The talk of a Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. super bout has never died down, so let's find out if the boxing world is any closer to making this happen.
Early on, there were a few things holding this fight up.
For starters, Mayweather Jr. has made accusations that Pacquiao could be using performance-enhancing drugs, which is a claim that has yet to be proven. As a result, Mayweather Jr. had requested that Pac-Man take a drug test shortly before the fight.
Here is what "Money May" had to say in regards to Pacquiao's alleged PED use, per Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com:
"Go back and look at the pictures. His head is small and then all of a sudden his head just grew? Come on man, stop this. Ray Charles can see this s***. Go back and look at the pictures and tell me this man's head didn't get bigger. You're going to tell me this s*** is all natural. Come one man, stop," Mayweather said.
While Pac-Man's people originally denied such a request for a drug test close to the fight, those sentiments have changed of late and Pacquiao is willing to go through with the test, per Dan Rafael of ESPN.com.
"No problem," Pacquiao said. "Whatever he wants to do."
Upon accepting that stipulation, the money split quickly became another obstacle in the way of this dream fight. However, per the same report by Rafael, Pac-Man has agreed to give Money May the bigger share of the fight's profits.
"I'm waiting for that fight to happen," said Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-division world champion. "I don't know what's the reason why that fight has not happened. ... It's OK for me if he gets a higher percentage than me."
So that should mean this fight is ready to happen, right? Wrong.
Promoter Bob Arum gave some interesting specifics about just how much money Mayweather Jr. continues to turn down. He let us in on the details in an interview with ESPN 1100 Las Vegas, per SportsRadioInterviews.com:
“We had an offer, a legitimate offer on the table for 180 million dollars and people due to fight and had a big upside of 180 for the two fight camps. That’s when he said 55-45 which would’ve given Mayweather 100 million. [Pacquiao] would’ve ended up with 80 million and that’s still a lot of money right? But Mayweather will not fight him.
That is quite the chunk of change for Mayweather to turn down, so why would he? After all, his name is "Money" Mayweather.
We already know it isn't because of the drug test stipulation and Money May got what he wanted with the money split. Arum has another idea, which he also stated in the interview with ESPN 1100 Las Vegas:
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Now why am I saying that? I’m not saying it to be, I know the guy and I know what his problem is, Mayweather, because we had him for 10 and a half years and his problem was he hated, he never wanted to face a southpaw and a southpaw that can move and punch with his left hand makes Mayweather completely vulnerable. All you have to do was watch him in the [DeMarcus] Corley fight where he didn’t realize Corley was one when he made the fight. Corley shook him up and had him in trouble. Why? Because Mayweather is a sensational defensive fighter but that’s against an orthodox guy. If he goes against a southpaw he opens himself up.
That is one of the more interesting takes on why this fight isn't happening.
Could it actually be that Money May is ducking Pacquiao because he doesn't feel he matches up well with Pac-Man? It is certainly a logical explanation, considering Pacquiao has met every stipulation that seemed to be holding this fight up.
There is some hope that 2013 could be the year that Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. finally square off.
Per Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Money May plans on fighting two bouts in 2013, so one would hope that a bout with Pacquiao will be one of them. Of course, nothing has been scheduled between the two yet, but we can certainly hope it will eventually get done.
Will this fight ever happen?
Don't get me wrong, if this fight were to happen, boxing fans would still be glued to their televisions to watch this bout. But both of these fighters aren't as good as they were even three years ago, so maybe the ship has sailed on this fight being as good as it could have been in years past.
No matter what, Mayweather-Pacquiao is still the fight that everyone wants to see and it will remain that way until these two get into the ring together.