No matter how many times we tell ourselves that we're not going to get sucked into the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao subterfuge, we always do. However, Mayweather relayed something in his phone call to Pacquiao last week that indicated what we probably already knew, that is Floyd isn't as serious as he wants us to think he is about making the fight with Pacquiao.
ESPN reported that Mayweather sent SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett an e-mail that rejected a 50/50 purse split with Pacquiao….something that Manny has said he's agreeable to. According to Verrett, Floyd wrote: “He asked about a 50/50 split and I told him that can't happen, but what can happen is you can make more money fighting me than you have made in your career.”
So there you have it. Mayweather is still about fighting Pacquiao in the media because if he were truly serious about fighting him, he'd jump at the 50/50 purse split. Can there be any boxing fans alive who don't see that Mayweather has used the nuanced drug testing and demands for purse parity as a ruses to avoid the fight?
Does anyone who remotely follows professional boxing not understand that fighting Pacquiao would not only be the most lucrative bout of Mayweather's career, but also the most important and signature fight of it? And can anyone make a case as to why one deserves a bigger split of the money over the other? Of course not, because one doesn't exist.
Mayweather's insistence that he receives the lion's share of the money is just the first step in him trying to control all the terms of the fight. And if Pacquiao/Arum ever conceded to Floyd's demands on how the money is divided they would be dancing to Mayweather's beat and drummer on everything else right up until the last bell concluding the fight.
The good news is maybe Mayweather has dropped the demands for the Olympic style pre-fight drug testing because that wasn't mentioned as part of the conversation between he and Manny. Then again maybe he's assuming the sale and is operating under the pretense that that's already part of the deal. One thing is for certain, it's become nauseating watching Mayweather string everyone along and tease them into thinking he wants to fight Pacquiao in a fair fight. The fact of the matter is Mayweather, who I believe is confident that he can beat Pacquiao, doesn't want to chance it. Not at all.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather talk and hype has become a big joke and an embarrassment to a professional sport that continually reinvents ways to make itself less and less relevant to those who it depends on to support it.
There's been a ton of talk of how a Pacquiao-Mayweather clash would be the biggest fight in boxing history. And no doubt from a money perspective it would be. That is mostly because it would be the latest superfight to take place and there are no other fights that can be made that would stimulate quasi boxing fans. And that's because the fighters who round out the rest of boxing's pound-for-pound top ten are either 47 years old or only known to the small percentage of hardcore boxing fans still in existence.
Remember, what Pacquiao has achieved has been off the charts. But it's not like we've never seen him stopped or defeated before. As for Mayweather – has there ever been another so called great boxer who ducked more elite fighters than he has, or waited until they were an empty package before fighting them? So why would a fight between them be so must see?
Boxing history is replete with all time greats facing each other several times without the games and excuses Mayweather has sunk to in order to insure he has every advantage in the world if he ever does meet Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather has been so terrific and great that once he's retired he'll never be an immediate mention or thought when talk of the greatest fighters/boxers in history are bantered about. And that's because despite him retiring undefeated, nobody will remember where they were the night Mayweather fought such and such unless he fights Pacquiao in a fair fight without gimmicks and stipulations. And that's sad, because Mayweather could and would beat the smaller Pacquiao if they ever fought.
Maybe it's better for both Mayweather and Pacquiao if they never meet. If that's what happens, Pacquiao can continue making a ton of money and Arum doesn't have to worry about losing a bulk of his income. As for Mayweather, he also can continue to make a ton of money without ever being at risk and continue to claim a de facto victory over Pacquiao.
If they string this along too much longer, even the marks are going to stop caring.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com