Just a few months ago, the idea of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally committing to a super fight seemed very realistic. Pacquiao made a big sacrifice and offered his rival the majority of the fight purse. Mayweather publicly complimented his Filipino counterpart. 50 Cent seemed like he could be a legitimate middle man between the two – the bridge that would ultimately help put this showdown together.
But then things changed.
Mayweather refused to respond to Pacquiao's generous offer. The kind words about one another, from both sides, ceased to exist. Mayweather and 50 Cent had a falling out – something that was probably exacerbated by the latter's increasingly tight relationship with "the enemy.” Pacquiao and his team began showing signs of frustration. Arum began speaking about other potential bouts for 2013. And then, this week, we got our biggest indicator that things weren’t going according to plan on the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather Dream Fight front.
Here was what the Filipino champ told USA Today (emphasis mine, not theirs):
Popular VideoThis judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:
"If the fight doesn't happen, it's not my fault. I'm not going to accuse him of being greedy or judge him. It's hard to judge. It's his title, it's his life, (but) I believe he is avoiding me."
Asked if the fight will ever happen, Pacquiao replied: "I don't know. That question is for Floyd."
It’s not so much the substance of those comments, it’s the fact that they were offered in the first place. It seemed like Pacquiao and Mayweather had a media cease fire of sorts going over the past few weeks.
So much for that.
Freddie Roach spoke to USA Today, too. His take was one of the more measured ones we have heard thus far.
"I think if the fight doesn't happen next year, it never will happen," Roach said. "People are getting bored and tired of (talking about it). We're chasing a rabbit we can't catch."
As good as Roach’s assessment was, the best one of the day came from Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz.
"I think there's always going to be some value to the fight," he said. "But the longer it goes on, its value diminishes. A percentage of people are starting to think, 'Boy these guys aren't in their prime anymore.'"
(Kudos USA Today)