So we got that clear, don’t we, that Floyd Mayweather is NOT fighting Manny Pacquiao in April, or May, or even September? I must confess here and now that I haven’t even followed the re-awakening of the embers of hope for a Money-Manny fight, which took me by surprise when they flared up following Pacman’s return to form on Nov. 23 against Brandon Rios, which coincided with a search for “next” for both men.
I guess I’d written off the possibility that the two men would ever glove up in the last year or so, assuming that for whatever reason(s), Mayweather just didn’t want to go there.
Regarding reasons, I, like you, admitted to slight bewilderment that what would be the most lucrative fight of all time couldn’t get made, and figured maybe we’d get closer to fruition once that lawsuit Pacman lodged against Floyd for heavily insinuating he used PEDs—was rendered moot by the fact that legal issue was settled in September 2012. But more impediments popped up once that beef got squashed, and I, like many of you, ceased caring so much. I say “many” of you because evidently more folks care about this “will they or won’t they and if they won’t, why don’t they?” soap opera than I assumed, judging by the recent proliferation of updates on the situation.
Mayweather voiced last week his current number one reason why he doesn’t see a Money-Manny fight being made, and it has nothing to do with the taking of a test, or the proper cutting of the purse pie. He said that as long as Bob Arum is Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, he, Floyd, won’t do a deal to fight Pacman. That in itself is nothing new, as Floyd said, right after he beat Miguel Cotto on May 5, 2012, that “Bob Arum is not going to let this fight happen. So once Manny's free from Bob Arum, will the fight happen? Absolutely.”
Some theorize that Floyd holds a personal grudge against Arum, who promoted him from 1996-2006, for not building him up properly, and making him the sort of star he believes he should have been, earlier. The Michigan native hasn’t stated that a personal enmity toward Arum is fueling a stated desire to only do business with Pacman if and when he’s free of Arum, however.
(To refresh your memory, Mayweather and Arum parted ways in April 2006. “He caters more to Hispanic fighters,” Mayweather had protested in a piece which ran in GQ in March 2006. “Eric Morales fought on pay per view. Oscar de la Hoya fought on pay per view. The last time he had a black fighter fighting on pay per view, he was fighting one of his Hispanic fighters. I need to be promoted in the urban areas. Now I'm a promote myself, it's going to be crazy. I think my team could have done a much better job. By this time in my career I could have made probably $100 million.” Arum countered by saying, “What Floyd doesn't understand is the Hispanic market is fervent about boxing, but the urban market is much more reluctant to spend money. All the major African-American fighters we promoted since the 1970s, their fan base came not from the urban market but from white Anglos – they had mainstream appeal which Floyd lacks. He gets that chip on the shoulder attitude. He gets embittered and angry at the world. And the public doesn't accept it. It turns people off.” Floyd paid Arum $750,000 to exit their deal early, and on the way out, things were bitter, with Arum insinuating that Floyd was ducking Antonio Margarito, then a welterweight titlist.)
Yep, these guys have some history, and it's wise to re-familiarize yourself with that to help understand the current state of their (lack of) relationship.
Mayweather shoved coal in the Arum stocking right before this Christmas, declaring, again, that bout, the one every damned fight fan wants, will not happen. “…the Pacquiao fight, at this particular time, will never happen, and the reason why the fight won't happen is because I will never do business with Bob Arum again in life, and Pacquiao is Bob Arum's fighter,” Mayweather told FightHype.com, his favored outlet for chats.
So, you wonder, if that is the primary stumbling block, is there a chance in the near future that Pacquiao will not be under contract to promoter Arum? Nope, not in the near future, with Pacman contracted to Top Rank through the end of 2014. And after that? A lawyer for Pacquiao, Franklin Gacal, lobbied on Sunday for Arum to do the right thing for the world of boxing, and free Manny.
“History is waiting and Bob should free Manny. That would be Bob’s greatest contribution to boxing history,” Gacal said to the Asian Correspondent. OK, easy for Gacal to say, but not so easy to picture Arum emancipating Pacman, and releasing his top attraction to free agency before the term is up. I mean, is there a historical precedent for that in any field, aside from boxing? Unless Mr. Arum has an overnight thunderbolt epiphany, in which a repulsion for capitalist principles is injected into his bloodstream, we don't see this occurring.
So, you wonder where we stand today, regarding Manny-Money? Same place we stood in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Nowheresville. We took the last train, the one marked “Hope,” and it left us there. We can keep hope alive, I suppose, and reset our focus to 2015, should Manny decide he wants to work with somebody other than Top Rank. Or, we can hope that people are magically imbued with the spirit of monumental resolution within them, and put aside differences and see past hurdles, and mend those fences and make the fight. Should we not be able to muster that level of faith, we can hope for something less than a monumental resolution, and instead keep fingers crossed for mere acceptable level of reduced animus, and some creative deal-making to get us to the finish line. I mean, what's to keep Pacman from parting ways with Arum publicly and then cutting the Hall of Famer dealmaker in behind the scenes, rewarding him for his skillful handling of the Pacquiao project to this point?
Readers, weigh in..should we all call a moratorium on this subject until the Pacquiao-Top Rank contract ends, or do we see a continuing hunger for this subject?