Floyd Mayweather has spent the better part of his career antagonizing, taunting and then beating every opponent ever put in front of him.
Equally as brilliant, Manny Pacquiao has won a major title in every weight class between 105-147 lbs.
So it seemed only fitting that the two most talented fighters of this era face off. It would be the ultimate contrast in styles, Manny Pacquiao is a storm in the ring who never stops moving forward. On the other side, Floyd Mayweather is arguably the sport’s best defensive fighter ever! If they ever stepped in the same ring it would undoubtedly shatter all pay per view records.
Yet getting them to share a ring is like getting Democrats and Republicans to endorse the same candidate. Twice this year the two fighters camps were unable to agree on terms for a fight. The bickering got so bad that the groups went to mediation but even that proved to be an exercise in futility.
The majority of boxing fans and writers have placed the blame squarely on Floyd Mayweather. Although he does deserve a large portion of the blame, there are a number of factors preventing this fight from taking place.
Don’t blame it all on “Money” here are ten obstacles in the way of a Pacquiao and Mayweather fight.
Both fighters bring in huge crowds and big paydays for everyone involved with their fights. Their pay-per-view numbers support that.
Floyd Mayweather earned over one million pay-per-view buys for his fights with Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.
Pacquiao generated over a million buys in fights against De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and possibly Antonio Margarito (pending pay-per-view results).
Therefore, it would seem only natural that both fighters would receive 50 percent of the money for this fight.
Of course nothing is ever simple in boxing. Mayweather who likes to brag and calls himself “the cash cow,” could demand more money. Overall he’s done better numbers than Pacquiao and you better believe he’d want to make sure everyone knew it.
The fact that there is so much money to be split might make it easier to negotiate but it is an obstacle nonetheless.
There are not a ton of other fights out there for either guy. Frankly there are very few fights. At the welterweight level, Manny would have the option of fighting Shane Mosley or Andre Berto or even a rematch with Miguel Cotto as promoter Bob Arum has hinted.
None of those fights are particularly interesting.
Mosley lost badly to Mayweather in May and didn’t look too much better in his last fight against Sergio Mora. Berto is young and on the rise, but hasn’t shown that he’d be able to offer up any real resistance to the storm that is Manny Pacquiao, and a Miguel Cotto fight would likely be just as one-sided as the first.
Floyd Mayweather faces a similar problem.
After his victory against Mosley he did talk about wanting to go up to middleweight and fight the new champion, Sergio Martinez, but it was just that, talk. At welterweight, a fight with Miguel Cotto could still be a good one, but it would have been better three or four years ago, and it seems unlikely Andre Berto could generate enough buzz to give Mayweather the huge payout he’d desire.
Both guys could opt to fight Paul Williams who is arguably the best fighter between 147-160lbs. Yet his name is rarely mentioned and often passed on by nearly every fighter in boxing.
They could also look to take the next best available fight both competitively and financially if they can’t reach an agreement to fight each other.
He is arguably the greatest promoter in the history of the sport. Bob Arum is the creator and CEO of Top Rank Promotions and Manny Pacquiao’s promoter.
Arum promoted Floyd Mayweather as well until 2006 when the two had a bitter split. Their inability to work together is certainly an obstacle in a Pacquiao and Mayweather showdown.
Arum has done many great things for the sport of boxing, but his personal issues with Floyd Mayweather have put the greatest fight of this generation on hold. Arum went so far as to put up a July 15 deadline for Mayweather to agree to fight Pacquiao. Arum stated that if Mayweather did not respond he was looking into other opponents for Pacquiao.
The deadline served as more of a public stunt than an honest attempt at convincing Mayweather to fight. Rather than continue negotiations, Arum took the first chance he could to put Pacquiao in the ring with Antonio Margarito (another Arum promoted fighter).
For a Mayweather and Pacquiao bout to ever be materialized, Arum would have to make an honest effort to put business first.
With all the cheap shots directed towards “Money” Mayweather, a major factor in this equation is being left out, Manny Pacquiao.
For all the people who are quick to call out Mayweather as a coward and chicken, Pacquiao is not one of them.
In fact, after his victory over Margarito last Saturday he chose to not even mention Mayweather’s or any other future opponent’s name.
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Manny Pacquiao would fight anybody, anywhere, but nonetheless he has not been proactive in seeking out a fight with Mayweather.
The first blockade in fight negotiations was Pacquiao’s unwillingness to take Olympic style drug tests. Whether or not he has something to hide remains to be seen, but as for now we will presume he’s innocent.
Pacquiao has never publicly given any indication that he wants to fight Floyd. It’s the Freddie Roachs’ and Bob Arums’ of the world making those claims.
Like Mayweather, Pacquiao has earned the right to not have to call anyone out. However, if his end goal is to secure a fight with Mayweather he has shown no enthusiasm towards making it happen.
This is directed more towards Floyd Mayweather, but applies to both men.
For Manny if he takes the fight and loses, it thwarts all this “greatest of all-time” talk. More importantly it seems an almost certainty that there would be no getting a rematch with Mayweather even if there were a clause in the contract stating so.
For Mayweather, look no further than the faces of Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. A fight with Pacquiao might not just land you in the hospital: It might end your career.
Boxing fans have witnessed in the past how after just one ring war a fighter’s life and career can be forever altered. For Mayweather I do not believe the risk is that grave. His ego and record would most likely be the only thing blemished in a fight against Pacquiao.
The fact remains that a large number of boxing faithful want to see Mayweather go down. As insignificant as one loss would be to his Hall of Fame career, you have to wonder if he secretly worries that he could never live it down.
