A few months ago it appeared as though we were finally heading towards a dream match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. The latter had just been released from jail and seemed to have mellowed a bit. The former seemed far more willing to compromise as far as purse split went. Bob Arum finally sounded like an intermediary who was down to put this thing together. And, for the first time in a long time, the press surrounding both men and their relationship finally seemed positive.
Things change quickly.
When Pacquiao shocked the boxing world and finally agreed to take less money in order to secure a bout against his arch nemesis, most figured that would be it. After all, aside from PED testing, purse split was the major sticking point that had reportedly been preventing this fight from happening. Once that was out of the way, it seemed inevitable that this would occur. Couple that with some minor things (Mayweather finally saying something nice about Pacquiao, their legal battle ending, etc.) and the stars finally seemed to be aligning.
But then a week passed. And then two weeks passed. And, despite all of the progress that had seemingly been made, we heard nothing from Mayweather’s camp. There was literally no reaction from the undefeated champ to Pacquiao’s olive branch.
Popular VideoThis judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:
The silence has been deafening.
This week, while speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Pacquiao acknowledged that he was still waiting on a response. When asked about how things were looking as far as a potential dream match goes, this was his reply:
“Up to him,” Pacquiao said. “I’ve announced I’ll give him a 55-45 [purse split], no problem. What am I going to do if he doesn’t fight?”
This isn’t the first time that we’re hearing this. Pacquiao said the same thing two weeks ago. Here was what the Filipino champ told USA Today (emphasis mine, not theirs):
"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."
If not Mayweather, who would the next best option be? As we’ve reported on multiple occasions: Brandon Rios.
For his part, Roach did offer a brief take on how that potential showdown would go.
“The first five rounds of that would be a war,” he said. “It’s a good fight for the fans, and the way Manny’s fighting right now, he’d have no problem with it.”
Of course not. He’s a fighter. This is a fight. Fighters fight. Of course Pacquiao would have no problem with it. The only person whom that fighters fight concept seems to be lost on is Mayweather himself.
If you’re a fighter who doesn’t fight, you cease to be relevant – plain and simple.
Will Pacquiao versus Mayweather ultimately happen? It’s impossible to say. But we’ll leave you with Michael Koncz’s words (from a while back) on why this delay only hurts anticipation for it:
"I think there's always going to be some value to the fight," Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz 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.'"
Get more news, opinion and analysis on Twitter: @agroberman
(Kudos Los Angeles Times)