Two Filipinos almost fought Mayweather before Pacquiao

Two Filipinos almost fought Mayweather before Pacquiao
World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the US hits a punching bag during a media workout at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Before Floyd Mayweather Jr. became "Money" and surrounded himself with gold, he settled for an Olympic bronze.

And during those times, two Filipino boxers almost traded punches with him.

Gerry Ramos of reported that three-time Olympian Romeo Brin and Eric Canoy almost became sparring partners of the Mayweather leading up to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

National Coach Nolito "Boy" Velasco, brother of Olympic silver medalist Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, told Ramos that the United States team arranged sparring sessions with the Philippines in preparation for the 1996 Games.

"Brin was supposed to spar with Mayweather," Nolito told Ramos.

Onyok and two other Filipinos, Elias Recaido and Virgilio Vicera, sparred with the American Olympians but US Coach Al Mitchell did not allow Mayweather to join the sessions.

"Brin was too big for Mayweather," Nolito said. "We didn't have a boxer who was on the same weight class as Floyd."

Mayweather was a featherweight in 1996.

Canoy had the opportunity to face Mayweather in the Games itself but he crashed out in the qualifying tournament.

On record, Manny Pacquiao would be the first Filipino to fight Mayweather as they will go toe-to-toe on May 2 (May 3 in the Philippines) at MGM Grand Garden Arena to unify the WBA, WBC, and WBO Welterweight titles as the culmination of an almost six-year saga.


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