Home > Boxing > Mayweather-Pacquiao: The Saga Continues

Mayweather-Pacquiao: The Saga Continues

There is only one fight any boxing fan in the world wants to see right now. No, not David Haye vs. Audley Harrison, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao. We have two fighters both claiming to be the sport’s number one and fans from Las Vegas to Manila are divided on the issue. There is only one way for us to find out and that is for a fight between the two to take place. It has the potential to be the richest fight in the history of boxing, with some reports claiming each fighter would walk away at least $50 million better off. It would enhance the victor’s legacy immeasurably and give the fans what they want. So, the simple question is: ‘why hasn’t it happened yet?’ Well there are a few potential reasons. First we must backtrack to December last year when negotiations for a fight appeared to be going well. The money seemed to be agreed, as did the venue. Then came the blood testing issue. In short, Floyd Mayweather was adamant that he wanted Olympic style blood testing as opposed to the standard tests imposed by the Nevada state commission (the fight was going to take place in Las Vegas). Pacquiao and his camp baulked at this and took it as a personal insult, believing that the Mayweather camp was accusing him of using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Now it must be made clear at this point that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Manny Pacquiao has ever been involved in the use of any PEDs. The line coming from the Pacquiao camp was that he suffers for a few days after having blood drawn and so they felt that this would affect his preparations. They also, understandably, felt that they should not have to agree to something that is not standard procedure just because Floyd Mayweather demands it. The fact that what Floyd is doing is great for the sport is a separate issue. So, negotiations hit a dead end with neither side prepared to budge and Pacquiao even went so far as to set the wheels in motion for a defamation case against Mayweather and his team. In the end, Pacquiao ended up fighting (and beating) Joshua Clottey in Dallas in March and Floyd beat Shane Mosley in Las Vegas in May. Since then, there has been much talk of the two facing off in November, but once again, the fight seems to have hit a roadblock. Pacquiao, it would seem, has agreed to some form of testing that is acceptable to the Mayweathers, so what is the issue now? In short, it’s complicated. Last week, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum took part in a conference call to let the press, and fans, know where things are at. This is a refreshing change from unsubstantiated mudslinging (a common occurrence in boxing) and the following became clear from what was said:

A) Importantly, the mudslinging and arguing between the two camps seems to have ended and there looks to be a serious effort to make the fight happen.

B) Arum interestingly revealed that there have never been any direct negotiations between the two camps. According to the legendary promoter, all negotiations have gone through HBO President of Sports, Ross Greenburg. So, in effect, Arum has been speaking to Greenburg who has then been speaking to Mayweather advisor Al Haymon. The Top Rank chief explained that he believed Haymon was working very hard to make the fight happen and that he respected this. What did seem to come as a surprise to Arum is that Golden Boy head honchos Oscar de la Hoya and Richard Schaeffer seem to be involved somewhere along the line.

C) The basics of the fight such as the purses and venue do not seem to be an issue.

D) According to Arum, Pacquiao wants to fight Mayweather more than he wants to face any other fighter.

E) It had been reported that Mayweather and his representatives had missed a deadline to accept the fight which was midnight last Friday. Arum clarified this point, stating that this was merely the end of what he called the ‘exclusivity period’ and not the closing of the door to a fight. They may well now look to another opponent for a November fight, but if Mayweather now comes out and says he is willing, they will gladly negotiate, just not exclusively with Mayweather.

F) Finally and most importantly, Arum could not stress enough that he feels there is a genuine reason for Mayweather refusing to commit to a fight at this point in time. He did not accuse Floyd of ducking the Filipino. Arum said he does not know what the issue is, but speculated that it may be linked to his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather’s impending court case. For those of you who do not know, Uncle Roger is up for assaulting a female boxer and could face jail if convicted. Arum said he understands that Mayweather would not be wanting to prepare for the biggest fight of his career whilst at risk of losing his trainer part way through training camp. There is a very good chance that this will be part of Floyd’s thought process.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum

Now this is, of course, only one side of the story but in fairness it all sounded very reasonable and Arum sounded optimistic about the prospect of a fight at some point in the future. So what now?

Floyd says he is in no rush to get back in to the ring and Pacquiao’s schedule is now complicated by the fact that he is a congressman in his native Philippines. Arum claims that a rematch with newly crowned WBA Light-Middleweight champion is a possibility, as is a fight with the disgraced Antonio Margarito in Monterrey. Let’s be honest, these are not the fight that we want to see, but we may just have to be patient with this one. Arum was upbeat and I have always believed, and still do, that this fight WILL happen. At the end of the day, boxing is the ultimate money talks sport and there will be plenty to go round if a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight materialises. As long as Cotto, Margarito or anybody else does not throw a spanner in the works, look out for the richest fight of all time to take place sometime in 2011.

Categories: Boxing
  1. July 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I like the fact that Arum has come out and spoken on this and let people know where this at. I have to say, I don’t think anyone is ducking anyone here. People foget that Floyd has never been a very active fighter. In fact, he has had 10 fights in the last six years so one fight a year is not exactly unusual for him. He only fought in May and looked sensational so I don’t think he will be scared.

    The details are still reasonably sketchy. Has money really been agreed? The PPV numbers say Floyd is the bigger draw by a distance, so maybe he won’t do 50/50? Who knows.
    The idea of an exclusivity period is a good idea and if what Arum says is true, Top Rank effectively said to Mayweather, come on we are talking only to you, let’s make this happpen. This seems very fair to me. Floyd obviously doesn’t feel he is ready yet and so has not agreed to anything. Like I say, this is his prerogative and I don’t think he is ducking him.

    I do though, think that there is a genuine reason and Uncle Roger’s court case may well be it. He has been in his nephew’s corner for years now and there is a real understanding there. Floyd won’t want to lose him for the biggest fight of his career.

    I still think this will happpen next year and we’ll see who wins. I’ve said Floyd all along and I haven’t changed my mind.

    On a separate note, many sources are now reporting that the November 13th date is now going to see Pacquiao take on Margarito

  2. Superiorraw
    July 23, 2010 at 11:16 am

    farcical really. all that money on the promise and they missed ‘an exclusivity period’ wtf is that? They either want the fight or they dont, fans should also be really careful for what they wish and prey for, because although this has the potential to be one of the biggest fights in the history of boxing it could also be a major let down.

    I’ve seen countless fights hyped up like this. Although both fighters are without doubt big in pedigree i’m dubious about this pussy footing about both camps have been doing.

    I’m not a big boxing fan, but i’d still like this fight to happen. It be a shame if one of them ducked out and left all the schoolyard kids and fans to debate ‘ifs/buts’ on the outcome. The messing around by both camps and the excuses given so far lead me to suspect they want to hype and milk it for all its worth, which is a shame because in its own ‘exclusivity’ its allready got top billing. :-/

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