COMMENTARY | Manny Pacquiao, eight-division former world champ and no. 2 cash cow in the boxing business, apparently wants everyone to know that he is not desperate to fight Floyd Mayweather. He's so determined to get that point across to his adoring public that he's actually sounding more desperate than ever.
In a phone interview with Inquirer.net, the Filipino icon seemingly tried to badger, shame, coerce, and convince Mayweather that he should be the pound-for-pound top dog's next opponent.
"Floyd, if you're a real man, fight me," Pacquiao said. "Let's do it for the love of boxing and for the fans. Let's do it not for the sake of money. Let's make the boxing fans happy."
During the same interview, Pacquiao denied being in need of money and brushed off the widely-circulated stories of tax problems as mere record-keeping issues that his lawyers are already in the process of fixing.
His sudden hot pursuit of a Mayweather fight, according to him, is merely based on a desire to give the fans what they have been wanting for over four years already.
"I'm not desperate to fight him just for the sake of money or material things," Pacquiao assured. "I'm not the one seeking this fight; rather it's the boxing fans all over the world…I am ready to submit myself to any kind of stringent drug testing."
As apparent proof of his lack of financial need, Pacquiao also offered to turn the richest fight of all-time into a non-profit event benefitting charity.
"Above all," Pacquiao continued, "I challenge him to include in our fight contract that both of us will not receive anything out of this fight. We will donate all the proceeds from the fight-guaranteed prize, should there be any, gate receipts, pay-per-view and endorsements-to charities around the world."
Regardless of what either fighter may say, history tells us that neither can be trusted when it comes to an actual willingness to work through differences and get in the ring. When Mayweather has pursued the fight, Pacquiao has wavered and walked away. When Pacquiao has publicly declared his desire to fight, Mayweather has played coy and impossibly distant. To outsiders without a vested interest in either fighter, it appears as though neither guy is all that keen on facing the other.
However, as time is running out on the possibility of making this mega-bout, Pacquiao has become more vocal, more aggressive in the seeming pursuit of Mayweather.
Could this boldness be a result of Mayweather having shown so little recent interest in going back to try and make this bout? Would a suddenly ready and willing Mayweather find a once again belligerent Team Pacquiao standing between him and the bout, fingers pointed at Mayweather while they hustle Manny through the back door to an easier opponent?
Once again it should be noted that Mayweather and Pacquiao have only had direct talks on two occasions and, both times, Team Pacquiao flinched and walked away. Despite the bravado that has filled their press releases and media interviews; Team Pacquiao has only really been willing to crow about offering concessions and compromise when Mayweather-Pacquiao was a practical impossibility.
This latest tactic of Pacquiao's won't likely provoke anything but laughter and, maybe, stubborn defiance from Mayweather, who truly believes that he now holds all the cards in the Floyd-Manny rivalry.
If Pacquiao is honest about his burning desire to face Mayweather, he needs to accept the fact that the fight is now completely in Mayweather's hands. Equal footing and 50-50 negotiations are no longer part of the deal. Deep concessions will need to be made by Team Pacquiao because, like it or not, Mayweather is now alone at the top of the boxing food chain.
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.
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- Manny Pacquiao
- Floyd Mayweather