A couple of months ago I penned a blog giving a first hand account of what I heard and saw in the lead up to the initial breakdown of negotiations Between Emanuel Pacquaio and Floyd Joy Mayweather. When I was putting that piece together it was my goal to attack the situation at its most basic. To give an informed and honest opinion that could sway the reader to consider my position if not assume it. Like a middle age fictional narrative the saga of the Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquaio has entrapped boxing fans from General Santos city to Grand Rapids Michigan. Because I love the sport so much I have found it difficult to cover this situation as closely as I once did. The fight not becoming reality broke the heart of a lot of people this writer included. I backed off of covering the developments full scale in June and July because I was disgusted with everyone involved. I did however make notes of the interviews I conducted with some concerned parties as the summer progressed. About 4 weeks ago I busted out the Black Book and made some phone calls. After gathering some more material I thought a good deal about the arc of this particular story and what to make of it. The following is the result. I pissed a lot of people off the last time I visited this subject and I am sure I will again. I could care less. If you are a fan, or a promoter, or even a fighter and you have a problem with my position you can suck it. This is the United States of America. The Preeminent democracy of the Modern age. I have the constituonal right to speak my mind. Think what you will
A fringe benefit of being a writer is the amount of angst and stress that I am able to get off my chest every time I engage of the Mac-Book. Writing about the boxing has become a pathway to inner peace. The ironic thing about this story is I have refused to write about it until I deemed the time right. That time came in early August as I was enjoying an exquisite bowl of Captain Crunch. I am lucky enough now to receive alerts on the Iphone when I get boxing mail. The message today informed me that Bob Arum had organized a conference call with reporters at midnight eastern standard time. Given what I learned I was not that excited. I had grown tired of the Manny/Floyd Soap Opera and was eager to hear some bottom line results. I have interviewed Bob Arum several times in person and have even spoken to him on the phone but with so many inquiring minds sure to be on the call I went to go into the call with the mindset that I would get one question at most. I was wrong. I did not get one question. I can attribute that to my green position in the industry but that is a whole different story unto itself. I did however listen to the entire call. From start to finish. The whole thing was a staged, late night call in radio show. Bob Arum knew very well weeks in advance that Floyd had no intention of fighting in the year of 2010. Freddie Roach told Unifiedchamp.com recently that this was not a surprise to the Pacquaio camp whatsoever
FR: Mayweather is a punk. I believe he is scared to take this fight. I have a feeling though that he does not want to fight again this year. We all have that feeling because of how quiet he is being. Manny told me yesterday that Floyd making so much money to fight Shane Mosley may persuade him from fighting again this year. Do we know what he is going to do? No we don’t, but it wont surprise any of us if he takes off boxing for the rest of the year”
This conversation I had with Freddie took place weeks in advance of the conference call. I asked Freddie what he thought the fight would come off at the end of the day
FR: Next year? Mabye. This November? No fucking way”
Well what’s with all of this hoopla about contracts and negotiations. If the talks are not producing anything why don’t they just come out and say it?
FR: (laughs) welcome to boxing young man. Everything you see going on right now is about saving face. This fight is not going to happen this year.
I feel bad just sharing this with you now but I did not want to come forward right away. Freddie’s revelations pissed me off at the time because Bob Arum was gallivanting around the boxing scene telling anyone who would listen that fight was being made behind the scenes and he did not want to jeopardize the efforts. He did not want to make the mistake he made the first time. He did not want to involve the media and somehow offend the other side. Arum is a donkey because he did exactly what he told the media he would not do. He fed the media a steady diet of Top Rank filtered updates on the negotiation and where it was headed. He was flanked by an increasingly cocky Manny. Manny Pacquaio, who is famous for his feeble manner as well as his in ring exploits felt the need to attack Floyd non stop for months in an effort show the public that he was up to the challenge. I was lucky enough to see Manny at a dinner the week of the Cotto/Foreman fight. I had never met Manny and as a writer was eager to see his demeanor first hand. It became readily apparent to me that a picture would be difficult so I instead asked him a question point blank. I asked him if how he was planning to beat such an awesome defensive force in FMJ.
