UPDATE 2: It is Wednesday, and are we closer to seeing Money-Manny, or are we destined to see the wheels spin like a vehicle caught in a snowdrift, while we got no shovel or salt? Maybe; we saw on Tuesday night the principals get together, in a coincidental way, at a basketball game. Depending on who you ask, their meeting, which included a brief chat, during halftime of the Heat-Bucks game, went amiably, or included Mayweather telling off Pacman and his advisor Michael Koncz for “lying.” Expectations rose when we saw them chatting, and heard that cell phone numbers were exchanged. Then hope dipped when the he said/he said something else account of the meetup leaked out. I was told that the meeting was indeed coincidental, that Pacman was due to fly home, but his flight was grounded because of weather, so he hit a game. Floyd is a Heat fan, so he was there as well…People caught video of the chat, but no audio, sadly.
There you have it, what passes for news in this day and age…
Also, Pacman promoter Bob Arum popped up on Wednesday, before that hoop-de-do, and spoke to Wallace Matthews and Teddy Atlas on their SiriusXM show, “Going the Distance.” No, we didn't hear that The Fight was made. But Arum said he was “hopeful” it would be made, for May 2nd, and repeated a couple times that his level of optimism stems largely from the involvement of CBS boss Les Moonves. You all know I have pointed to that person's presence in this fifth round of talks between the two parties as being potentially a game-changer, as I believe that a Les Moonves would be at the level of importance that even a Floyd Mayweather could be pursuaded to be swayed to his logic.
Arum also said Pac doesn't have money woes, that his purses are usually larger or as large as Floyd's because Uncle Sam doesn't take a taste; Arum said he dropped the ball promoting Floyd because he was out of touch with the urban market, and didn't understand young black persons of today; he said him and Floyd get along well enough; he said that Showtime loses $10-12 mill on each Floyd fight, and that a Mayweather-Cotto rematch wouldn't happen, likely, because Cotto would want $13 or so million, and Floyd would want an extra $10 million or so on top of his guarantee, and that fight would do maybe 1.1 million PPV buys, and thus, Showtime/CBS could/would lose about $20 million on it.
I messaged Showtime to ask if they wanted to weigh in, or refute, and will add that info if they choose to do so. WEDNESDAY 9 PM UDATE: “There is no truth to Bob’s assertion that Showtime is losing money on Mayweather PPV events,” Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio, VP of sports communications, told me. “Beyond that, we don’t have any comment on Mayweather’s next fight.
In fact, Arum labeled Mayweather-Cotto 2 talk as “absolute nonsense.”
Also, Arum said the public might lose interest in seeing Money-Money, especially if one or both look so-so in their next outing. Now is the time, he iterated. The promoter ended the segment by taking a shot at Al Haymon, for blurring the line between promoter and manager, and then on a high note, basically wishing him well on bringing back boxing to primetime, network television.
Get on my Twitter timeline for more on the Arum hit on SiriusXM. https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069
UPDATE: It is Sunday, a day of prayer and rest and reflection for some. I'm thinking those folks, the ones that follow boxing, might want to add an extra request to the Almighty, if such a deity indeed could or would be influenced to help a prize-fight get made, to help the Manny-“Money” fight get off the tarmac, and reach flight stage.
Or, maybe, we would be better served to simply move forward with what many folks are now assuming to be the case, Plan B being activated for The Congressman and the “Money” man….
HBO's Jim Lampley told Elie Seckback last night that he's thinking we see a Mayweather-Cotto rematch on May 2, so are we at a point to acknowledge that continuing discussion of contracts, and terms, and agreements and status of negotiations is nothing more than wasting of time and energy? Pacman promoter Bob Arum spoke to Fight Hub a couple says ago and said, “We’re all done. We’ve signed everything, agreed on all the terms. As far as we know, we’ve been told by the highest authority that Mayweather’s people have agreed, that the networks have agreed. But like they say, you can’t do a play about Hamlet without Hamlet, and Hamlet — meaning Mayweather — has not signed on.”
