The growing hostility between Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s camp and Manny Pacquiao’s Top Rank crew is in some ways becoming more fascinating than their potential dream fight.
In the weeks leading up to Mayweather’s match against Victor Ortiz, Pacquiao and Bob Arum -- while appearing their own press tour -- seemingly took every opportunity available to discuss their arch nemesis’s future and flaws.
Much in the same way that Floyd never shuts up about Manny “taking the test,” despite the latter fighter publicly acknowledging that he would, Mayweather seemed equally intent on assassinating the undefeated champ’s character – even if they contradicted each other doing it.
Then, after Mayweather defeated Ortiz in a very controversial manner this past weekend, he wasted no time before again taking shots at Arum, Pacquiao and the media, who he perceives are plotting against him.
"I don't know if the reporters are on the payroll with Bob Arum or not. I forgot, because when I was with Bob Arum, he said, you know what, Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter I have ever had, but then once I left his company and became my own boss, then it's like he is ducking this guy and he is ducking that guy. Everybody they say I am ducking is with Bob Arum. But that comes with the territory. You live and you learn."
This, of course, isn’t the first time that Mayweather has harsh words for his old promoter – with their complex dynamic even being unordinary back when they were working together. Ever since the pair parted ways, though, their relationship has been particularly hostile, which no doubt contributes at least partially to the lack of progress they have in regards to a fight with Pacquiao.
Mayweather’s problem at this point, however, is that while he is his own boss -- as he never lets us forget -- he doesn’t carry nearly the same amount of sway that Arum does. Don’t forget, the famed Top Rank boss was instrumental in helping orchestrate the exit of ex-HBO president, Ross Greenburg.
Apparently, Floyd doesn’t care. To him, calling his own shots and running the show by himself is worth the flack he’ll get as a result.
“You take Pacquiao or any other athlete," said Mayweather." They tell them this is your date, this is when you have to fight. I move when I want to move. I fight when I want to fight. That’s a great thing about my career. That's a great thing about being my own boss."
Like a kid who moves away from home, Floyd appears to be relishing the independence and freedom he now has from his prior “oppressive” situation back at Top Rank. What he’s not realizing, however, is the damage he’s inflicting on himself by being so difficult to work with. Being your own boss only works so long as someone is giving you work, and if Mayweather continues down this road, those big PPV buys may dwindle down and, eventually, disappear altogether.
Already, Pacquiao is seeking out an alternative “megafight” with Sergio Martinez, all the while Mayweather is relegated to hoping that a (less attractive) match against Amir Khan comes together.
Bad feelings and anger is obviously a key part of boxing, but Mayweather can’t continue to allow his ill-will towards Top Rank to so drastically influence his judgment.
In order to carve out a place in boxing lore for one’s self, a boxer, Mayweather included, must finish out his career in as dominant fashion as he started. With all of these childish antics he’s partaken in over the last couple of years, though, Mayweather isn’t hurting Pacquiao’s legacy – he’s hurting his own.