Your move, Manny.
Floyd Mayweather took to Twitter today to challenge Manny Pacquiao to a tussle on May 5. “Manny Pacquiao I'm calling you out let's fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see,” the reigning pound for pound ace said Tuesday afternoon on Twitter. “My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk.”
As of now, it isn't looking like the Congressman is in the mood to step up, not on May 5, anyway. He last gloved in November, against Juan Manuel Marquez, and while he took a controversial decision, he also took some punishment. Pacquiao suffered a cut over his right eye in the Marquez bout, a slice which needed 28 stitches to close. Promoter Bob Arum has said that Pacquiao on doctor's orders would not be able to spar until April, which would nix a May 5 fight for him. Unless something changes, and that eye is no longer being presented as a too-high hurdle, it would seem Mayweather's challenge will not be accepted.
But I wouldn't write off the May 5 date just yet. Pacquiao has been hearing that the public, aside from his diehard fans for whom the fighter is a godlike figure, are placing the blame for not making the fight on Arum and by extension, him. Arum is now in the Philippines, about to present options to the Congressman for his next fight. Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Lamont Peterson and Tim Bradley, Arum has said, are on the list. He told Dan Rafael last week that Manny would fight “one of the four guys” but left the door open a bit. He said that if “Manny feels he wants to go in May, he will tell me.”
Who here thinks Manny will tell Arum eff the cut, eff the stitches, let's give Mayweather what he's asking for, and the people what they've been asking for, some of them, since 2007? I've tended to think that as long as the defamation case is still in play, as long as Pacquiao is still battling Mayweather for his public statements alluding to Pacquiao using PEDs, that we are unlikely to see Mayeather-Pacquiao, but I am hoping I am wrong. Lord knows this silliness has taken much longer than it should have and has wasted the time, energy and effort of the principals and fights fans alike.
Manny, you are no punk. Be your own man, and tell Bob, who is a businessman through and through and is a complete sage when it comes to protecting his assets (ie in this case, you), that the time is now. The time for protecting is over. The time for dithering is over. The time for one upsmanship is over. The time for battles of ego is over. The time for this silly saga, which has played out like a divorce squabble pitting Raoul Felder against Dominic Barbara more than a fight promotion negotiation, to come to a conclusion is now. May 5 is the date. Let's get it done.