Essendon midfielder Jake Melksham can’t wait for Sunday.
His priority is helping the Bombers atone for last weekend’s loss to Collingwood when they tackle St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.
But, like many sports fans, Melksham is eagerly awaiting the ‘fight of the century’ between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
“THe tactics will be interesting … That’s the area of boxing that I really appreciate. It’s not just about being the biggest and toughest in the ring. There’s so much more to it. Sunday will be a great tactical battle and I think will be a really even fight.” – jake melksham
The multi-million dollar welterweight showdown has captured plenty of headlines this week.
“It’s going to be an interesting fight. It really is a battle of two very different styles,” Melksham, a junior boxer of note, told aflplayers.com.au this week.
“Manny will throw plenty of punches and really attack while Floyd is a fighter renowned for his defence, it’s probably the best in boxing, so the strategy and tactics are going to be interesting.
“That’s the area of boxing that I really appreciate. It’s not just about being the biggest and toughest in the ring. There’s so much more to it. Sunday will be a great tactical battle and I think will be a really even fight.”
Melksham is leaning towards a hard-fought win for 38-year-old ‘Money’ Mayweather.
If the fight had been five years ago, when both Mayweather and Pacquaio, 36, were in the prime of glittering careers, Melksham might have given the star of the Philippines the edge.
Melksham, who clocked up his 100th AFL game last Saturday, grew up with posters of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in his room.
But the suggestion that he could have found himself boxing for big bucks instead of carving out a footy careers isn’t quite accurate. Nor are the claims he encourages his teammates to call him ‘Money Melksham’.
“I had two fights when I was 14 and won them both.
“I considered sticking with boxing because I was OK at it and I enjoyed it but I was only really doing it for extra fitness.
“When I was 15 I was at the Calder Cannons and things with footy were starting to get pretty serious so I didn’t have time to give boxing a real crack.”
Coincidentally, the Bombers went through a gruelling sparring session on Thursday morning at training, just days before the Las Vegas blockbuster.
Melksham isn’t the only current footballer who has some skills in the boxing ring.
Gold Coast Suns recruit Mitch Hallahan won a state title in the Victorian cadet boxing championships.
Mitch Robinson has worked out with Australia’s 2012 Olympic boxing captain Luke Jackson back home in Tasmania. Jackson said the Brisbane Lions on-baller, who began his career at Carlton, has all the attributes to succeed in the ring once footy is finished.