If you believe the so-called “truth” that Manny Pacquiao is trying to peddle, he and his trainer Freddie Roach desperately wanted Floyd Mayweather Jr. instead of Antonio Margarito for November 13.
Going by their statements, they did “everything” they possibly could to secure a bout with Mayweather for that date. They agreed to every condition, every demand, and yet Mayweather wanted no part of them.
"I don't need him, he needs me," Pacquiao said of Mayweather, during a stop Wednesday in New York to promote his upcoming fight. "Compare my achievements in boxing to his achievements."
Has there ever been a shrewder PR “nice guy” in boxing than Pacquiao? This man, no doubt through his time in Philippine politics, has become an absolute mastermind when it comes to playing with the thoughts and emotions of his devoted followers. At this point, he can say just about anything his national fan club will swoon.
The problem is that Pacquiao is wrong, on multiple levels.
First and foremost, he only began to “agree to all demands” when he had already purposely agitated Mayweather to the point of withdrawing his initial conditions. For those who have forgotten, here is a brief rundown of how this whole thing played out:
This past February fight negotiations broke down between Pacquiao and Mayweather when the Filipino boxer said he was offended that Mayweather insisted he subject himself to a particular brand of drug testing. Feelings were hurt, defamation suits were threatened, and ultimately, a fight date was never set.
Sometime later, after the demands by Mayweather had already been withdrawn, Pacquiao magically changed his tune. For no reason at all, he suddenly wasn’t so offended at the prospect of taking a completely normal, completely reasonable check for performance enhancing substances.
From that point on, ironically as soon as Mayweather withdrew his conditions, Pacquiao has been following him around like a lost puppy. The entire thing is vaguely similar to what happens when a kid knows that someone won’t fight them back, so they proceed to pick on said kid. The Filipino star was quiet as a mouse when Mayweather was making his demands and wanted to fight, but as soon as Mayweather withdrew the offer and said he wasn’t interested anymore, magically, Pacquiao wanted to fight.
It’s a tired charade but, again, Pacquiao knows he can do no wrong in the eyes of his devoted cult followers. Mayweather is seen as a villain whose arrogance and big mouth make him easy to hate, so Pacquiao plays off that.
Again, for those who seem to conveniently forget the facts involved in the Mayweather-Pacquiao saga: Pacquiao waited three months to finally agree to Mayweather’s terms.
The other ridiculous flaw in Pacquiao’s recent quote is that somehow Mayweather’s legacy is lessened by him not engaging the Filipino boxer in his childish games. Mayweather’s undefeated career has spanned over more than a decade. He could go out, lose to Pacquiao tomorrow, collect his enormous paycheck from the fight, and still retire as one of the greatest boxers of all time. However, because that fight has never happened, Mayweather could retire tomorrow with a nice shiny word by his name that hasn’t been used to describe Pacquiao in years: undefeated.
Who knows, at some point Mayweather may choose to accept Pacquiao’s ridiculously late agreement to fight him. But until that happens, he can rest comfortably knowing that, unlike his counterpart, he is undefeated, demands more money than anyone in his class and has Pacquiao desperately clinging to PR victories because he knows how badly he needs a bout with Mayweather for his legacy.