Last week, Floyd Mayweather Jr. rocked the world to its very core when he proclaimed that Manny Pacquiao was an “unbelievable” fighter.
Given some of the terse exchanges that this pair has had over the past three years, Mayweather’s unexpected compliment threw boxing fans everywhere for a loop.
Brace yourselves for yet another shocker.
Apparently, discussions are currently underway that would culminate in Pacquiao and Mayweather squaring off in April 2013.
While we have admittedly been led down this path before only to be crushed when things didn’t fully materialize, there is a different air about what’s going on now. There is a certain positivity surrounding this situation that was noticeably absent in years past.
During a recent interview with the good folks at Boxing Scene, here is how Top Rank boss Bob Arum broke down some of the progress that has been made between his camp and Mayweather’s.
Arum spoke to BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard while being driven home from the airport after his arrival in the United States. He told us he had discussed a possible fight with Mayweather Jr. and added “we are optimistic for April next year.”
But what about the revenue split issue? You’ll recall, Mayweather made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions over the past 12 months that he would not give his arch rival any of the pay-per-view dough from a potential showdown. Pacquiao, on the flip side, has been demanding a 50-50 purse split for the better part of a year. Via that same report:
Arum was confident that the issue of a revenue split which proved to be one of the stumbling blocks in the past could be resolved. Arum said “I know how to handle that with the Mayweather people and do the best deal possible and then get back to Manny. "
Saying that Arum’s comments there are huge would be an understatement. If they could somehow get past the revenue split issue, that would eliminate the single biggest impediment to a Dream Match out there right now. Everything beyond that is small potatoes.
The obvious question as it pertains to these latest developments is clearly: what changed? How is today any different from three, five, ten or twelve months ago? Mayweather’s jail time? Pacquiao’s loss to Bradley? What has caused this seismic shift?
50 Cent, apparently.
Again, via Boxing Scene:
The entry of Mayweather’s close friend and associate Curtis Jackson, popularly known as 50 Cent, into the promotional business, has been a plus according to Arum who told us “he appears to me to be a real businessman with no agenda like some of the other guys so I think we can get a deal done.”
Arum was clearly referring to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions who had handled Mayweather’s recent fights reportedly for a flat fee.
And there’s your answer.
Look, we’ve obviously played this game before. We’ve obviously been disappointed by this group in the past. We’ve had our hopes lifted and crushed on many, many occasions.
But something about this particular instance feels different.
Something about the optimism coming from Arum, the common decency being displayed by Mayweather, and the general sense of purpose surrounding both camps makes it seem like this bout could really finally happen.
Is there a chance that everything will collapse, like it has on numerous occasions in the past? Sure.
Is it okay to start getting a little excited despite that, though?