Since Manny Pacquiao’s return to winning ways with a unanimous victory over Brandon Rios in November of last year the rumour mill has been bountiful with whispers of a possible matchup between the Filipino and Floyd Mayweather. It is the fight boxing fans the world over want to see but, just as in 2009 and 2010, it looks unlikely to happen.
Mayweather markets himself as an undefeated and undefeatable boxer. If he were to fight Pacquiao and lose his whole brand, his whole business blueprint would come undone. Simply put, he is scared to lose. He wants to remain undefeated. Even though many boxing experts believe Mayweather would defeat Pacquiao it is clear it is a risk the American is not willing to take.
It can be argued Mayweather has a perfectly manufactured perfect record. The 36 year old has only fought 45 times in his 17 year career. His last opponent Saul Alvarez, a 23 year old Mexican, has 44 fights under his belt, one shy of Mayweather despite the 13 year age gap. Pacquiao has 38 knockout wins, just seven short of Mayweather’s total number of bouts.
The Filipino has fought 65 times. He has lost 5 of those bouts but came back to the ring from three knockouts to kick-start his career again. An “L” clearly means little to Pacquiao in comparison to its hold over Mayweather.
Mayweather has demanded Pacquiao end his promotional contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank and sign with TMT and then and only then will they fight. This is a truly outrageous demand regardless of Mayweather’s dislike of Arum and is a clear stall tactic. Pacquiao’s contract with Arum ends in late 2014 yet this excuse was only rolled out by Mayweather recently. Mayweather says Arum owes him money from fights seven years ago when he boxed Arturo Gatti and Zab Judah yet there was no mention of this during the 2009 and 2010 negotiations.
Mayweather also reckons Pacquiao is no longer up to his level and not worthy of an opportunity in the ring with him seeing as his recent record is 1/3. Yet he is willing to fight Amir Khan whose recent form is only 2/4. Mayweather has also stated Pacquiao’s Pay-Per-View record is too inferior to his own to think about getting in the ring with him yet Khan has never even had a Pay-Per-View fight.
The WBC controversially made Pacquiao the automatic number one challenger to Mayweather’s crown in a transparent attempt to make the fight happen given the fact that Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Danny Garcia and Marcos Maidana were all more obvious contenders ahead of Pacquiao. But Mayweather cares little for belts in comparison to his record and will relinquish his title in order to avoid Pacquiao.
There is no doubt Mayweather sees Pacquiao as a threat to his legacy. Through the years when the boxers were primed to fight each other Mayweather twice retired to go out with a clean slate.
The most important thing in the world to Mayweather is his undefeated record. He ducked Miguel Cotto only the boxer took losses to Pacquiao and Margarito. Mayweather has been accused of ducking at least 11 boxers in their prime throughout his unblemished career. While Mayweather’s defensive boxing skills cannot be discredited, undermined or even rivalled his clean sheet is a product of wise opponent choice.
He wants his lossless record to be his legacy but without fighting Pacquiao that is doomed to taint it. Mike Tyson has gone on the record as saying Mayweather must be scared of Pacquiao because when he was champion he wanted to fight the best to see if he was the best, regardless of the possible outcome.
Even rapper 50 Cent, a former friend of Mayweather, has distanced himself from the boxer with a tweet stating he could no longer hang out with Floyd because he was tired of running from Pacquiao.
Mayweather on the other hand, despite being caught on camera in a private sitting amongst friends saying he wouldn’t fight Pacquiao because his health is more important to him, continues to attempt to belittle Pacquiao’s credibility calling him a “coward” and a “desperate dog” as recent as last week.
But what excuses has Pacquiao made in the almost five years of trying to make this fight happen? None. What excuses has Mayweather made? Drugs. Form. Pay-Per-View. Bob Arum.
Mayweather, it seems, is content to wind down his career as a sort of exhibition boxer. What a pity because there is no shame in going out on your shield.
Pundit Arena, David Prendergast.