COMMENTARY | The world's best boxer is Floyd Mayweather. Boxing's biggest money fighter is Floyd Mayweather. These are two statements that even the most rabid of Mayweather critics can't deny. One has been decided by the collective wisdom of the boxing media via pound for pound status, the other is based on actual sales numbers. If there was ever anything akin to absolute truth in the chaotic world of big-time boxing, those two statements would make the cut as 100% factual.
Mayweather, basking in the glow of his undisputed dominance and king status, has decided to wield his power with an iron fist, at least when it comes to Manny Pacquiao.
The five-division world champ, who is currently in the process of selecting his next opponent for a scheduled May 3 date, has made it clear that his Filipino arch-nemesis is not in the running and, as a matter of fact, is no longer even worthy of consideration.
"When he had his opportunity and he had his chance, I guess he was tooting his own horn and he felt like he was on the same level as me," Mayweather recently told Ben Thompson of Fighthype.com. "So when I offered you $40 million, you turned it down. I offered Manny Pacquiao $40 million and he said he wanted 50/50. So now, you took two back-to-back losses, and from what I hear, I don't know for a fact, but from what I hear, you got tax problems and now you're begging to get the fight. You could care less if you win; all you want to do is fight Floyd Mayweather to clean up a tax bill basically...so now, who is he chasing?
"I don't knock him for doing it, but all the cards are in my hand....Let's talk facts! Pacquiao got pay-per-view number problems. Pacquiao's boss name is Rob Arum. Pacquiao owes $68 million in taxes. Pacquiao's got 5 losses. He still got Timothy Bradley problems and Marquez problems...So this guy's got all these problems and he wants Floyd Mayweather to solve them for him, huh? First he didn't need me; now he needs me. He's willing to do anything now after his career done took a major setback."
It's clear that Mayweather, for a very long time now, has had a major problem with sharing top billing with Pacquiao as boxing's biggest star. Now, at a time when Mayweather has clearly established his status as boxing top dog/cash cow, the current welterweight and junior middleweight world titlist is acting the part of an angry, spiteful king.
What Mayweather needs to realize, though, is that his lashing out at Team Pacquiao is also keeping fans from getting the fight they have been demanding for the better part of four years. His efforts to push Manny Pacquiao into a subservient position may have killed the last glimmer of hope for the mega-fight. This recent media attack from Mayweather reinforces his role as the unyielding king and sets the bar for a Pacquiao bout so high that it just may be impossible for Manny to ever negotiate on even terms with him.
According to Mayweather, Pacquiao's checklist for mega-bout qualification now includes revenge victories over Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, a willingness to take a lesser share of the financial pie, and, perhaps most important, a decision to sever all business ties with current promoter Bob Arum.
Mayweather, an ex-Arum fighter, has gone especially public with his disdain for Arum in recent months and has made it clear that he will never do business with his former promoter again. Arum, despite making similar statements against Mayweather and advisor Al Haymon in the past, now says that he's fine with Mayweather and actually has a good relationship with him.
But is any of this talk of Pacquiao jumping through hoops even necessary? Mayweather may have already defeated Pacquiao without ever having shared the same ring.
Respected by the experts, rich beyond belief, and riding a wave of unprecedented good fortune, Mayweather has become no. 1 without ever fighting the no. 2. And now, with the no. 2 pushed down to no. 5 or 6, a case could be made that Mayweather has already won the war.
Yes, Pacquiao is and will remain the obvious opponent for Mayweather. But is the gap between the two now wide enough so that some deep, deep concessions have to be made by Team Pacquiao before being granted a chance to negotiate? And if the gap between the two really is that wide, how can the case be made that Mayweather must fight him or face any consequences?
The fact may be that Mayweather has, indeed, defeated Pacquiao without ever having landed a punch. It's not a popular statement to make, and certainly not one conducive to making Mayweather-Pacquiao, but it's a sure thing that Mayweather truly believes it.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. 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.
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Manny Pacquiao