For obvious reasons, ever since he was knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao has been the subject of a lot of jokes and snide comments. When you’re part of one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports, and when you rack up as many critics as the Filipino star did during that three-to-four year span when he legitimately looked as good as -- or better than -- Floyd Mayweather Jr., it’s expected that people will pile on when you hit a rough patch.
Still, when you account for all of the criticism Pacquiao endured in the aftermath of last December’s bout, there is one notable name omitted from the list of people who talked a lot of smack: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
While his relatives, boxing analysts and fans all bashed Pacquiao, Mayweather remained largely silent. He simply indicated that he had no interest in taking on the Filipino star because they clearly weren’t in the same league, and that was that. He also called him a has-been a few weeks back, but that came seven months later – hardly an example of piling on.
This week, though, finally, Mayweather really decided to take down his arch rival. In an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Mayweather had some brutal stuff to say about his history with Pacquiao.
"Everybody's like, 'Aw, Pacquiao,' but I'm just letting you know he's not getting a fight with me," Mayweather said. "The only way he's getting the fight with me is if he signs with Mayweather Promotions. He's got to give me fights with Mayweather Promotions. If he don't give me no fights under Mayweather Promotions, then he's not getting the fight. That's how it is working now, because the ball is in my court. The ball has been in my court. I have been the A side.
"I went to Pacquiao at one particular time and I offered him $40 million and I told him, 'I will wire you $20 million within 48 hours.' He told me he wanted 50-50 and he got off the phone. Some guy named Michael Koncz [Pacquiao's adviser] came down here. I don't know who he is. He looks like a little weasel. He came down here, was in my gym and talked to me. He said, 'If you want the Pacquiao fight, you talk to me.' I said, 'What about Top Rank?' He said, 'I run all his business.' That's what he told me. I've got everything recorded, everything on film."
It is worth noting: Mayweather and Pacquiao have been talking about one another a lot as of late. Is that indicative of anything? Maybe not. After all, they’ve been using the prospect of fighting each other to promote other bouts for years now. But there is something to be said for the fact that, presuming Pacquiao gets past Brandon Rios, both will need recognizable opponents in 2014.
Does that mean they’ll finally fight? Of course not. Could it mean they’ll finally fight? Definitely.