By David Noronha
IS MAYWEATHER HAVING SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT FIGHTING MANNY?
The history of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fantasy fight is an epic one. Yet, no actual fight has really came anywhere near close to fruition for various reasons. Many point the finger of blame towards Floyd, while others cite Bob Arum’s meddling as crucial in explaining the failure to make the super-bout. Over the last few weeks, we, the boxing audience have been led to believe an agreement to stage a bout is imminent.
Of course we all remain sceptical that this is the case. I myself am far more pessimistic than most. People forget that Floyd has made millions already through fighting guys not named Manny Pacquiao. This has led to him being able to make valuable investments, which will continue to increase his wealth, well after retirement from boxing. Moreover, his obsession with remaining undefeated means he will not take any risks when selecting an opponent. Victor Ortiz and two, yes, two one-sided encounters with Maidana attest to this. Thus, why does he need to fight Pacquiao?
Should he lose, his self-titled tag as ‘TBE’ instantly disappears. By the way, most boxing scholars and historians alike refuse to take this title seriously but unsurprisingly many fans who know little about the sport’s past, actually eat such drivel. But losing to Pacquiao which Floyd knows is a possibility would render him a fraud and being the proud man he is, he simply cannot allow for it.
Despite, the growing confidence of many that the fight will be made, the fact is no contract has been signed by Floyd. And contrary to Arum’s words, the networks still remain at loggerheads over the replay issue. HBO (most likely) will actually want the fight to be made in 2016, because Mayweather by that time will be a free agent, accordingly Showtime would get no money at all from the fight. While, this makes business sense, it expects a lot.
First the demand for the fight may not be there by 2016, as there is a limit to our patience. Furthermore both men are one loss away from oblivion. Neither can afford to lose to any fighter except each other and who knows what 2015 will hold for them should they not fight each other again. Crawford-Pacquiao for example would be one hell of a risk for Manny; meanwhile a Mayweather-Thurman encounter could spell the end for him. Basically if either are going to lose, they ought to do so for the highest prize and the two fights I outlined are not rewarding in the slightest but are easy to make due to the fact they share the same promoter.
CLOCK IS TICKING
The thing that makes me most nervous that the fight will not happen is Floyd Mayweather’s recent remarks. His insistence that the fight is not close to being made suggests he has unresolved issues. This is exactly what I feared. I happen to be afraid of heights so there is no way I could ever bungee jump for example. And I have no motivation to ever do it. If somebody sat me down and used rational thought to display to me that it was perfectly safe because the equipment was superb, I might feel reassured. But as my bungee jump date comes closer, another issue would undoubtedly surface. The fact people have died before in brutal circumstances performing a bungee jump in, would deter me from pushing ahead.
Likewise Pacquiao has knocked out brilliant fighters in brutal fashion in the past, Mayweather is well aware of this and in my opinion makes him unsure of himself. Yes, I know Pacquiao has not had a knock-out recently but the fact he is well capable of blitzing physically bigger men on any given day is not lost on Mayweather.
Floyd often points to Ali as an example of why he should ignore the demands of the fans. Ali’s desperation to entertain and fight murderous punchers ultimately contributed to his unforgiving condition; Mayweather has remarked that he plans on making the ‘right moves’ in his career to avoid a similar scenario. The fact he has used this as a reason not to fight Pacquiao before means he will only abandon this line of thought if Manny declines drastically. For me, Pacquiao has declined, but certainly not drastically. Thus, the super-bout will not be made.
First, people said it would be announced on the day of the Super-bowl, this was not to be. Second, media outlets suggested the all-star game was the day, again this failed to materialise. I await to hear the next possible date, but remember the clock is ticking and Arum has already been kind enough to extend the deadline to make fight by eighteen days and counting. Is Floyd going to stall to the point where Arum has to look elsewhere? Yes, this is exactly what I foresee happening, consequently both sides can blame the other and neither will receive all the blame. This seems to be the pattern until now anyway.
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