweight limit of 135 pounds if he needed to do so. Asked if it were a matchmaking mistake pairing fighters of such distinctly different sizes, Jones said it was not because of what was at stake for Pacquiao with a win.
"It wasn't a mistake, [because] he wanted to accomplish history," Jones said. "He wanted to go up and be an eight-class world champion, so that's a part of what you have to go through. … Floyd Mayweather never said he wanted to make history. He said he wanted to go down undefeated.
"Manny Pacquiao takes on whoever comes. Manny Pacquiao don't have to fight this fight [against Bradley] right now. And trust me, this fight is a bigger risk of [Pacquiao] losing than fighting a Floyd Mayweather in his case, because Timothy Bradley is more dangerous than Mayweather would be."
Jones said that is because Bradley is known for head butts and that head butts are very common in fights pitting a left-hander like Pacquiao against a right-hander such as Bradley.
The butts will increase the risk of a Pacquiao loss, but Jones said a win would demonstrate that perhaps Pacquiao and not Mayweather deserves to be regarded as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
"Timothy Bradley is an orthodox fighter who has a problem with his head when he fights other orthodox fighters," Jones said. "So imagine what's going to happen when he fights a southpaw. The first issue an orthodox fighter and a southpaw fighter have is worrying about head butts. With that being said, then you have a guy [Bradley] who is an undefeated fighter, never lost. And even in the head butt situations that he has had, he never lost one of them either.
"That's a problem everywhere [Bradley] goes, and [Pacquiao] didn't have to take this fight, but he took it because he wanted to prove he's the best fighter around. Floyd Mayweather, on the other hand, said he's the best fighter around, but he's not proving it by taking on the best opponents around. He's just showing through his words he thinks he's the best fighter around."
[TopRank.TV: Watch Manny Pacquiao fight Timothy Bradley live on PPV]
Jones said that if he were in Mayweather's shoes and had a mega-event against Pacquiao looming, he would not allow Pacquiao to take a fight in which he might lose.
In Jones' view, the fact that Mayweather continued to sit by as Pacquiao fought those fights proves he wasn't that interested in Pacquiao.
"When I saw Pacquiao getting ready to fight Margarito, I said, 'Here's the way I look at this,' If I'm Floyd Mayweather and I really want to beat this dude [Pacquiao], I don't let him go in the ring with Antonio Margarito because Margarito's too big. If Margarito beats him, [the Pacquiao-Mayweather] fight's out the door. [Mayweather] let [Pacquiao] go in there anyway. So what does that tell you? He don't care what people think about him. He don't care if he fights him or not. He doesn't.
"Hey, look, right now, he wouldn't be fighting Timothy Bradley if I thought I could whip him, because I'd be afraid, 'What if Timothy Bradley won?' Timothy Bradley-Mayweather is not nearly as big as Pacquiao-Mayweather."
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