Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. both deserve blame for their all-talk, half-hearted efforts at putting a match together. Discussions have gone on long enough for both men to be held culpable. That being said, Pacquiao is not doing his reputation any favors by continuing to try to push away his would-be opponent with this undeniably dumb, completely ridiculous defamation suit.
Late last week, USA Today got its hands on court documents in which Pacquiao -- through his attorneys -- filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Nevada urging for a default against Mayweather in their highly publicized defamation lawsuit. The defamation suit cited multiple examples of Mayweather and assorted members of his family alleging that Pacquiao used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), an insulting claim that has never been substantiated in any way.
One of Pacquiao’s attorneys, Daniel Petrocelli, made it clear that the move was coming as a result of Mayweather’s refusal to show up on any of the 24 court dates offered to him over the last few months. Furthermore, Petrocelli noted that his team would seek more than $10 million damages -- plus attorney’s fees, of course -- from the case.
For his part, Mayweather maintains that he cannot make any of the scheduled court appearances because of the training sessions he has to participate in for a September 17 bout against Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Obviously, Mayweather’s defense is completely nonsensical. He could very easily find the time to go to court, and he’s simply using this convenient “training” excuse as just that – an excuse.
The problem, however, is that Pacquiao is prolonging this whole mess by insisting that Mayweather show up to court. What exactly is the point of this futile exercise? Does he really need $10 million of his undefeated counterpart’s money that badly? Are the rumors that Pacquiao isn’t as well off as some would assume true?
Pacquiao and Mayweather are in a very delicate predicament right now. Both are self-centered, annoying prima donnas who will get angry and walk away from negotiations at the slightest bump in the road. Yet, somehow, despite all that, negotiations have still progressed for over a year now. Even Top Rank boss, longtime Pacquiao ally Bob Arum has admitted that Mayweather has come off of some of his early demands in the spirit of getting a deal done.
Money is no longer a hurdle in putting this fight together. PED testing is still an issue, but not as big as it once was. Heck, the two sides -- Mayweather’s crazy uncle notwithstanding -- have even stopped yapping through the press. And now, with things finally going in the right direction, Pacquiao decides this is the opportune time to poke the tiger and take the defamation suit to the next level?
Pacquiao knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s pushing this fight further and further away from the fans who are pining to see it. He’s trying to get under Mayweather’s skin in any way he can, when in truth, he should be worried about his own upcoming fight.
Once upon a time, Mayweather was to blame for the dream fight with Pacquiao not happening. His inflexibility regarding drug testing was a sticking point for way too long. But Pacquiao isn’t innocent in all this either. He purposely waited to agree to drug testing before weirdly agreeing to the original testing requirements at the exact moment when Mayweather asked for new, stiffer stipulations. His bizarre recent pronouncement that he doesn’t trust the USADA and would only submit drug testing to the WADA is equally bewildering.
Now, however, he’s taking it to a whole new level with this ludicrous defamation suit. If Mayweather calls off talks for a potential bout between the two because of Pacquiao’s incessant, childish demands for his attention in court, Pacquiao will be to blame for the most important boxing match in over a decade not being put together.
Time for Pacquiao to grow up.