It's the fight the whole world wants to see. Yes, I'm talking about Floyd Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao in a fight that would decide pound-for-pound supremacy.
Throughout the two-and-a-half year saga that has featured on-again, off-again negotiations between the two sides, there have been some annoying, dubious and sometimes downright pathetic excuses from both sides as to why the fight never came to fruition.
Here are the top 10 most pathetic excuses for why the fight everyone wants to see has yet to take place.
Are you kidding me, Floyd? Seriously, this has to be a joke from the 35-year-old Mayweather. What have you done every other time you stepped into the ring, Floyd?
Honestly, this type of comment to ESPN is why people say that Floyd is afraid of Pacquiao. I don't think he is, but this comment from Floyd is ridiculous. Pacquiao just hits very hard due to his speed and technique. No one else who has faced him in the past 15 years has complained about their health being at risk.
In boxing, that's kind of the name of the game.
In January, when Mayweather was calling out Pacquiao on Twitter and a fight appeared to be on the horizon, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum immediately spoke out and told BoxingScene.com that an outdoor stadium he wanted to build for the fight couldn't be completed until the end of May, at the earliest.
However, Floyd has to report to jail to serve a short sentence on June 1st, effectively canceling the fight before it can even me made. Conflicting stories have emerged, as some people believe Arum is lying because the stadium could be built by May 5th.
It's really sickening when guys like Arum seem to intentionally try to make the fight not happen just because of his hate for Mayweather. Come on, Bob, do the right thing and stop making excuses. And, Manny, man up and tell Arum to make the fight.
For some reason, Mayweather has it in his head that a 50/50 split is ludicrous and that he deserves the bigger slice of the pie. He's gone as far as saying he'll give Manny $40 million and zero profits from the pay-per-view revenue.
I can't get it through my mind why Floyd can't see that this is unfair, because Pacquiao generates just as much interest and revenue as he does. In their three fights, Pacquiao has actually drawn more PPV buys than Mayweather, I would love to hear what Floyd would say if he was informed of this. The excuse he would come up with would be hilarious.
If there ever were a 50/50 fight, this is it. Floyd, shut up and give Manny what he deserves. This excuse makes it seem like Floyd is setting it up for Pacquiao to say no to the fight.
Why should Pacquiao agree and take $40 million and let Mayweather make $80-plus million?
This excuse makes Floyd seem greedy and arrogant, as well as misinformed about who draws more on PPV. It's definitely pathetic and probably bothers me more than any other excuse made on this list.
Look hard, you can just make out the "Gash" Pacquiao suffered against Marquez
Against Juan Manuel Marquez last November, Pacquiao suffered a bad cut over his eye and required some stitches to close it, which is everyday business in boxing. However, when negotiations began to heat up in early January, Arum said the cut was severe and needed more time to heal and that Pacquiao wouldn't be ready for a Cinco de Mayo matchup with Mayweather (via ESPN).
For anyone who saw Vitali Klitschko vs. Lennox Lewis, Klitschko suffered one of the worst cuts in recent memory. His eye was totally ripped apart (click it, it's not that gross), and he required plastic surgery to close the cuts. He fought five months later.
For Arum to have the audacity to make that excuse astounds me. Come on, Bob, stop with this ridiculousness; at least come up with an excuse with a shred of validity. Even Pacquiao's own trainer Freddie Roach said the cut was no issue (via ESPN).
This was one of the more surprising turns in the negotiations. Last year, Bob Arum said he had been negotiating with Mayweather's side via then-HBO President Ross Greenburg (per ESPN). Simple enough, nothing crazy on Arum's part.
But then, Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe spoke out and said that no negotiations of any kind had taken place between the two sides, and that Arum wasn't trying to make the fight. Really, Leonard? That's the best you can do? For the record, Ellerbe's statement was proven false when Greenburg backed Arum's statement (per ESPN).
This excuse is about as puzzling as it is pathetic. Why Ellerbe would deny the existence of negotiations is beyond me. But then again, when you have these two teams trying to make a fight, anything can happen.
In 2010, I honestly believe that this fight could've been made if Manny had accepted the Olympic-style random drug testing that Floyd wanted. People said he's afraid of needles, but he has tattoos. Then Manny said he felt weakened when he had blood drawn in the days leading up to the Erik Morales fight, the last time he lost, so he was hesitant to be blood-tested again (from BoxingNews24.com).
Frankly, Pacquiao needed to man up and just agree at that point. Anyone who has blood drawn knows that you feel better just a couple hours after, and that's if you feel bad at all. This is one of the few times I put less of the blame on Floyd. Manny screwed up big time here.
In fact, drug testing in this fashion is usually stopped about two weeks before a fight, so there was never really a reason for Manny to turn down the drug tests.
If Manny agreed, the fight probably would've taken place in March or May of 2010. Now it looks like it probably won't ever happen. Shame on you, Manny!
Here's another one that really puzzles me. Mayweather always says that when Manny was 16 he was fighting at 106 pounds, so how could he end up moving all the way up the scale and fighting and beating guys in the 154-pound division? He must be on something to do that, according to Floyd (via ESPN).
However, unbeknownst to most, when Floyd was 16, the same age that Manny turned pro, Floyd also fought at 106 pounds. So Floyd, are you on steroids too? You fought at the same weight at the same age as Pacquiao and have had a nearly identical rise up the scale.
That alone makes Floyd look pathetic since he's essentially making himself look stupid since his argument is counter-intuitive, coupled with the fact that Manny Pacquiao has never, I repeat, never, through a career spanning almost 60 fights, tested positive for any type of performance-enhancing drug.
Floyd, please just give it up.
When Mayweather and Pacquiao act like they don't need one another because their legacies are already complete, it really upsets me. These guys have made huge fortunes off the fans' hard-earned cash. But when the fans demand just one fight, they both scoff and say they don't need (or want) the fight?
Where would Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran be if they didn't fight one another? How about Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, and Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez, just to name a few. Almost every decade in boxing has a great rivalry, and sadly it looks like the one between Pacquiao and Mayweather may never come to fruition.
Honestly, as fans, we should be insulted when they say they don't need one another. It's utterly ridiculous. It's totally, absolutely pathetic. I wish someone of much greater stature than myself could get them in a room together and tell them that they both do need each other.
Because in 100 years, people will look back at all the great rivalries and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao won't be included. If they can't come to terms, boxing as a sport will be resigned to a further state of disrepair.
Just make the fight happen. That's it, there's nothing left to say.
Follow me on Twitter: @rlongo924