As virtually the entire boxing world stands on the precipice of a supposedly-looming Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown, the only thing preventing us from jumping into the water with both feet is an actual commitment to fight. Not theoretical concessions. Not proposed agreements. We've seen enough of those already. Rather, what we need is an actual, steadfast assurance that the two sides promise that they’re in it for the long haul and won’t just break up due to irreconcilable differences like Kobe and Vanessa Bryant.
Well, although we still haven’t gotten that assurance from both sides, we do seem to be moving in the right direction as of late.
First and foremost, this past Tuesday we at last got some finality on Mayweather’s legal drama as the undefeated superstar reportedly agreed to take a plea deal to avoid felony conviction for his alleged role in a 2010 domestic violence case. As per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, District Attorney David Roger has confirmed that Mayweather will plead guilty to one count of battery domestic violence and two counts of harassment on Wednesday morning.
Why is this progress for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather? Well, because it immediately removes the cloud of doubt that hung over the potential super fight. Now that the uncertainty is out of the way, both sides can proceed to arrange a fight with a clear, definitive time table in mind.
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Which bring us to the colorful and polarizing boxing phenomenon known as Bob Arum. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Top Rank boss was able to simultaneously pique the interests of boxing fans everywhere with a creative suggestion for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, only to one second later bring that dream crashing down as only he can.
Check it out, as per the Times:
Arum said the fight could possibly take place in June and added that he's pursuing the idea of building a 45,000-seat venue on the Las Vegas Strip near the Wynn and Venetian properties. Arum said the additional time will assist the construction schedule, even though Mayweather's advisor previously said he has cleared May 5 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a date against the "little man" Pacquiao.
"That's Cinco de Mayo, and too early," said Arum, who said no talks are occurring during this portion of the holiday break. "The last time I looked neither of these guys was Hispanic."
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Now let’s translate that from Arum-speak: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is on the agenda. Arum knows the fight will be huge. He wants to build a whole new venue just for the fight because of how massive he realizes it’s going to be. But it won’t happen in May like we want it to. And if it doesn’t happen in May, that means it won’t happen until anywhere from middle to late 2012, which in turn means that negotiations could collapse entirely before we ever get around to the actual fight.
Oh, and neither Pacquiao nor Mayweather are Hispanic, in case you were wondering.
So where does that leave us? Pretty much exactly where we were before. Big promises, big expections – no signatures on dotted lines.
Until we see names signed on contracts, Pacquiao vs. Mayweather continues to be the biggest boxing tease ever.