Man Up, Manny; Then Take It Out On Floyd

Thomas KnappContributor IDecember 25, 2009

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 14:  Manny Pacquiao smiles before taking on Miguel Cotto during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

I've watched this story from afar for a couple months...then started getting really interested once it looked like it was going to actually happen.  I didn't think Mayweather was even going to entertain such a fight with such a challenger.


Okay, before I go on, I suppose I should put some things on the record.  Let's get this stuff out of the way right now.

I am a 31 year old Caucasian Male from Grand Rapids, Michigan, the "hometown" of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

There, now all the Pacquiao apologists can click another article, or hit the back button, or use the super secret Easter Egg command Alt+F4.  You won't want to read this article.

Just go away now.  Don't waste your time, and don't waste my time.

They gone?  Good.  Now for the rest of you:

I also believe Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a man who represents a lot of what's wrong with professional boxing. 

I think he's more businessman than boxer at this point, playing politics and preparing exactly who he is going to fight with all the strategy of actually fighting said opponents.  I think his methods of ducking certain fighters to be near cowardly, and more to protect his own unblemished record and his own ego than anything else.

So, all you Mayweather apologists can click another article, or hit the back button, or use the super secret Easter Egg command Alt+F4.  You won't want to read this article.

Just go away now.  Don't waste your time, and don't waste my time.

They gone?  Good.

That probably leaves about ten people, but oh well.  Now we can drop the spin like Bill O'Reilly... only...we're actually going to drop the spin.

Okay, so it's nothing like Bill O'Reilly...but in a media world that's locked in a permanent spin cycle, what example am I going to use?

Anyway, onto the nitty gritty.

In one sense, Arum is dead on.  Mayweather is scared to living hell of fighting Manny Pacquiao.  It will be the toughest challenge, and greatest risk, to Floyd's beloved untarnished record that the Pretty Boy has ever faced.  Floyd is only having this discussion at all because of the payday and the jealousy that he's no longer considered the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of his era.

So, Floyd took a wild haymaker in the court of public opinion; took a swing in the mental ring, looking for anything that would give him an edge and send Manny's camp reeling before it ever stepped foot into the squared circle. 

It was a cheap, thinly veiled jab at Pacquiao's pride, a not-very-subtle stab at Manny's accomplishments. 

It was a ridiculous stipulation, with standards far beyond anything either fighter had ever used before, standards that up until this point, was perfectly fine with the Pretty Boy.

It was a complete lack of gamesmanship that I have come to expect from the most cowardly champion of the modern era.  It was a shot in the dark, a blind attempt to get a mental edge.

And it delivered a staggering hit.

Because, astonishingly, rather than man up, take the shot, and throw it right back into Mayweather's face, Pacquaio crumpled. 

Rather than step up (this coming just after Pacquaio took a slap of his own at Mayweather with a ten million dollar a pound weight penalty... a blow Mayweather took with a smile), Manny dropped to the canvas.

The rationale?  Superstition?  A fear of needles?  A tablespoon of blood forty-eight hours before they touched gloves would weaken him and make him ineffective? 

Now, I understand 147 pounds isn't exactly a heavyweight, but I'm also fairly certain even at 147 pounds, a human body has a wee bit more blood than the average field mouse.   That a blood test even taken five minutes before the fight would weaken him is absurd.

What?  Has Manny had to bow out of a fight because he got a paper cut two days before the fight?

Does Roach and Arum have to wrap him in bubble wrap and stick in a box for 48 hours so that he doesn't slip and cut himself on a butter knife?

Then finally... came the whopper.

Manny Pacquiao asked his promoter to look into drawing up litigation for a defamation lawsuit.

This takes the cake.

I understand Pacquiao is from the Philippines, but regardless, it should be common sense that in order to sue someone for defamation of character... well... actual defamation has to take place.

Neither Floyd Mayweather or Golden Boy Promotions has made any accusation that Pacquiao has, had, or eventually will, take any performance enhancing drug. 

Floyd Mayweather Sr. has; and I suppose he would make a decent target for such litigation... except that there's another not-so-common-sense requirement for true defamation.

The defamation has to have an effect on the plaintiff's standard of life.

See, if any wild baseless accusation was grounds for a defamation suit, the entire U.S. legal system would be tied up for roughly three million years just on those cases alone .

Considering if Pacquiao doesn't get this fight, he could turn right around and make a small boatload of cash fighting someone else, I don't think that exactly meets the burden of litigation either .

Then again, I suspect Pacquiao's camp knows this.  This (much like the stipulation for testing that started this) is a media ploy; a weak attempt at a counter punch after Pacquiao already took a standing eight-count, and it's painfully transparent.

It's obvious Manny's camp is trying to turn attention away from the fact that Pacquiao continues to balk at being tested randomly, and to keep more and more people from really pressing as to why that is.

You already mishandled this, Manny.  You and your entire team.

There's really only one way that you can end the wild speculation and accusations from the media and the public.

Man up, Manny.

Take the tests, and prove you are who you say you are in the ring.