MP: It will be difficult. He is big strong and fast. Most of the fighters I have beaten recently are big and strong but he is fast and smart so it will take the right gameplan
Manny’s faced got a little flushed when I asked the question. I finally got to look into his eyes face to face and the impression that I took away was uncertainty. Manny almost looked at the ground the second I said the name Floyd. What confused me at the time was how less bold he seemed then the reports that had been floating around. In that moment I could see that Manny knew he was in a real fight when and if the day comes. Bob Arum was also at this dinner and I was lucky enough to catch up with him. Keep in mind this was in early June. I have asked Bob about this fight many times. Some of the conversations are on youtube to this day. This conversation was as evasive and shady as I have ever seen Bob, it was a little creepy to this writer because I have conversed with Bob enough to know when he is telling the truth or as is the case this time,abiding by the company line
BA: Manny has a lot of options. Floyd Mayweather is the number one option but Manny actually has several paths he could take. I would have no problem doing the Margarito fight. It would do big business and would be a tailor made promotion for Cowboy Stadium. The Mexican population in Dallas would send that fight through the roof at the box office
I asked Bob if he thought obtaining a boxing license would be problem for Margarito.
BA: No at all. Vegas or California maybe but Texas is a slam-dunk. I will not say I have assurances but I have a very good feeling about the state of Texas giving Antonio a license to box.
It sounds Bob like you have the map already navigated. Are you already planning for the super fight not come off? You seem to already be 4 and 5 steps down the road. It seems to me that you believe the fight with Floyd is not a realistic possibility.
BA: Your not asking me smart questions today Christian. I am a promoter. It is my job to give my client as many chances to make money as possible. That is what we call Fiduciary responsibility
Well then what about Andre Berto or Paul Williams? Why not Shane Mosley? Shane just fought Floyd and defeated Antonio his last time out. Why would you possibly match Manny with the 5 or 6th best option out there? Is this because Tony is a Top Rank fighter? Many in the industry have accused you of in house promoting. Would you agree critics would point to that disposition as your reasoning for pursuing such a fight?
BA: That’s Fuckin Ridiculous. Margarito and Cotto are attractions. They are multifaceted earners for our banner. They bring in TV money from their respective countries along with the rabid fans bases that make up those countries. Mexicans or Puerto Ricans have a rich boxing tradition that with out fail makes a difference in the bottom line every single time out. Paul Williams does not even have a home court so to speak. Andre Berto is a couple of years away from being an ideal opponent. I do what’s best for my fighters and fighting fighters that bring in no money whatsoever is impractical and a detriment to the efforts of the people that make up my company.
It sounds to me Bob that you know what the outcome of the negotiations will be. At the very least you have thought a lot about it
BA: I am done talking to you
Of course he was. The fact that Bob was going into such depth about a fight with Margarito was proof to me that the Mayweather fight was never really something that Top Rank saw materializing. It is safe to assume that the Margarito fight was actually being put together as me and the Bobster went back and forth. After I left the city of New York I knew that the fight was not going to come off. That’s what made reading Top Rank Propaganda that much more difficult to bear. It was never ending
During this time I spoke to an HBO source that would be really pissed if I name him in this report and the source told me the following
“There are talks going on right now. Both sides are going back and forth but it is a little difficult to make a deal when you have one side on their Knees and one side completely indifferent to the other. Mayweather has no intention of fighting until it is financially necessary. That is his MO. Mayweather made about 50 million off the Mosley fight alone. That does not include companies that he endorsed the night of the fight. Or the fact that he bets on himself (chuckles), the point being he does not give a shit about Bob Arum or Manny Pacquiao until the day comes when he needs them to re-up his pocket. That day has not come and you better believe Arum knows it. Arum however wants to win hearts and minds so he is making sure there is a record of him attempting to make the fight. I would bet 50 million that the Margarito fight ends up being the promotion that we showcase. It’s what Arum wants at the end of the day. To barter with himself and swim in the spoils”
That was it for me. I give Robert a lot of grief on this blog. Its not because I have a problem with him personally. It’s the underhanded way he does business. Why carry on the way he did? Why tell the press that there was a gag order on talks and then violate that Gag order every single day with a different quote or update. Why place a Clock on the Top Rank website when you know full well what the outcome will be? What an extravagant and elaborate smear campaign I thought at the time. The whole situation was a cause célèbre. There was never any intention of the event actually coming off. To me that is unsavory. To attempt to fool the public is ok the first time, but when time and time again you insult our intelligence it becomes tiresome and erodes your credibility. I saw through Bob during the interview and when he realized it he told me in so many words to go fuck myself. That’s ok. I had proof that Pacquaio/Margarito was the plan all along and the whole element of Floyd Mayweather Jr was a feeble attempt to get the public to forget the all time performance Floyd just turned in last spring. I plan on covering the fight so we can tackle Manny/Tony another day but the orgin of this promotion took place BEFORE the Clottey fight. So for everyone to act so shocked and shaken is almost immature to this writer.