Team Floyd folk take issue with terminology used by Arum and Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza has stated that no true-blue contracts or contract has been crafted…so he takes issue with Arum presenting anything being “done.”
We are all spinning wheels on this element of the endless flirtation and breakup cycle, because we don't know who was repping Team Floyd for the terms that are referenced by Arum, though we guess that Arum's “highest authority” is Al Haymon; we don't know if the terms are indeed then and now agreeable to Mayweather; we don't know if they WERE that the goal-post doesn't get moved, as people who argue that Floyd doesn't really want this fight, for whatever reason(s), would be prone to do; we don't know the format of the document, if it's a list of terms, or actually a contract that can be signed and cited as proof of intent in a court of law.
The behavior of Pacman, in meeting with Amir Khan in England, in acknowledging that a May 30 scrap with Khan is current Plan B if The Fight falls through for the umpteenth time, is akin to that of a fella maintaining an active Tinder account while simultaneously attending marriage counseling sessions with his wife…It's not indicative of a level of optimism that bodes well for the union…or for the prospect of an early summer Manny-Money clash. For the record, I do think we see The Fight, but it feels like Floyd would maybe rather string the process along, maybe build his leverage even higher, maybe wait for a Superbidding War to break out when his Showtime deal is done, after two more bouts. Of course, like so much of this tangled web, this is speculation.
But the speculation is bolstered by the talk from those who have a better instinct than us on where chips are going to fall. Oscar De La Hoya has said he doesn't think Manny-Money is a go for May 2, and he's been operating, with his top draw Canelo Alvarez, with that certainty guiding him for weeks now. Now you have Lampley saying it…and I had one of the smartest men in boxing tell me a good five weeks ago he thinks we see Mayweather-Cotto 2 and Pacquiao-Khan instead of The Fight.
My bottom line: can we just declare the prospects for this union, for Manny-Money in May, dead for now, if prospects are being uselessly and artificially held aloft, and move on to concrete reality? This spinning of wheels is I suppose interesting to some and keeps us intrigued to a point…but boxing isn't building new fans this way. Maybe Manny and Money hook up in the fall, or even more likely, early in 2016…but if they aren't going to walk down the aisle for May 2, let's finish the speculation-a-thon, and return ourselves to actual, not speculative reality.
So Manny Pacquiao is meeting with Brit royalty, and now fight-game UK royalty, in Amir Khan.
What to make of it?
Purely a negotiating shove in the direction of the “Money” man, Floyd Mayweather–who takes his sweet time deliberating…or, heck, not deliberating, I do not pretend to know what he does with his 24-7—-to help propel his thumb up or down on whether to accept or refute the offer on the table to meet Manny Pacquiao in the what would be the sport's most anticipated super fight since Lennox Lewis tangled with a faded Mike Tyson, in 2002?
Or a meaningful meet up, a possibly accelerant to a place where I dare say we all want to be…a place of clarity.
The negotiation period for this latest round—what is it, the tenth, the twelfth, the twelve thousandth?–of Manny/Money “talks” has dragged on to a level beyond absurd.
As it stands now, as far as we know, Pacman has agreed to “terms” which his crew maintains were acceptable to a person or persons who can speak for Floyd Mayweather, and now The Congressman and his crew awaits Floyd's acceptance of said terms. Now, would Floyd's acceptance result in popping of corks, exultation that this no brainer match is finally a go.
It's been been pulling teeth, sans novocaine or laughing gas, to this point…so why should we not expect more shedding of blood, more muddying of the mix from the Arizas and the proxy reps for Floyd and his crew, who maintain that Pacquiao's stated belief that he's accepted all terms not he table for a fight are farcical, being that no official contract has been drafted.
Indeed, no less a player than Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza has been vocal on the Twitter that talk of terms being accepted are moot, because if said “terms” are not part of a real-deal contract, then said terms are as real as watches they sell on Canal Street.
“Signing what? No contract has been drafted yet,” Espinoza Tweeted on Jan. 21.
