Manny Pacquiao: What Fighter Must Do to Restore Reputation

Alex FieldCorrespondent IIMay 28, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21:  Manny Pacquiao (L) and Timothy Bradley pose fpr photographers at a press conference announcing their upcoming World Boxing Organization welterweight championship fight at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao will soon step into the ring to protect his welterweight championship belt, but he won’t be fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Instead, Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) will match up with light welterweight champ Timothy Bradley Jr. (28-0, 12 KOs).

In recent months, Pacquiao, who is also a Filipino congressman, has stirred up negative publicity concerning same-sex marriage, along with the proposed fight with Mayweather.

Pacquiao said during an interview with the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) that he doesn’t support gay marriage, due to his Roman Catholic beliefs. This stirred up controversy around the world, and Pacquiao quickly clarified his point.

He said he is “not against gay people” and has relatives who are gay. Nonetheless, his initial beliefs had him banned from a mall in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times, as well as a petition being signed in hopes of persuading Nike to drop Pacquiao.

Pacquiao will certainly need to change the way he addresses the media if he wants to restore his once powerful public image.

While the United States has become more accepting of same-sex marriages, Pacquiao will lose fans and appeal if he cannot connect with the individuals who pay to watch his fights.

Which leads to the big question surrounding Pacquiao: Will a fight between him and undefeated “Money” Mayweather ever see the light of day?

Both sides have pointed fingers about why the fight isn’t happening, but eventually both of them need to make it happen.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 05:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates after defeating Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision during their WBA super welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images

Nothing would be better for Pacquiao’s image than a fight with Mayweather.

A mega-fight between the two would not only take some heat off of his recent controversial comments, but it could also push him into being listed alongside some of the all-time greats of boxing.

According to ESPN, Mayweather refuses to split the right 50-50, which Pacquiao is pursuing.

However, it is in Mayweather’s best interest not to split the purse relatively close to 50-50.

Mayweather netted at least $32 million in his last fight against Miguel Cotto, according to the LA Times, because Mayweather claims a stake of advance pay-per-view sales per fight.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, will claim a base purse of only $6 million in his upcoming fight with Bradley, according to Boxing News 24.

With the potential showdown between boxing’s biggest names, the fight could reach well over $100 million, yet both boxers seem adamant in their stances.

The fact of the matter is that Pacquiao will not make the amount of money he could in a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather duel anywhere else. Mayweather, on the other hand, can continue to handpick his opponents while still netting a nice chunk of change.

It would be in Pacquiao’s best interest to take a smaller split of the revenue and take a chance at ending Mayweather’s unbeaten streak in order to drum up some positive publicity.

Until that happens, Pacquiao will have to deal with making ill-advised remarks in public and pulling down $6 million a fight.