COMMENTARY | It seems that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will forever be connected. At least, that's the impression one gets from the way both fighters are covered by the media and by the way fans respond to news regarding either fighter.
When Pacquiao fights, a good share of the talk is directed at Floyd Mayweather. And, vice versa, any Mayweather news is met with copious amounts of Pacquiao talk.
The issues brought up are predictable-- they are brought up on every such occasion and at every possible opportunity. Talk circles around the mega-fight that might never get made and the respective legacies of both fighters. Among less polite company, words like "coward" and "duck" get tossed around. Often, Pacquiao-Mayweather talk degenerates into some ugly areas of racism and the propagation of unfounded rumors.
In the media, for the most part, the story has been painted as a battle between good and evil. The humble super-hero vs. the cowardly, money-grubbing villain. It's an easy angle to take and, conveniently, it fits right into the story being peddled by Pacquiao's mega-powerful propaganda team at Top Rank Promotions.
Mayweather's team, simply can't compete with the daily tsunami of wild propaganda, half-truths, and misdirections hurled at them. And, frankly, they are nowhere near as effective as Top Rank at spreading their own wild propaganda, half-truths, and misdirections. In the battle of propaganda, Team Pacquiao has already scored a second round TKO over Team Mayweather.
But, as is usually the case, the truth rests somewhere between the claims of both parties.
The bitter pill to swallow for both groups of fans (and pliable media-types) is that Manny and Floyd are more alike than they are different and have both worked behind massive double-standards.
No matter how much negativity is batted back and forth between both sides, the truth of the matter is that on the two occasions where all parties were actually talking, Pacquiao walked away both times, only to claim that he really does want the fight, well after talks have died and Mayweather had moved on to another opponent.
First, Mayweather's call for random blood testing led to Pacquiao walking away, with the 8-division champ only allegedly agreeing to terms after the issue had died and talks had long been ended. Then, Mayweather personally called Pacquiao to offer him a flat $40 million for a bout. But, despite having said weeks prior to the offer that he would settle for the lesser share of the purse in order to fight Mayweather, Pacquiao suddenly insisted on a 50-50 money split. Then, once again, after talks had died, Team Pacquiao revisited the idea of taking the lesser share of the money.
Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather has been stubborn in his insistence on dictating terms of the fight and indifferent to anything resembling real negotiation. Instead, he has seemed content with floating around the sport, allowing Golden Boy to offer up token opposition, and then proceeding to pick off one fighter at a time, just in order to keep himself rolling in spendable cash. Over the last six years or so, Mayweather has worked more earnestly at his role as B-list celebrity than A-list boxing elite.
So, put away the bias and the preconceived notions generated by a "flexible" media, there is one central theme to be found at the base of all this Pacquiao-Mayweather craziness. From the looks of things, neither fighter has been honestly pursuing a bout with the other. Both have hidden behind pretexts, excuses, and the help of manufactured public relations angles.
Good guy Pacquiao and bad guy Mayweather have a lot more in common than many are willing to admit.
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.