Are Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao Simply Misunderstood?

| by Alex Groberman

Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn’t as bad you think he is, say his lawyers.

At some point within the 22-page opposition to Pacquiao’s motion for default and dismissal -- in the defamation suit he levied against Mayweather -- Mark G. Tratos (Mayweather’s attorney) stated that his client was being misrepresented by the Pacquiao’s corner and the media. That contrary to popular belief, Mayweather wasn’t simply going out and partying on all those nights when there is evidence that he went out partying.

Rather, Tratos insists that Mayweather’s clubbing is “not random acts of partying, but calculated promotional events designed to appeal to his fan base and maintain his public presence."

In fact, attending those events is all a part of Mayweather’s effort to live up to his “Money Mayweather” alter ego, and because “those who dislike him are willing to pay for the privilege of watching the fight, he is more profitable.”

And finally, Tratos also noted that Mayweather “does not drink, smoke or take drugs."

Do Mayweather and his legal team have any ground to stand on with this defense? No.

Look, Tratos may have inadvertently touched on an intriguing point, but it certainly wasn’t the one he actually ended up making. Mayweather does play up the “evil” card because that’s how he rose to prominence, as the guy you love to hate.

In a sport filled with a number of nameless, bland great fighters who never get ahead because they lack the ability to draw attention (and subsequently, PPV purchases), Mayweather has carved out his own special little niche. He’s the cowboy who wears the black hat, and he’s very rich because of it.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, has gotten ahead because he does the exact opposite. He plays the role of the international leader, the good-hearted Samaritan and admirable sportsman. I'm not saying Pacman isn't genuine. Just saying whereas Mayweather evokes feelings of loathing and hate, Pacquiao makes fans respect him and fall in love with the way he is. For instance, If he does a promotional event or dines with Paris Hilton -- he's always quick to point out that a percentage of the proceeds will go to the poor.

The two approaches are clearly different, but equally effective. Obviously both Mayweather and Pacquiao are amazing fighters in the ring, but their out-of-ring demeanors help stir up interest.

At the same time, partying and trying to pass it off as “work” doesn’t fly, not even with the most ardent of Mayweather supporters. It’s almost as ludicrous of a notion as the idea that Pacquiao wants Mayweather to lose to Ortiz and is trying to distract him with this dumb lawsuit, when in reality, Pacquiao loses out on a massive payday if Mayweather drops a match to Ortiz and loses his undefeated streak.

Mayweather can be likeable guy, but he’s opted to go the other route. And once you do that, there’s no turning back. Currently, the undefeated superstar is feeling the flip side effect of what happens when you play the villainous role – you don’t get the same benefits of the doubt that the heroes get.