At this point, can anyone actually accurately explain why negotiations between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fell apart?
You know, beyond the common knowledge that Mayweather wanted Pacquiao to submit to crazy levels of performance-enhancing drug PED) tests, and Pacquiao didn’t want to submit to them but inevitably did, but then Mayweather said he didn’t, and Pacquiao said he did, and so on and so forth? If the answer is “no” fear not, because you’re not alone.
The truth is nobody actually knows why negotiations between the pair fell apart. Folks can speculate, clearly, but nobody can say for certain why things didn’t go according to plan. All anyone knows for certain is that Mayweather has publicly admitted to contradicting himself on the matter, and that Pacquiao has inadvertently contradicted himself on the matter at least once. Beyond that – it’s all speculative.
Because there is so little legitimate, valid information out there on the matter, it’s important to piece together details based on interviews that various parties connected to Pacquiao and Mayweather make. These interviews, fortunately, give us a limited window into the reality of negotiations even if they do come with some inherent bias based on who is answering the questions.
During a recent interview with RingTV, Freddie Roach got very honest about what he felt took the negotiations train off its track.
Here is how the whole PED debacle went down, in his words:
“Well, the first time, Manny refused to do the drug test that Mayweather wanted. That drug test is not mandated by any commission in the world. Mayweather doesn't make the rules of boxing So I would say that that's Mayweather's fault,” Road said.
When pressed on the specifics of the matter, however, Roach found himself oddly out of the loop.
“I believe 14 days, but to be honest with you, I wasn't a part of that part of the negotiations. I know that Manny and Arum worked that out. I do forget how many days that it was. It was either 10 or 14, but I really don't know for sure,” he said.
The simple fact that not even one of Pacquiao’s closest confidants knows the true details of just how tangled up the PED discussions between Pacquiao and Mayweather were should tell you something.
Nevertheless, according to the famed trainer -- who, in all fairness, is one of Pacquiao’s most trusted advisors -- Mayweather was at fault for the PED side of things. Fair enough.
But there was also the financial aspect which, for whatever reason, never seemed to get as much in the way of headlines as the drug stuff.
“The second time we agreed to everything, and he wouldn't sign the contract and said that he wanted $100 million instead and turned down a $50 million offer,” Roach lamented.
“I believe that Mayweather pulled out of that one also. And I haven't heard a word from Mayweather's camp since then. There has been no attempt at negotiations so there has been nothing.”
Roach’s sentiment here is interesting for a couple of reasons. One, it goes directly against what Top Rank boss Bob Arum once said – and that was that Mayweather had agreed to a 50-50 split. That money, really, was no longer a stumbling block in negotiations.
Interestingly enough, Pacquiao once famously also said that he thought money was a stumbling block for the fight not coming together even after Arum had admitted that this was not the case.
So perhaps the problem lays with Arum not disclosing the full details of negotiations to Pacquiao and Roach. Or maybe Arum is sabotaging a potential superfight between Pacquiao and Mayweather so that he can keep his golden goose fighting other Top Rank fighters (i.e. the hapless Timothy Bradley).
No matter what, this little glimpse into how much Roach actually knows about why negotiations fell apart between Pacquiao and Mayweather says a lot about how even in the insiders have been kept out of the loop. And if the insiders have so little information to work with, how can the general public be expected to know the truth?