Will Pacquiao, Mayweather fight? I don't care
Manny Pacquiao might be rethinking a Floyd Mayweather showdown after struggling against Juan Manuel Marquez. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS -- Maybe Floyd Mayweather's team is right. Maybe Manny Pacquiao, fresh off the most disappointing win of his career, doesn't want any part of Mayweather. More importantly, maybe his team, specifically Bob Arum and Freddie Roach, don't want any part of him after watching Juan Manuel Marquez counterpunch Pacquiao to death on his way to a disputed decision.
Then again, maybe Mayweather's team is wrong. Maybe Pacquiao isn't sure who he wants to fight next and needs more than 48 hours to decide. Maybe Pacquiao, who reportedly is dealing with personal issues involving his wife, Jinkee, needs some time to work them out.
I don't know. And frankly, I don't care.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao saga makes the NBA labor negotiations seem tolerable. Everyone lies. Arum says he wants the fight. Privately, many industry sources believe he doesn't want it because he has no interest in making Mayweather, the man who left Top Rank before his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, even richer. Mayweather's advisor, Leonard Ellerbe says Pacquiao is a coward. This is the same man who, in defense of Mayweather, has said repeatedly that a fighter isn't afraid of anyone. Pacquiao is, presumably, a fighter. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer says he has an email from retired judge Daniel Weinstein, who has mediated past disputes between Top Rank and Golden Boy, saying that Arum was not interested in pursuing a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather. Schaefer also told SI.com that reports of Golden Boy approaching Erik Morales about a possible fight with Mayweather were "the first I had heard of it." On Saturday, Morales confirmed that Schaefer had approached him about a fight with Mayweather.
Pinocchio told more truths than these guys.
I'm starting to wonder why we, as a media, continue to cover it. If a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao gets made, great. It will be the most watched fight in pay per view history, will generate north of $180 million in revenue and draw a Presidential election-level of media attention. But representatives from the two sides can't even sit in the same room together. They take every little opportunity to snipe at each other in the press, to play the preemptive blame game. If this fight doesn't happen, they are effectively saying, it's not our fault.
Besides, do we even know if Pacquiao or Mayweather want the fight? Last week, several reporters (myself included) tried to get Pacquiao to call Mayweather out. It didn't work. All Pacquiao would say is that he would fight whatever opponent Arum put in front of him. Meanwhile, it seems the only member of Mayweather's team who hasn't said he wants a fight with Pacquiao is Mayweather himself. On Tuesday, I put in a request to talk to Mayweather through his publicist. I haven't heard back.
There are better things in boxing to cover. I'm interested to see more of Adrien Broner, possibly in a fight with Yuri Gamboa next year. I'm eager to get another look at Finnish heavyweight Robert Helenius, who at 6-foot-7 and with concussive power is the worlds best hope to knock off one of the Klitschkos. I want to see Brandon Rios, James Kirkland and Austin Trout in action, the sooner the better.
I just don't care about the Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations anymore. They are a grown up version of Mean Girls, trying to puff themselves up through the press. It's enough already. Come get me when it's time for them to fight.
-- Chris Mannix