Well, someone finally did. Late Monday night, HBO Sports president
"Fights like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters' ability to connect with sports fans around the world," said Greenburg. "It's unfortunate that it won't happen in 2010. I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2, carefully trying to put the fight together. Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it."
Mayweather's team issued a series of swift denials. But it is preposterous to suggest that Haymon, Mayweather's chief negotiator and the man Mayweather praises for his work at every ... single ... press conference would be involved in any kind of talks for a Mayweather fight without Mayweather's express approval. Greenburg has no reason to lie. Haymon has a large stable of clients that include
It didn't happen. Mayweather knew exactly what Haymon was doing, just like
Schaefer's stance is even more baffling. Schaefer, too, is well-respected in the industry and has advanced boxing as much as anyone with his innovative marketing strategies. But by backing Mayweather and denying any negotiations took place, he not only is calling his boss
Sure, Schaefer has offered a firm "no comment" when asked about negotiations, but his words have been laced with hints that there was indeed something to comment on. Earlier this month, after Arum told SI.com that a deal had been struck, I called Schaefer looking for confirmation. Again, he said he had no comment. But he later announced, somewhat triumphantly, that I should tell Arum that he had "won the shut-up contest."
Shut up about what, exactly? Right.
The truth is Schaefer and Golden Boy have attached themselves to Mayweather because his affiliation with the company is one of the few assets keeping it viable. Click on the fighters page on Golden Boy's website and check out the four faces highlighted at the top. De La Hoya is gone,
They have a heavyweight champion (
Meanwhile, Mayweather sits back, content to amuse himself by working Ellerbe and Schaefer like puppets. He's comforted by the $65 million he earned in his past two fights, the kind of cash that reinforces the fantasy that he's the G.O.A.T ... when the reality is that he has yet to even prove he is the greatest of
But like it was with