Manny Pacqauio is a glorious tribute to the sport of boxing. He is an ambassador of good will to the entire planet. He is devout, soft spoken , and almost magical the way he conducts himself. What this writer can’t get away from however is his refusal to accept an acceptable drug testing regimen. This fact undermines him to some degree in my eyes. Bob Arum and Manny have told the whole solar system that they accepted all of Floyd demands the second go around. A source in Mayweathers camp tells the story a little differently
“Bullshit. They agreed to 14 day cut off which was our offer like eight months ago. Floyd stated in perfect English that if there is no testing up until the fight on a random basis there will be no fight. He said it on HBO. Motherfuckers are stupid or deaf.”
The thing that confounds this writer about Manny is his rationalizations for ducking blood testing. He has to know inside of that big dome of his that by not taking the tests in a manner that guarantees fair play the questions around him and his accomplishments will FOREVER swirl. Hate or love it swirl they will. Until Manny adheres to pure fair play I will label him a cheat. I’m sorry fans. I see him much the way I saw Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or even Pete Rose to some degree. Where there is chalk white smoke there is fire dude. Can you imagine how the mainstream media would have reacted if Barry had refused a drug test? The press was hounding him WHILE he was taking random test non-stop. Manny gets a pass because Floyd is an African American. If Manny was fighting John Duddy and acted in this manner I would have to believe that Skip Bayless and Michael Wilbon would be calling for Manny’s head. They are not doing that. Instead all of the ire, all of the disdain, has been thrown at the American who happens to be of African descent.
Speaking of Floyd Mayweather. He is, as it stands now the best fighter in the world. He is also the 3rd richest athlete in America behind Tiger and Phil. Mayweather is at the Apex of his career. With all of this going for him it did not surprise me in the least to hear of his incredulous behavior the other day via his Ustream. As a human being I was unspeakably offended. The only thing missing from that video was a Klu Klux Klan mask. Mayweather is a racist. Plain and simple the man is a bigot. The ignorance of the message was astronomically uncouth. I was disappointed that Mayweather broke his silence in such an ugly fashion. It makes it hard to root for the guy. I am an admirer of his exploits in the ring. His skill is all time great. Transcendent to some degree. Despite all of that I will never again look at him the same way that I did. He is a scum bag make no bones about it
Mayweathers view on Pacquaio is clear to many and a mystery to some. A very down promoter gives Unifiedchamp.com his opinion on the situation
“Mayweather simply does not need the fight right now. The buck starts and stops with Floyds wishes. He has the entire situation is in the palm of his hand. The Top Rank people are begging for the fight and Floyd is laughing in their faces. He makes 2 and 3 times the money that Manny makes and he knows it. Manny says he does not need this fight. PLEASE! Of course he does. He needs to beat the biggest star in boxing to cement himself as an all time great. There is no two ways around it
I don’t agree with that view entirely but at base it packs truth. Manny can’t get around the name Floyd until he defeats him. He can talk retirement all he wants but everyone in the industry agrees. The fight has to happen and until Manny decides he wants to be a good boy and take his drug test the public will continue to press him about this fight. The fight should go down in the spring. It will be an awesome event. It will break all kinds of records and demand the attention of the sports world. It will pit two of the greatest fighters of this generation against each other in a battle for control of the history books. A fraud vs. a Racist. Should be a blast
Christian is the Senior writer for Unifiedchamp.com
Follow Christian on Twitter: twitter.com/quinnbuba