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Floyd Mayweather: Shrewd or Cowardly for Nixing Possibility of Pacquiao Fight?

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COMMENTARY | Let's face it, it's hard to dive into the Mayweather-Pacquiao fiasco without being accused of favoring one side or the other.

Both fan bases are so rabidly loyal to their guy that anything resembling reasonable debate is all but impossible at this point. Even among the media, supposedly impartial journalists have chosen sides and allow their own personal opinions to influence allegedly neutral news reports and/or analysis.

So, to put things as directly as possible, fans are not likely to ever get a completely unbiased account of the Pacquiao-Mayweather situation. They will probably never get a completely accurate report of what has been done by both sides to kill boxing's richest fight. Even when one side acts in a completely reasonable manner, expect the other side to complain bitterly.

Pacquiao people will point to the fact that Manny has publicly stated his desire to face Mayweather and, at least, on the surface, has eventually come along on Mayweather's initial demands for random blood testing.

Mayweather people will point to the fact that this bout was signed, sealed, and nearly delivered before Pacquiao's refusal to commit to true random blood testing led to Team Pacquiao walking away. Since then, stories of Pacquiao's willingness to compromise were floated out to the press, but never actually during any real, face-to-face negotiations.

Whatever the case, both fighters have since moved on and Mayweather, whether one likes the man or not, has simply moved ahead of his Filipino rival. In terms of money generation and recent ring resume, Mayweather has far surpassed the fighter who was his neck-to-neck nemesis for several years.

So, as the undisputed top dog, Mayweather has chosen to flex his muscles and insist that all bouts, even against his closest money rival, be on his terms and his terms only.

"The only way he's getting the fight with me is if he signs with Mayweather Promotions," Mayweather told Yahoo's Kevin Iole back in July. "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."

Just as in any other business, the No. 1 doesn't come to the No. 2, hat in hands, to plead for a cooperation deal. If Coke passes Pepsi in sales by a wide margin, one would never expect to see Coke make a deal that would facilitate Pepsi's return to prominence. If, instead of Mayweather, Pacquiao was the one riding high, would we see Top Rank bending over backwards to bring Mayweather back to the top without wanting some major concessions?

In Mayweather's case, those concessions seem to be that Top Rank, former promoter and now hated rival, be left out of the business equation. Mayweather essentially wants to employ the same in-house deal Top Rank has insisted upon for all of its recent bouts involving Pacquiao. It's the perfect no-lose situation for those strong enough to insist upon it. Mayweather, obviously, feels like he's powerful enough to swing this type of deal now.

With Pacquiao's promotional deal with Top Rank expiring at the end of 2014, this power play is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. If Team Pacquiao wants Mayweather as much as they say, then there's no reason not to consider giving Mayweather some future fight options in exchange for a legacy-defining fight and Pacquiao's biggest payday, by far.

The critics may label this attempted power play by Mayweather as cowardly or devious, but, in reality, it's only good business and, as we all know, the five-division world champ prides himself on being the pound-for-pound king of shrewd boxing businessmen.

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.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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