All signs point to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. not squaring off at any point in the foreseeable future. Obviously that can change if Pacquiao’s weekend contemplation session leads to him realizing that he wants to take down his undefeated arch rival – but it probably won’t.
No, we’ll most likely end up with the blandest lineup imaginable instead. Mayweather will probably find himself fighting on May 5 against ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and Pacquiao will take to the ring against one of any number of nobodies later that month. They’ll inevitably win their respective fights and remain boxing’s two top dogs, and the fans will keep yearning for the pair to square off as they have for years now.
Here’s the question that’s floating around in a lot of boxing circles these days: who will fans blame more if (read: when) Pacquiao vs. Mayweather doesn’t get put together for May as we had all hoped it would?
Over the last few weeks there has been a very unmistakable tide building against Pacquiao. Whereas he has traditionally been bulletproof in the eyes of boxing fans and the mainstream boxing media, these days he’s taking a lot of punches for what some are perceiving as inflexibility. The general consensus seems to be that he has the power to make a fight versus Mayweather happen, and that he is simply stubbornly refusing to act.
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Of course, it’s also worth remembering that what’s really happening here is that Pacquiao is allowing Bob Arum to lead him down a very questionable path. It’s not so much that the Filipino champion is being stubborn or inflexible, it’s moreso that he’s not taking control of his own destiny. Really, Pacquiao is basically allowing Arum’s greediness to halt progress that could obviously be made if he agreed to fight in early May.
So that’s the Pacquiao side things.
There’s also a good, healthy portion of the boxing fan population that still blames Mayweather for this fight not happening. Sure the undefeated champion is being vocal and aggressive about putting a fight together in the here and now – but where was he for the last two years? Where was he when Pacquiao was calling him out for ducking? Where was he when stupid performance-enhancing drug (PED) stipulations led to ridiculous court cases instead of negotiations for the greatest fight in boxing history?
Being enthusiastic and trying to make this match happen for two weeks doesn’t make up for two years of carelessness.
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If this fight doesn’t end up taking place, the blame should probably fall somewhere in the middle. Over the last two years the boxing community has wised up to the fact that both of these guys have allowed a combination of useless middlemen, bad attitudes, cash, PEDs and a myriad of other nonsensical things wreck the only match anyone wants to see.
Unfortunately, that realization of what’s really going on hasn’t translated into smaller pay-per-view (PPV) totals for either fighter. Maybe if it did, they’d actually realize how big of a deal this fight is.
What do you think: who will end up getting more blame if Pacquiao vs. Mayweather ultimately doesn’t come together?