The logjam was broken. Mediation occurred, proud men settled their differences, and can now put aside personal enmity, and immense pride, and give the people what they want, which is a boxing match between the sports' two biggest.
OK, that is the perception as seen through the eyes of the optimist, when they heard yesterday that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao came to terms, and Pacquiao's defamation suit lodged against Team Mayweather was in the process of being dismissed.
"The matter has been resolved," said attorney Malcolm LaVergne, repping Floyd Mayweather Sr., in an AP story. "Any alleged terms of the resolution would be strictly confidential. Floyd Mayweather Sr. is very happy that this lengthy case has finally come to a conclusion."
The AP story stated that each side would bear its own attorney costs and fees. A statement from the Mayweather side, released by a mediator, said they "wish to make it clear that they never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance-enhancing drugs, nor are they aware of any evidence that Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs."
Pacquiao put the suit in motion in December of 2009, taking issue with public quotes made by Mayweather Sr. in particular which cast an aspersion on his abilities. "In my honest opinion, I believe that he's on some type of supplements," Floyd Sr. told Michigan's Grand Rapids Press in September 2009. "I think they're pushing Pacquiao too much -- even if he's got [ste]'roids in his body." Floyd Jr. periodically brought up the size of Manny's head, and has asked for the strictest of testing for Pacquiao, so he was more cagey when referencing possible PED use. In January 2011, he said, "I'm gonna fight the Pacman when he is off the power pellets," and one could certainly surmise what he was referring to when he talked "power pellets," but did he step over a line, there? That would have been up for a judge or jury to decide, and we have backed away from that cliff.
Mayweather has been pretty quiet following his Aug. 2 release from the detention center where he served two months on a domestic charge, so we don't know from his perspective why a settlement was reached. Last week, a judge issued a ruling ordering "Money" to pay about $114,000 in legal fees and costs for avoiding deposition sessions under oath from Pacquiao's lawyers.
I reached out to attorney Keith Sullivan, who represents the Boxing Writers Association of America, and several pro fighters, to pick his brain on the latest developments. "Defamation suits are difficult because you must prove financial damages," he said. "However, when it's an allegation that a person was dishonest or cheated in the course of their profession or career, is is called "Defamation Per Se," which does not require proof of financial damages. Team Mayweather would have undoubtedly lost this lawsuit," Sullivan said. "I suspect this was a suit grounded in principle. I hope this resolution is an entree to 'The Fight!'''
So, does Sullivan think Team Mayweather paid money to Pacquiao, to help convince Manny to settle?
"Probably. What else is there? Hopefully, it was a donation to a worthy charity."
Readers, what are your thoughts? Are we a step, or two, closer to getting this fight made? Promoter Bob Arum has said for half a year now that he was aiming to get it made in the spring of 2013? Could his desire reach fruition? Or will other roadblocks pop up? Weigh in!
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?