Right now the edge Mayweather has over all of the greats is that he is the only one to never have suffered a loss in the ring. The risk of losing to Manny Pacquiao might not outweigh the reward of beating him.
The original problem in setting up the fight was the issue over drug testing. Pacquiao wanted to adhere to the drug policy that the Nevada Athletic Commission uses. Floyd Mayweather demanded that the two take random Olympic style drug tests.
There would be no issue except Mayweather wanted tests to be allowed all the way up until the day before the fight. Pacquiao disagreed for fear that giving blood so close to a fight would weaken him.
Depending on what side of the coin you’re on both men make valid arguments. One wants to “clean up the sport of boxing,” and the other believes losing blood too close to a fight will affect his performance.
Mayweather eventually bended on the stance and said 14 days before the fight would be a fair cutoff and Pacquiao’s camp agreed.
It would make sense if they began negotiating for a third time that the 14 day limit should still apply. There is a good chance that Mayweather’s team might try and move the cutoff date a little closer to the fight like they originally wanted. People from inside Team Mayweather have already alleged Pacquiao is a possible P.E.D. (performance enhancing drugs) user.
The fight over drug testing could inevitably be one of the factors that keeps these two men out of the ring.
For all the people who say Mayweather is running scared they may want to take a look at some of his comments in previous years.
"I love the sport, one more fight and I'm through. I don't need boxing. I'm not in it for the money. It's about legacy. I'm rich and I've accomplished what I want," Floyd Mayweather said after a 2006 fight with Carlos Baldomir. During the press conference Mayweather cried and vowed to walk away after his next fight. He would actually fight two more times before a brief retirement.
Leading up to the Ricky Hatton fight in December 2008, Mayweather commented on HBO’s 24/7 about the frail condition of his body. The way he complained of hand, shoulder and back pains you would have thought he was a seventy year old suffering from osteoporosis.
Exaggerated or not, Mayweather has contemplated walking away from the sport for some time. It seems that the challenge of training, promoting and putting his life on hiatus for fighting is not as fun as it once was. He would be smart to walk away from the sport if it no longer interests and excites him.
Otherwise Mayweather could suffer the same fate as other great boxers who stuck around well pass their primes.
When you look back on the history of boxing there are a number of great fighters in every era who did not square off with one another for various reasons. Or they fought when one or both were beyond their primes and had no business doing so.
A recent example is the 17 years it took Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones to have a rematch of their first fight in 1993. Both men dominated their respective divisions in the mid-late 90’s and the early 2000’s but could never come to terms on a fight. They ended up fighting way past both of their primes.
In the early 90’s, Heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe threw away a world title rather than fight Lennox Lewis.
Prison kept a prime Mike Tyson from ever fighting Lewis, Evander Holyfield or Bowe.
If you go back to the 70’s, Muhammad Ali’s draft dodging charges cost him three years of his career and nearly kept him from ever fighting the likes of Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman.
In fact, George Foreman’s premature retirement probably kept boxing fans from witnessing he and Larry Holmes squaring off in the ring.
Most notably, was “The Super Fight,” that almost never was. Sugar Ray Leonard was the most popular boxer of the 80’s and arguably it’s best pound for pound. Not to far behind was Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Halger had tried for years to secure a fight with Leonard but when Leonard retired in 1984, it seemed as though the fight would never take place. Until two years later when Leonard returned from retirement to fight Hagler.
The case for Mayweather and Pacquiao is the same. Sometimes outside forces keep sensible fights from ever taking place. Other times they just delay them and eventually the combatants get it on.
What will happen in the case of Pacquiao and Mayweather? We might not know the answer to that question for a few more years.
The only thing bigger than Floyd Mayweather’s bank account might be his ego. The same probably holds true for Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, Oscar De La Hoya and everyone else involved in this fiasco of a fight negotiation.
Debates about who enters the ring first, drug testing, the money split and whether the fight is titled Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, or Pacquiao vs. Mayweather all point to a larger issue. The egos of the people involved.
Mayweather could if he wanted, be the bigger man, no pun intended and be flexible on the drug testing schedule.
Manny Pacquiao could call out the fighter that everyone one in the world wants to see him fight.
Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya could find a way to appease everyone involved and make the fight happen.
But, this is boxing and for some reason people would rather hold onto their foolish pride even when it makes no sense to do so.
Pride is what cost Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins about $20 million each. By the time they agreed to fight each other, Hopkins made maybe a few million dollars and Jones fought for free.
The same isn’t possible here. Neither man will be fighting for free if they ever were to get in the same ring but egos could ruin any opportunity of seeing Pacquiao and Mayweather or Mayweather and Pacquiao in the same ring together.
The single biggest and most serious obstacle standing in the way of Mayweather and Pacquiao or Mayweather and any fight for that matter are his legal troubles.
Mayweather was arrested for allegedly beating up his former girlfriend who happens to be the mother of three of his four children. Mayweather has not been charged with anything yet, but he is scheduled to appear in court in January.
Assuming Floyd can beat the case and is able to box in the next calendar year, he might have to do it without uncle “Rog.” Like his nephew, Roger Mayweather is facing charges over a domestic dispute.
It is highly unlikely that Floyd would ever step in the ring again without his Uncle in the corner, and it is fair of him to choose to do so. No one would ever expect Pacquiao to fight with Freddie Roach absent.
So before any Pacquiao fight can ever be made the Mayweathers legal battles would have to be cleared up.
At 33, any prolonged jail time would all but end Mayweather’s career, which is why his life over the next couple months will be very intriguing to follow.