Sports

Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather: Is Bob Arum Finally Ready to Do Business?

| by Alex Groberman

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. both deserve a certain share of blame for their inability to come to terms on a super fight.

Sure, both men kind of, sort of agreed to the bout at various points when the other one wasn’t agreeing to it – but they’ve never legitimately okayed it. They’ve never done it in a way that could realistically put things in motion for the Dream Match to actually go down.

Whether the sticking point was performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), money or legal troubles, Pacquiao and Mayweather always seemed to find unique, fresh ways to avoid the only showdown anyone has actually wanted to see for the last three years.

And again, both fighters deserve blame for it. Mayweather does and should get criticized for constantly changing up his excuses regarding why specifically he won’t fight his Filipino counterpart. First it was PEDs. Then it was money. Then it was PEDs again. Then it was money again. And so on and so forth. Pacquiao also deserves some blame. He once promised Mayweather the “lion’s share” of a purse if Mayweather agreed to fight him – now he wants 50/50.

So yes, each guy has done something to illicit the ill-will that some fans have towards them.

But there is another conspirator in the apparent quest to make sure this fight doesn't happen. That conspirator? Bob Arum.

Few people in boxing have the sort of sway that Arum has. For all intents and purposes, he controls Pacquiao and Pacquiao’s fighting schedule for the foreseeable future. He controls HBO and Showtime (from a boxing standpoint.). He controls the entire sport, really.

If he actually wanted to set up Pacquiao vs. Mayweather match, he would have done so a long time ago.

We all know this.

For Arum, it’s been more profitable to simply let Pacquiao go up against other Top Rank fighters and collect his share from both sides of the plate, then to set up a Super Fight and only eat off one. Hence his apprehensiveness up to this point.

Up to this point.

There are some signs now, however, that Arum may finally be ready to play ball. Via Mark Whicker of the O.C. Register:

"It sounds like both guys are exhausted by the negotiations," Bob Arum said, as he visited Fortune Gym to watch Nonito Donaire and Jeffrey Mathebula work out before their super bantamweight championship match at Home Depot Center Saturday.

"They want to make the fight. They realize their careers are coming to an end. I think it's going to be next year. I think the odds are very, very good."

 "There seem to be stirrings from the other side," said Arum, who declined to elaborate.

Now, this is hardly a ringing endorsement for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, and we’ve all heard this sort of “positivity” before. Still, you have figure Arum is smart enough to know that there is nothing to gain from bringing up Mayweather now. The man is completely and totally forgotten. Pacquiao doesn’t have a fight to hype up. So why even broach the topic of Mayweather unless there is a legitimate reason to do so?

Regardless of what ultimately ends up happening, this much is for certain: if a showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao isn’t arranged before the end of this year (arranged, not fought), it’s probably safe to say that we’ll never get it.

(Kudos OC Register)

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