Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have always had a very contentious relationship. By now, everyone knows their history and why we are where we currently are. What is a little less clear, however, is why both men have behaved as they have over the past few years. Why has there consistently been so much stubbornness, inflexibility and, at times, childishness on display? The answer to that question can be summed up in one word.
Plain and simple, the reason Pacquiao and Mayweather haven’t committed to a fight yet is because of pride.
Think back – what was the initial stumbling block? The first negotiating sticking point, before purse split become a popular discussion item, was PED testing. Mayweather legitimately believed that Pacquiao could beat him. Not that he would beat him, mind you – that he could beat him. And essentially, by requesting stringent PED testing, Mayweather was ensuring that he would not lose to a guy on PEDs. That’s how it started. Eventually, making Pacquiao submit to his demands became a point of pride for Mayweather. But at the beginning, it was never a case of Mayweather truly believing that Pacquiao was on PEDs. It was just him wanting to limit the means by which he could possibly lose, no matter how unlikely it was that Pacquiao was actually on something.
And why did he want to limit the means by which he could potentially lose? Because his ego couldn’t handle a loss. His spotless record means too much to him.
Along the same lines, this new purse split argument was and is all about pride. Mayweather felt (and still does, apparently) that his résumé makes him the best pound-for-pounder in the world today. That, in his mind, entitles him a bigger portion of the purse split against any foe – including Pacquiao. Conversely, Pacquiao originally felt as though his consistently dominant showings during Mayweather’s sabbatical from boxing entitled him to a 50-50 split. He was too prideful to take anything less, because taking less would have been an acknowledgement that he is ‘less’ than his arch rival.
For his part, Pacquiao has evolved since taking that initial firm stance. He has offered Mayweather a bigger share of the purse. Unfortunately, Mayweather’s pride is still a major obstacle – one that isn’t going to become less of a problem at any point in the foreseeable future.
Recently, Roger Mayweather did an interview during which he basically echoed that sentiment.
“Problem ain't no money, my nephew is undefeated! It ain't going to be no problem about money cause everybody knows who's going to get the most money cause who's got the best record?”
For what it’s worth, though, Roger Mayweather thinks the fight is still going to happen.
“The fight will happen. If we give him that $40 million, $45 million it's going to happen, $45-50 million he's going to fight for it. You think he ain't?” he said.
Pride is the reason this bout hasn’t happened yet. And unless Mayweather gets his pride in check for the greater good, it very well may end up being the reason this bout never happens.