Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have been engaged in their little dance for several years now. Ever since the latter returned from his post-Ricky Hatton sabbatical, fans and analysts have consistently wondered if and when they’d agree to square off for what would inarguably be the biggest fight in boxing history.
What has changed in recent times isn’t the demand for Pacquiao-Mayweather, because it’s still there. Rather, the real difference between then and now is the bargaining power each guy has. In the past Mayweather and Pacquiao were essentially viewed as equals; each had a fair claim to receiving however much money they wanted, not however much money others wanted them to have.
That’s no longer the case.
After the Juan Manuel Marquez fight, Pacquiao lost any and all leverage he had. For better or worse, despite the fact that he only has one legitimate loss on his record in the past seven years, he is no longer seen as a top-tier fighter. Thus, Mayweather holds all the cards.
In recent months, Pacquiao and his camp have made it clear that they’re still very interested in a showdown against the sport’s current pound-for-pound king. As recently as this past week, in fact, Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz basically called Mayweather out while responding to his comments about Pacquiao being washed up.
“This is America and everybody is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “However, if Floyd truly believes his statements are true then one would think he would jump to fight Manny.”
Koncz’s statement there is the equivalent of getting down on your knees and begging for a fight. But while he’s saying all the right things now, what really matters is how much money his guy is willing to give up.
In the past, when Mayweather and Pacquiao were viewed as more or less equals, the latter was willing to give up the majority of the purse in order to secure a fight with Mayweather. It wasn’t enough. Mayweather wanted him to give up the PPV dough in its entirety.
Now Pacquiao has far less leverage than he had back then.
If the Filipino star truly wants to take down Mayweather, verbally taunting him and being mildly conciliatory isn’t going to be enough – he’s going to need to part ways with a lot of dough, too.