Mayweather-Pacquiao saga plods forward with no end in sight
The latest development in the neverending saga that is the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao negotiations -- Pacquiao telling a Filipino media outlet on Monday that
Let's delve into some of those topics, shall we, in this all-Twitter, all Pacquiao-Mayweather mailbag:
Pacquiao's longstanding unwillingness to demand certain opponents rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Of course, Pacquiao has put his faith in Arum, who has matched him well over the years and made him a truckload of money along the way. But if Pacquiao is really serious about fighting Mayweather in May -- something Arum has called impossible due to the slow-healing cut Pacquiao received during the Juan Manuel Marquez fight and financially irresponsible because a specially designed, 45,000-seat outdoor stadium in Las Vegas would not be ready in time -- he needs to make that clear.
Marquez, Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto or Lamont Peterson might make Pacquiao some money, but it won't bring him a fraction of the attention a Mayweather fight would. Pacquiao has always said he is about giving the fans what they want. Now, he has a chance to prove it.
I'm with a lot of you on this: I don't think Arum wants this fight. But it's not because of money. Arum is 80, worth hundreds of millions and Top Rank is in great shape with a well-stocked roster and bright executives Todd DuBoef, Bruce Trampler, Carl Moretti, Brad Goodman and Brad Jacobs running the show behind the scenes. It's not about not wanting to empower Mayweather anymore, either. Does it stick with Arum that Mayweather left him before signing on for his fight with Oscar De La Hoya? Yes. But Arum has promoted Ali. He has promoted Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and George Foreman. Fighters come and fighters go. He may not like Mayweather, but that would not stop him from making the fight.
No, what matters to Arum now is the process. He still enjoys promoting. What he doesn't enjoy -- and has said this to me many times -- is working with the people at Golden Boy or with Mayweather advisor Al Haymon. Arum looks at them condescendingly. He doesn't believe they have a true understanding of the boxing business and knows he would not enjoy a four- or five-month mega-promotion with them. That's his resistance to making this fight. Nothing more.
Here's another argument that I find absolutely ridiculous: If Pacquiao loses to Mayweather, he loses his box-office appeal. Come on. When did a fighter's record become the reason we watch a fight? Pacquiao is appealing because he has an aggressive, come-forward style that usually ends in a knockout. That's not going to change.
Besides, let's look into the crystal ball of Pacquiao's career: The plan, according to Arum, is for Pacquiao to fight four more times before his desire to be a governor (and, ultimately, the Filipino president) consumes his career. Say he fights Mayweather in May. Say he loses. Would that diminish the attractiveness of rematches with Marquez and Cotto? Or a fight with Brandon Rios? Or a possible all-Filipino finale in Manila against (and this may be wishful thinking) Nonito Donaire? I don't think so.
And I'm not even considering the possibility here that the Mayweather fight would be so competitive that there would be an overwhelming demand for a rematch. Bottom line: Losses are not relevant. Just ask Oscar De La Hoya.
It's possible. I've been told that Guerrero -- who has been openly lobbying for a Mayweather fight and was said to be close to an agreement, according to an Internet report -- is under consideration. I've thought all along that Saul Alvarez was Mayweather's first choice. He's a popular Mexican with a junior middleweight title around his waist. When you're talking about fighting on Cinco de Mayo, that's important.
Personally, I think both Guerrero and Alvarez are horrible choices. Guerrero would be a joke. He's a lightweight (a
Alvarez is more popular but, at 21, he's raw. In September, Alfonso Gomez outboxed Alvarez for a few rounds before Alvarez caught him with a crushing combination. Mayweather would box circles around him.
The only competitive fight for Mayweather is Sergio Martinez, the lineal middleweight champion who has said he would drop to 150 pounds for the fight and agree not to rehydrate to more than 164, the weight Victor Ortiz carried into the ring against Mayweather in September. But I've been told Martinez's people have not heard a whisper of interest from Mayweather's people.