Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have a history that speaks for itself. First Mayweather supposedly came out of his brief sabbatical, or retirement, or whatever that was, to prove that he was better than Pacquiao. Then when the two finally seemed to set their sights on fighting one another, Mayweather demanded an unprecedented amount of performance enhancing-drug (PED) testing from his Filipino rival. Pacquiao rejected the offer at first, for reasons that nobody was quite clear on, before relenting and agreeing to the testing after Mayweather had already pulled the offer off the table.
Fans went through this process, off and on, for the next two years. Sometimes PEDs were the sticking point. Other times it was money. And that’s to say nothing of the unspoken impact that Bob Arum had on the whole thing.
The bottom line is: you could blame anyone for Mayweather-Pacquiao not coming together, and you’d be justified in doing so. There are no facts when it comes to this pair’s history, just bits and pieces that observers have been forced to put together in an effort to get some semblance of a rational reason for why what would have been the biggest fight ever never actually happened.
Again, we don’t know why Mayweather-Pacquiao repeatedly collapsed prior to today. However, thanks to an interview Bob Arum recently gave to an Australian radio show, we know why it’s not happening now.
It’s because, apparently, after two consecutive losses, Pacquiao isn’t confident enough in his skills to commit to the biggest match of his career.
While speaking with Mark Fine recently, Arum was pressed on the likelihood of Mayweather-Pacquiao being put together. This was his reply: "If Manny demonstrates that he’s back and there’s a public outcry, we should be able to get it done.”
That’s it. Not any sort of reasonable financial split. Not PED testing. The thing that is holding up Mayweather-Pacquiao at this point is whether or not the latter still has what it takes to legitimately challenge the former.
Here is to hoping that, if Pacquiao beats Brandon Rios this November, we don’t start hearing about money and drug testing as major impediments to Mayweather-Pacquiao. That should no longer be, and clearly isn’t, a legitimate obstacle anymore. And if anyone tries to make it one going forward, then we’ll know who was truly ducking who the entire time.