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Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has dispatched of Shane Mosley and risen to the top of the May Yahoo! Sports rankings, attention once again has focused on getting Mayweather and Congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao into the ring with each other. And like the negotiations for an aborted March 13 bout, which began in November, both sides are saying all the right things.
Despite the positive vibes coming from the early days of the talks in November, though, participants were soon at each other's throats, lawsuits were filed and the bout wasn't consummated.
A disagreement over Mayweather's demand for "Olympic-style" random blood and urine testing ultimately torpedoed attempts to make the match the first time around.
Pacquiao went on to rout Joshua Clottey on March 13 to win the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt in front of a crowd of 51,000 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Mayweather blew out Mosley on May 1 in a match that drew an $11 million paid gate and which sold 1.4 million pay-per-view units.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum held a conference call with reporters on Wednesday in which he said he would not negotiate in the media but expressed optimism that a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather could be made.
"Manny is definitely going to fight in November," Arum said, noting Nov. 13 as the likely date and the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and Cowboys Stadium as the likely venues. "It's amazing how many people came up to me as I was leaving the Philippines and asked me, 'When is the Mayweather fight going to happen?' That's the fight people want to see.
"That's the fight that I'm going to do my darndest to make happen. I don't want to discuss any of the issues involved in making that fight because we are going to be involved in negotiations and my first goal and Manny's first goal is to make that fight happen. But we are not going to negotiate this thing in the press, because given the egos of all the camps, it would never happen."
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, who represented Mayweather in the talks last time and likely will do so again, made a pact with Arum in November to keep negotiations private.
Of course, it wasn't long before Schaefer and Arum were bickering publicly and Golden Boy released a statement to the media in December that essentially killed the fight. Hopefully, both sides have learned from their mistakes the last time around, but I have my doubts.
There are many thorny issues that could again prevent the bout the world wants to see from happening. A compromise is needed on the drug testing issue and personality clashes between Arum and many on the Mayweather side, including Mayweather himself, made the prospect of reaching a deal dicey.
An even bigger issue looms, though, that may be insurmountable: The split of the money.
Mayweather made around $40 million for the Mosley fight. Pacquiao is a bigger attraction than Mosley, so he'll demand, and require, a more substantial cut of the revenue.
Mayweather was guaranteed $22.5 million, so if he wound up making an even $40 million for the Mosley bout, he landed an additional $17.5 million in pay-per-view money.
HBO Pay-Per-View announced that the bout generated $78.3 million in pay-per-view revenue. So cut that in half, because the cable and satellite companies generally take 50 percent off the top, and now you're working with $39.15 million to divvy up on the boxing side.
Subtract Mayweather's $17.5 million from the $39.15 million and there is $21.5 million left. Expenses have to be paid out of that. Mosley, HBO and Golden Boy have to get their cuts out of that.
Of course, there are plenty of other revenue streams: Site fee, merchandise sales, foreign broadcast rights, replay rights, closed circuit, etc.
But a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would have to do far, far better than the Mayweather-Mosley fight did in order to make it financially feasible. Count on the pay-per-view price rising from the $54.95 it was for Mayweather-Mosley (The $10 surgcharge for the high definition broadcast goes directly to the cable or satellite companies) to $59.95 or even $64.95.
Hopefully, Arum, Schaefer, Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz, Mayweather advisor Al Haymon and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe can work out a deal to make it happen.
It's going to be more difficult than it looks, however. With that, let's check out this month's Top 10 as voted upon by an elite panel of boxing writers from around the world:
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Points: 317 (20 of 33 first-place votes)
Record: 41-0 (25 KOs)
Last outing:: W12 over No. 9 Shane Mosley on May 1
Previous ranking:: 2
Up next: Perhaps late fall bout against No. 2 Manny Pacquiao
Analysis: Showed complete game in convincing win over Mosley.
2. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 310 (13 of 33 first-place votes)
Record: 51-3-2 (38 KOs)
Title: WBO welterweight champion
Last outing:: W12 over Joshua Clottey on March 13
Previous ranking:: 1
Up next: Perhaps late fall bout vs. No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Analysis:Newly elected Filipino congressman may fight three more times.
