Artest talks Pacquiao-Mayweather
Ron Artest became a boxing fan during Tyson's heavyweight reign in the '80s
Artest has great respect for both Pacquiao and Mayweather for their loyalty
The All-Star hoopster is friends with both and doesn't want to pick a winner
Longtime boxing fan Ron Artest blessed FanHouse with his thoughts on the much anticipated Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.
As a kid growing up watching my dad anticipate big fights such as Hagler and Leonard, Tyson and Spinks, Tyson and Holyfield, Tyson and Berbick etc., I never appreciated the energy and excitement behind boxing. I was young and just a kid, playing tag and getting in minor trouble. Paying more mind to the music of Michael Jackson, the O'Jays, Temptations and all the other "Oldies but Goodies" artists that my mother and aunt were listening to.
But my dad, Ron Artest, Sr., eventually turned me into a big boxing fan. I remember that historic fight when Iron Mike lost in Tokyo to Buster Douglas. My dad was upset how Mike did fight right but still lost, and my sisters and mom were flabbergasted. I actually cried, and my dad put me on punishment -- which in retrospect, I think was more for Tyson's shocking and unexpected loss than anything I did.
That same type of energy and anticipation surrounds the upcoming Pac-Man vs. Money May fight. Pac is a good guy and has let me enjoy the training process through being around his training camp. Money May is a loyal friend and great-hearted person. A couple years ago, Mayweather paid for me and my friends to come perform at his charity event in Grand Rapids, Mich. -- which was a great experience. But I'm actually closer to the Pac-Man camp than the Money May camp. Both these fighters give back to their communities and never forget about their friends. So now when I'll watch the fight, I really won't know who to cheer for. If I had to choose to watch these two legends fight or not see them fight -- I have no favorites and would not want to throw my support for any particular fighter -- I would choose to see them fight.
Before I caught on to Pac-Man's exploding career, I was a heavy Money May fan. I did not believe anybody could beat him. (I did originally think Zab [Judah] could win because he was so quick, but I think Zab was partying too much and it caught up to him in that fight.) I also wanted to see Money May retire undefeated. Sometimes I wish he didn't fight so he could retire untouched. I also believe Money May could beat Pavlik and Hopkins if he ever moves up in weight.
Speaking on the same welterweight class, however, I believe Pac-Man is the only fighter who can beat Money May. I feel if it goes the distance that Pac will have got some shots off to gain points. I do believe May will hit with clean shots that Pac won't see, and may be able to win with a knockout. My heart will pump faster if I see Pac hit Money, and if Money knocks Pac down I may break a sweat. I'm totally upset this fight is not tomorrow.
Since I'm friends with both, may the best man win.
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