Deep down, boxing enthusiasts always seemed to believe that somehow, some way, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao would find a way to put their differences aside for the greater good of the sport.
Now, however, that thought is drifting further and further away from reality, with both sides seemingly growing more reluctant to acknowledge the other as viable candidates for a future match.
Fresh off his recent controversial victory over Victor Ortiz this past weekend, Mayweather stopped to discuss his future prospects. Unfortunately, it didn’t sound like Pacquiao was one of them.
"I'm telling you, he doesn't want to fight," Mayweather said.
"We've been talking about this for the longest," he said. "This boy don't really want to fight. All this boy is doing is fighting my leftovers."
How accurate is that statement? Well, that’s for everyone to figure out on their own. On one hand, Pacquiao has seemingly agreed to just about everything that Mayweather has asked of him to date, ranging from drug-testing to purse size. Similarly, though, Mayweather has reportedly obliged on just about everything the other side has asked of him. Or so we thought, at least, until Pacquiao and Top Rank boss Bob Arum contradicted one another about how much money their undefeated arch rival was demanding.
Either way, regardless of who’s telling the truth, Mayweather isn’t alone in his observation of Pacquiao not wanting to fight him. His advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, recently had this to say:
"We don't have to wait on anyone," Ellerbe said, when asked if they would wait on the result of the coming Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. "I'm telling you right now, the only way that happens is if the little guy (Pacquiao) makes his promoter make it happen. That's the only way, because we know all of the other parties involved, and they don't want the fight."
The truly amazing thing about these endless discussions between both camps is how they consistently, publicly, say the exact opposite of what the other side maintains. And, along the same lines, how nobody ever steps up to prove the other side wrong. Whether it’s Mayweather claiming that Pacquiao refused the drug-testing rules he requested but not substantiating the claims, or Pacquiao claiming that Mayweather wants too much money when his promoter said the exact opposite – nothing appears to ever quite jive.
In a way, maybe it would be better if both men just came out and condemned one another once and for all, and said that they would never fight one another. Considering how close Pacquiao is to a potential match with Sergio Martinez, he doesn't even need Mayweather anymore. Maybe at that point, the boxing world can have some peace of mind and move on.