3. Paul Williams
Record: 39-1 (27 KOs)
Last outing:: TD4 over Kermit Cintron on May 8
Previous ranking:: 4
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis:Didn't help cause for fight with Mayweather or Pacquiao with lackluster performance.
4. Juan Manuel Marquez
Record: 50-5-1 (37 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBO lightweight champion
Last outing:: L12 to No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 19
Previous ranking:: 5
Up next: Vs. Juan Diaz on July 31 in Las Vegas
Analysis: Needs big win to reinvigorate his career.
5. Chad Dawson
Record: 28-0 (17 KOs)
Title: Interim WBC light heavyweight champion
Last outing:: W12 over Glen Johnson on Nov. 7
Previous ranking:: 6
Up next: Vs. Jean Pascal on Aug. 14 in Montreal
Analysis: Hasn't faced fighter younger than 39 in more than two years.
6. Sergio Martinez
Record: 45-2-2 (24 KOs)
Title: WBC, WBO middleweight champion
Last outing:: W12 Kelly Pavlik on April 17
Previous ranking:: 8
Up next: May be in mix for bout against No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Analysis: Skilled boxer and entertaining fighter.
7. Wladimir Klitschko
Record: 54-3 (48 KOs)
Title: IBF, WBO heavyweight champion
Last outing:: TKO12 over Eddie Chambers on March 20
Previous ranking:: 7
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: In talks for bout with WBA champion David Haye.
8. Timothy Bradley
Record: 25-0 (11 KOs)
Title: WBO super lightweight champion
Last outing:: W12 Lamont Peterson on Dec. 12
Previous ranking:: 10
Up next: July 17 vs. TBA in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Analysis: Solid all-around fighter in a tough division.
9. Shane Mosley
Record: 46-6 (39 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing:: L12 to No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 1
Previous ranking:: 3
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Looked all of his 38 years vs. Mayweather.
10. Juan Manuel Lopez
Record: 28-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBO featherweight champion
Last outing:: TKO7 over Steven Luevano on Jan. 23
Previous ranking:: NR
Up next: vs. Bernabe Concepcion on July 10 in Puerto Rico
Analysis:Eyeing showdown with WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Others receiving votes: Vitali Klitschko, 42; Bernard Hopkins, 40; Ivan Calderon, 26; Lucian Bute, 22; Nonito Donaire, 19; Chris John, 13; Celestino Caballero, 12; Fernando Montiel, 11; Andre Ward, 11; Miguel Cotto, 10; Yuriorkis Gamboa, 10; Devon Alexander, 6; Israel Vazquez, 5; Andre Berto, 4; Tomasz Adamek, 4; Arthur Abraham, 3; Ponsaklek Wonjongkam, 2.
Voting panel: Raul Alzaga, Primera Hora; Ron Borges, Boston Herald; Steve Cofield, Yahoo! Sports; Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100, Las Vegas; Andrew Eisele, About.com; Doug Fischer, Ring; Scott Fyfe, Sunday Post, Scotland; Thomas Gerbasi, Boxingscene.com; Carlos Gonzalez, Primera Hora; Lee Groves, BoxingScene.com; Thomas Hauser, Seconds Out.com; Keith Idec, Herald News, New Jersey; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Max Kellerman, HBO; Scott Mallon, Boxing Digest; Rich Marotta, Fox Sports; David Mayo, Grand Rapids Press; Franklin McNeil, ESPN; Gunnar Meinhardt, Die Welt; Robert Morales, Los Angeles Daily News; Marty Mulcahey, MaxBoxing.com; Kieran Mulvaney, Reuters; Peter Owen Nelson, freelance; Brett Okamoto, Las Vegas Sun; Santos Perez, Miami Herald; Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports; Michael Rosenthal, Ring; Lem Satterfield, Fanhouse.com; Tim Smith, New York Daily News; T.K. Stewart, Boxingscene.com; Dave Weinberg, Press of Atlantic City; John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News; George Willis, New York Post.