Avoiding Manny Pacquiao Keeps Floyd Mayweather at the Top of the Game

Martin SaltCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2011

Christmas comes early for Floyd Mayweather in September 2011...when the pay-per-view figures are released
Christmas comes early for Floyd Mayweather in September 2011...when the pay-per-view figures are releasedScott Heavey/Getty Images

It's coming up to that most festive time of year where we all open our pockets to pay for some television cheer. Nope, it's not for Christmas but for that other enigma in the form of Floyd Mayweather who makes his yearly outing in the boxing ring against Victor Ortiz on September 17, 2011.

Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Justin Tate recently wrote an excellent piece on Floyd Mayweather and whether he makes us wait once a year before fighting in order to maximize his revenues. I totally agree in most respects and you can read the article here —http://bleacherreport.com/articles/782093-floyd-mayweather-jr-does-floyd-make-you-wait-for-promotion-sake.

I view Mayweather taking one fight a year not only to maximize his revenues but also to keep his name at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings. It's Mayweather's way of making sure we don't forget about him and that we should consider him as the best attraction available in boxing.

However, the specter of Manny Pacquiao still looms large over Mayweather and it's something he cannot shake. But I suspect Mayweather is now using it to his advantage to boost his own ticket sales.

Truth be told, when Mayweather announces he is going to fight, people tune in by the bucket-load. And they will do it again for the upcoming Ortiz bout, the aptly named 'Star Power.'

It's quite probable the majority tune in to the fight in the hope that Mayweather will finally get pummeled and knocked out. Mayweather is arguably more infamous than popular and his rants and ravings over the past few years, notably against Manny Pacquiao, have not endeared him to the public.

But what everyone keeps droning on about (me included) is that illusive fight with Pacquiao. Yes, it is probably getting boring to most reading the Bleacher Report boxing columns. But, I hope my fellow writers will agree with me that we go on about it so much because we are desperate to see what could be the defining fight of our generation.

And I believe that's what Mayweather knows about the boxing fan base in general.

When Mayweather has announced fights in the last few years, one of the main hopes that immediately springs to mind is that this bout will be the warm up to the long awaiting Pacquiao fight.

We hoped that his fights with Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley would lead into something big and they didn't. Could his fight with Victor Ortiz lead to something?

I, for one, doubt that Mayweather's fight with Ortiz is leading to Pacquiao. I strongly suspect that Mayweather will defeat Ortiz quite easily, enjoy the fruits of his success in the pay-per-view market and then put his feet up.

It's much more profitable to stay safe and keep drumming up interest without actually doing anything at all. Mayweather's recent fights have not exactly been stellar and can be downplayed due to tailoring the matches to his advantage.

For example, Juan Manuel Marquez would have stood a much better chance if the bout has been fought at the agreed catch-weight of 144 lbs. Instead, Mayweather came in at 146 lbs and had a good weight advantage which meant he could never be in any real danger. Did Mayweather deliberately come in over weight?

Another example is Shane Mosley who was close to being past his prime when Mayweather beat him in May 2010. If the fight had been made just three or four years earlier, Mayweather could have struggled.

The main point is that if Mayweather does fight Pacquiao and loses, his marketability will go through the floor and he would not be able to draw the big crowds he once did.

Why risk it when you can keep everyone waiting and come out for a relatively easy fight every now and then?

I'm not saying at all that Mayweather is avoiding Pacquiao out of fear but more out of common business sense.

Mayweather, for the next two or three years, could successfully trade on the public's interest in a fight between him and Pacquiao to drum up interest in his own fights. Keeping himself in the public light with his taunting and goading of Pacquiao means Mayweather will never be one to be forgotten.

And he knows it.