Me? I got into this business to take chances. I took on all comers in their prime. The evidence? I lost. Six times. After 31 wins, my first loss was to Félix Trinidad, and I learned a valuable lesson that is true both in the ring and in life: Don’t run. I didn’t stop taking on the best of the best. After beating Derrell Coley, I took on “Sugar” Shane Mosley at the height of his powers—undefeated and considered by many to be the pound-for-pound best in the world. Again, I lost. After four wins against more top-ranked fighters I took on Mosley again. We can debate who actually won the rematch, but the judges had me losing that one as well.
Did I go easy after that? No. I moved up to middleweight to win a belt and faced one of the greatest middleweights of all time, Bernard Hopkins. After a body shot that I’m still feeling took me out of the fight, I took on two more guys at the height of their power who, many years later, would finally face each other at the ages of 36 and 38—Manny Pacquiao and you. When fighters do that—when they risk losing—that’s when everyone wins. The mantra of my firm Golden Boy Promotions is simple: the best taking on the best. It’s too bad you didn’t do the same.
You took the easy way out. When you weren’t dancing around fading stars (show idea for you: Dancing Around the Fading Stars), you were beating up on outclassed opponents. A lot of your opponents were above-average fighters, but they weren’t your caliber. You’re a very talented fighter, the best defensive fighter of our generation. But what good is talent if you don’t test it? Muhammad Ali did. Sugar Ray Leonard did. You? Not a chance. You spent 2000 to 2010 facing forgettable opening acts like Victoriano Sosa, Phillip N’dou, DeMarcus Corley, Henry Bruseles and Sharmba Mitchell. There were guys out there—tough scary opponents like Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams—but you ran from them. Were you ever on the track team in high school? You would have been a star.