COMMENTARY | They say that money makes the world go 'round. Well, in boxing, it could very well be the case that "Money" Mayweather makes the world go 'round.
Not long after becoming a five-time winner of ESPN's ESPY Fighter of the Year Award, Floyd Mayweather sat down to talk with Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole about what it would now take to put together a dream fight with arch-rival, Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather spoke like a man well aware of how the game of public perception has changed over the last year or so when it comes to the seemingly endless Mayweather-Pacquiao rivalrym and he was not shy about insisting that he was now fully in the driver's seat, entitled to completely dictate all terms.
"Everybody's like, 'Aw, Pacquiao,' but I'm just letting you know he's not getting a fight with me," Mayweather told Iole. "The only way he's getting the fight with me is if he signs with Mayweather Promotions. He's got to give me fights with Mayweather Promotions. If he don't give me no fights under Mayweather Promotions, then he's not getting the fight. That's how it is working now, because the ball is in my court. The ball has been in my court. I have been the A side."
With his six-fight Showtime deal pushing him along to be more active, Mayweather has never been a bigger presence in the sport than he is right now. And should he defeat Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in impressive fashion on September 14 in Las Vegas, expect the five-division world champ's star to burn even brighter.
On the other hand, Pacquiao is coming off a two-fight losing streak and an ugly one-punch knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez that not only knocked him down a few pegs in the rankings, but also made him the target of numerous internet jokes and memes.
The Filipino icon will be facing Brandon Rios on November 23 in an extremely tough comeback bout with somewhat diminished impact since it will take place far away from the American market, in Macau, China. While a win will get him back in the good graces of the experts and analysts, the real power in boxing is in the box office and it's doubtful whether an Asia-based Pacquiao can generate anywhere near the drawing power in the West that he once did.
All of this feeds into Mayweather's assertion that he now holds all the cards. And if Pacquiao truly wants this fight, it looks as though he'll have to pack his things, leave Bob Arum, and align himself with Mayweather Promotions. Of course, none of this is likely.
But Pacquiao's contract with Top Rank is up at the end of 2014 and, by that time, Mayweather should be four fights into his six-fight Showtime deal and desperately looking for a bankable opponent. Barring retirement or some other unforeseen obstacle, Pacquiao will still be in a position to grab at that one fight he claims to want above all others.
Regardless of which side you believe in the ongoing Mayweather-Pacquiao debate, an independent Pacquiao can only be a positive development in getting things rolling. For years, Mayweather was accused of ducking Miguel Cotto, but was quick to sign against the Puerto Rican star when Cotto's deal with Top Rank expired and he became a free agent.
Will Mayweather still be in a position to demand options on future Pacquiao bouts by the time Manny is independent? Will Pacquiao be willing to sign himself to Mayweather's promotional team? Will a bout between a 38-year-old Mayweather and a 36-year-old Pacquiao in 2015 even matter at that point?
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Source: Yahoo Sports
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Manny Pacquiao