Perhaps sensing the desperation to get out of the huge shadow being cast by the Pound for Pound King Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s career, Mayweather issued a declaration of war, challenging Pacquiao to go beyond his promoters and just "step up to the plate".
The challenge was made right after Pacquiao's 12th round TKO victory over Puerto Rico's pride - Miguel Cotto.
Promoters got busy right after, Bob Arum of Top Rank for Pacquiao and Richard Schaeffer of Golden Boy Promotions representing Mayweather. Despite numerous differences in the past between the two rival firms, negotiations for the revenue split which is almost always considered a major task, went a lot smoother than expected.
Fight fans who clamor for this super fight to happen sensed the eagerness for the promotional outfits concerned to get the jobs done that will lead up to the Superbowl of prize-fighting.
Arum, despite being quite aged, made the flight to the Philippines just so he can deliver the contract draft in person to Pacquiao, who was still in celebration of his recent conquest.
What transpired in the Philippines surprised even Pacquiao's master-trainer Freddie Roach. Still with a bandage on his right ear, and with just some minor draft modifications requested, Pacquiao announced the eagerness, and not just the willingness to face his challenger. Eventually, the draft was signed as conformity to its mandates, and commitment to have it done.
Coach Roach worried a bit about having the fight sooner at March 13, all the while sensing Mayweather's ploy to demand the date, but agreed nonetheless. His prized ward is on a roll, so why stop it?
As the general public was amazed with how soon Pacquiao agreed with it, so are they surprised with Mayweather's choice of silence right after. The public is expecting to hear a lot from Mayweather right after Pacquiao's acceptance of the challenge. As it is his nature.
Could it be that his ploy backfired?
The March 13 fight date is very sinister in nature, as most people claim, allowing only Pacquiao a little more than two months to prepare, as the day right after his last major battle until the end of December is expected to be very hectic for the Philippine's fighting pride's schedules.
No matter. Pacquiao stepped up to the plate, and is awaiting Mayweather's positive reaction to it for the fight to happen. What we have instead are issues only a prima donna would dare raise:
- Venue issues. Mayweather stated he will not fight in Dallas or Los Angeles no matter how much money can be had there. But with the way both promoters are scampering around, it seems Mayweather can't find the venue most tasteful for him. Alongside that, we do not hear of any complains from the Pacquiao camp as to what standards must be complied to by the venue bidders.
- Fight weight concessions. Mayweather is asking for "leniency" in terms of the allowable fight weight. Yet, the fight is for Pacquiao's WBO Welterweight Crown, with a weight limit of up to 147 pounds. It seems like Mayweather, as early as now, is saying he can not make the 147 pounds, and is asking if he can come in at maybe a little over than that.
- Tune-up first. Mayweather wants a tune-up fight, and demands that they both do so, with Pacquiao against Yuri Foreman - a middleweight-er, and Mayweather against Matthew Hatton - a welterweight-er. What does he want now - tire up Pacquiao and make him sluggish coming in to the fight?
- Olympic-style drug testing. Nevada have one of the most strictest athletic commissions, and Pacquiao have always passed each and every tests conducted after a fight.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Sport, Boxing to be exact. Though the drug-testing is always a must and is in effect all the time for prize-fights, why is Mayweather making an issue out of it, like a toddler making an issue out of nothing?
Though negotiations are significant, and it is where points are delivered and heard, it is not a taping conference that will eventually lead up to a movie premier.
Personally, as a fight fan, I am sick and tired of all the posturing bullsh_it that goes on in the sport. But one thing is certain, if you call out on somebody, be there when he comes out. Otherwise, you'll be making the biggest most ridiculous duck in the history of the sport with origins coming all the way from the Spartans. And you'll be disappointing the audience who build up as you make your challenging speech.