COMMENTARY | Yes, I do understand the irony of writing a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao article about not caring to see another Mayweather vs. Pacquiao article, but it's important to get this out there and pushed down several thousand (maybe several million) gullets.
Mayweather and Pacquiao will never fight one another-- and now it's absolutely official.
The highly divisive issue of who to blame in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fiasco has been a hot topic on most boxing websites, social media, and message boards. And, as much as those in the wannabe boxing intelligentsia like to look down their noses and scoff at the "low-brow" banter of the "less sophisticated" fan, the Floyd vs. Manny melodrama is still, perhaps, the biggest story in the sport.
But, finally, it's time to retire the topic and move on. After all, it should be obvious by now that it won't be happening. Previously, both parties would give lip service to the mega-fight while, very obviously, moving in opposite directions. Now, though, neither side is even giving pretense to wanting the bout. No more fake posturing and after-the-fact negotiating from Team Pacquiao, no more arrogant ambivalence and media manipulation from Team Mayweather. Just the nothingness of two ships that never even passed in the night and, really, were never even in the same ocean at the same time.
Forget the fact that the dream bout would've happened back in 2010 if Team Pacquiao had not refused to entertain the idea of true random blood testing. Forget the insulting $40 million flat fee Mayweather offered Pacquiao early in 2012.
Everyone has apparently moved on, as evidenced by Bob Arum's Mayweather-less Pacquiao talk in recent days.
The aged promoter, who previously would cram in a Mayweather mention and a headline-grabbing hint at a maybe, possibly, could be opening to put THE fight together, has not even uttered the name of his former "greatest fighter he's ever seen" since Pacquiao got faceplanted by Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8.
If one didn't know better you'd think that Manny's KO loss was almost a relief for Arum, who now doesn't have to give lip service to a Mayweather bout in the build-up to Pacquiao vs. Not-Mayweather anymore.
Now, Arum's plans focus on rebuilding Manny with a tune-up/set-up right away and then a shot at redemption against Marquez later in the year. Beyond that, there's an "old score" to be settled with Timothy Bradley and a "new score" to be had with Brandon Rios. In other words, Pacquiao's schedule is taken care of for, at least, the next two years or so.
The secret wish of Team Pacquiao may have finally come to fruition-- Keep Manny away from Floyd at all costs.
Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather will keep being Floyd Mayweather.
Buried in hundred dollar bills and surrounded by yes men, Mayweather will keep making it rain and sharing his dim-witted exploits on social media. These days, the world class fighter seems less and less interested in boxing and more focused on B-list stardom and childlike self-indulgence.
Mayweather will likely fight twice this year-- against Robert Guerrero in May and Saul Alvarez in September-- and should earn anywhere from $60-$80 million. That's enough to keep him solvent enough to be as vacuous as he wants to be for at least another year.
However, Mayweather will turn 36 on February 24 and his time as a top performer is running out. An overall decline in foot speed and reflexes is already noticeable and things will not be getting better for him as he ages and his opposition gets younger. At best, we're talking two more years of being untouchable. At worst, someone may shock him well before then.
So, it's done. Over. Finished. No more speculative articles on the topic, please.
No Dream Fight.
Both fighters, even if they did want to fight at some point, are now headed in completely different directions with time no longer on their side.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao could've been the biggest fight of the new millennium. Instead, the most it will be is a message board topic and a Facebook post.
Blame who you like, but egos killed this fight and the fans suffer for it. Typical.
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.