Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Scared Of Manny Pacquiao?
As the deadline passed for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to respond to whether or not he would face Manny Pacquiao in an epic November 13th showdown between the two best fighters in the world, murmurs started circulating that perhaps Mayweather was possibly scared to put his undefeated record on the line against the Filipino wrecking machine.
Allow me to put that to rest.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is certainly not scared to fight Manny Pacquiao.
The reason that he didn’t respond to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum‘s deadline request is simple.
Nobody puts Floyd Mayweather Jr. on a deadline as “Money” answers to nobody.
When the deadline originally surfaced and an absurd midnight conference call was scheduled to announce if Mayweather met the 11:59 pm July 16th deadline, Arum knew that Mayweather wasn’t going to respond. Nobody heard a peep out of Mayweather since the one-sided negotiations began. Arum mentioned he spoke with Mayweather adviser Al Haymon—someone who he has a well-documented history of terrible relationships with—and was negotiating the fight. There was no talk of Mayweather’s manager Leonard Ellerbe, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer or any of the Mayweathers being involved. But Arum swears by it and stated that the negotiations had taken place through Haymon on the dreary conference call which appears as an attempt to force Mayweather’s hand rather than giving it a fair shake.
But as us boxing journalists know, nobody tells Floyd Mayweather what to do or when to do it by.
Ellerbe released a statement shortly after the deadline that read as follows…
“Here are the facts. Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer and myself speak to each other on a regular basis, and the truth is no negotiations have ever taken place nor was there ever a deal agreed upon by Team Mayweather or Floyd Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao on November 13. Either Ross Greenburg or Bob Arum is not telling the truth, but history tells us who is lying.”
If you know anything about Arum, Ellerbe, Mayweather and boxing, you know that Arum has a fondness for stretching the truth. Ellerbe is typically a straight shooter.
But what do we make of the latest gaffe that probably will keep us from a Mayweather vs Pacquiao showdown until the early part of 2011? Simply put, we have two massive teams with monster egos who both feel they don’t need the other for a big fight. Pacquiao is certainly not scared to fight Mayweather. He just didn’t like the insinuation that he has used PEDs in the past and wouldn’t be held hostage by Olympic style drug testing. Mayweather has proven he is the best fighter in the world and, until someone else can prove him wrong, will continue to be the top dog in boxing. Skeptics can put Pacquiao on the top of their fictional pound-for-pound lists, but I cannot put anyone ahead of Mayweather until someone puts him down.
Somehow, someway, these two sides are going to have to think about what’s better for the sport rather than what’s better for their egos. Both stand to make boatloads of money for having the fight. Both know they can win. But both don’t feel like they have to fight each other to prove it. Bob Arum will pair Pacquiao with any of his Top Rank second-tier fighters so he can cash checks to himself. Mayweather is busy dealing with his Uncle Roger‘s upcoming trial which could leave him without a trainer (and honestly, this may be the real reason Mayweather didn’t sign for November 13th). He’ll vacation in Miami, count his money and flash his million-dollar smile.
But this isn’t about fear. This is about business. Mayweather has to have his business right before he puts his body on the line against any fighter. He’s told me this personally before the Ricky Hatton fight, the Marquez fight and the Mosley fight. He’ll bend for nobody. If he’s not calling the shots, well, no shots will be heard. It’s as simple as that.
But somebody has to figure out how to get these two in the ring. If they don’t, boxing will be forever doomed.