Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may fight at some point in the foreseeable future. The latter might finally realize that not going up against the only man who is considered to be his equal will do irreparable harm to his career; the former might ultimately determine that sacrificing any sum of money is worth it if that will result in this match happening. Neither of these notions is as impossible as they at times appear.
There is one thing that won’t happen, though. And it’s important to note that one thing now, so that nobody needlessly puts any stock into it possibly happening. What is the one thing that won’t happen? 50 Cent will not be the man who puts this bout together.
That shipped has sailed.
Once upon a time, when Mayweather and 50 Cent were inseparable, it made sense that he could play a middleman role in negotiations with Pacquiao’s camp. He was a respected businessman that was (at most) trusted and (at the very least) respected by all parties involved. He had the political capital to get this deal done.
But then he squandered it.
Whether 50 Cent wants to admit it or not, he no longer has any sort of sway over Mayweather. Zero. The fact that Mayweather essentially refuses to acknowledge 50’s presence these days (all the while 50 can’t help but name drop Mayweather at every turn) sort of speaks for itself.
Last week, Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports sat down with 50 Cent. Naturally, he was charmed by the rapper turned mogul. Here was what he wrote of 50’s ability to help make Pacquiao vs. Mayweather a reality:
A win Saturday and once again talk will pick back up about if and when Pacquiao will face Mayweather.
Jackson is positioned perfectly to make the fight happen. He's been Mayweather's long-time friend, but as a boxing fan he wants to see his buddy fight Pacquiao as badly as anyone.
Nonsense. This was true six months ago – it’s not true anymore. In order to be “perfectly positioned to make the fight happen,” 50 Cent would have to be in the inner circle of one of the parties involved and trusted by the other. He fails on both counts.
An example of why Mayweather and 50 Cent are no longer the close friends they once were could be found further down in the same Yahoo! Sports piece:
Mayweather, Jackson believes, wants the majority of the earnings for himself.
"Having to pay that kind of money really irritates Floyd," Jackson said. "He feels that when someone is making more money than they ever made, they shouldn't be asking for more. He feels like he's the star and he should be making the money and they should be thanking him for what he's willing to pay them."
He said Mayweather is "hand-picking opponents" and "looking for a reason not to take the [Pacquiao] fight."
Is all of that true? Is he “looking for a reason” to not fight Pacquiao? Maybe. Who knows. But the fact that 50 Cent would say it to one of the most well-known boxing writers on the planet, knowing full well that it would be plugged into every sports headline one day later, speaks volumes about his relationship with Mayweather.
And, by extension, his ability to make this fight happen.
Once upon a time 50 Cent was in great position to pit the two best pound-for-pounders in the world against one another. That time has passed.