The focus is off that he said/the other he said back and forth, and not on the tell-all book from a former Floyd Mayweather alleged confidante, which spills alleged specifics on how the hitter was bilked by a con man out of an obscene amount of money, and various other transgressions and missteps.
In England, Pacman and Khan, who ex Khan trainer Freddie Roach said was in the mix as a Plan B if a Manny-Money waltz falls through yet again, met and…who knows what?
Did a photo op meant to shove Mayweather in the direction of a decision? Or talked turkey, and firmed up the basics for a square-off, which could perhaps take place in Dubai, where the Muslim Khan has a considerable fan base of rooters, and where money flows like crude oil…
All of us wait with that proverbial bated breath, and all of us includes high-level players, as well.
I was told by Miguel Cotto advisor Gaby Penagaricano that he had nothing to report, as of Thursday late afternoon, so the Cotto teams, and the Canelo crew, which includes promoter Oscar De la Hoya, are, seemingly, waiting to see if Floyd will drop the other shoe. Mayweather holds the bulk of the cards, he's the game's A side decider, so when he makes a move, other puzzle pieces will slide into place.
Or…has Pacquiao, who put out a “request” for Floyd to make up his mind one way or another by the end of January, reached a patience limit?
Khan's deadline for Floyd to make up his mind has come and gone already…
Has The Congressman gotten a message that Floyd is willing to joust some about terms and contracts and such, but not looking to go the extra yard, and actually activate a true fight, in the ring? That's mystifying to most of us, who are conditioned to see things in term of what makes most money is what occurs…but I have thought for awhile that Mayweathers' dismay with the way he and ex promoter Bob Arum parted ways could be keeping him from agreeing to do any bit of business with the Bobfather…and yes, this would be a perfect example, some would say, of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face, to the tune of maybe leaving $50 million on the table, because of a personality conflict. And Floyd folk will tell you that Arum is the gum stopping up the works, which I have always found hard to swallow, to be honest, as his cut from The Fight would be immense.
Mayweather, word is, will be doing a promo tour of Australia starting on Jan. 27, if a visit visa is granted to him, possibly no given because of his considerable rap sheet legacy, as well as the multitude of allegations which could well spur public sentiment there to prod deciders to bar the hitter at the gate of entry.
Off the top of my head, visiting Melbourne and the like doesn't have the same zest as Pacman's meeting with Khan; would Floyd meeting Anthony Mundine catalyze any other potential foes to reduce their ask, or change their behavior? I think fan reaction to a Mayweather-Mundine bout nullifies any leverage that could be considered….but anyway.
Also, with Al Haymon, consummate man of mystery, advising Floyd, and being so active with mega-moves lately, could we see some rabbit out of the hat, maybe some Super Bowl special announcement, wow us with a development we didn't see coming? Stranger things have happened, even in our delightful red light district of sporting chicanery.
I reached out to Oscar De La Hoya, to see if he wanted to shed any light, see if his antennae are picking up intel on what Floyd will do next, and I will insert his info should he respond. I will also add comments from Bob Arum if and when I hear from him, as I requested. As always, I'd love to hear from the Floyd side, but they are of a narrow scope on the media they deal with so you are better off clicking on FightHype.com to snag news and opinion from that side of the fence.
Recent news that Team Canelo and De La Hoya are holding firm to that vaunted May 2 date indicates to me, maybe, that they are thinking Floyd-Manny on that date is a no go. I mean, we wouldn't see Canelo being in a cannibalization situation from the HBO perspective, fighting May 2, the same night HBO was putting in resources and personnel to help produce Manny-Money. Oscar might be sitting with Canelo as we speak, in San Diego, and talking options for the red-head, which might include a tangle with James Kirkland. Several phone calls to Kirkland rep Mike Miller were not immediately returned.
So we wait…we all wait…same as before…we wait for “Money” to end the speculation, to clarify the murky picture. Sadly, I say, stay tuned…and hurry up, and wait for the picture to clear up.
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