Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Off!
by Scotty L of Predictem.com
The biggest boxing match in years is “dead,” according to Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum. Sportsbooks will now lose what was sure to be a gigantic handle. Fans will be deprived of the most intriguing match-up in over a decade. What in the world happened? The division of money, the most common of hanging points in a super-fight negotiation, had been hashed out. The signing seemed a mere formality.
At the precipice of signing for his signature fight, Floyd Mayweather sprang forward with a set of demands revolving around drug testing. The Nevada Athletic Commission requires only urine testing. Manny Pacquiao first agreed to unlimited urine testing. In an effort to further accommodate Mayweather, he agreed to three blood tests, one at the signing, one at thirty days before fight night, and one immediately following the bout.
The snag in the fence seems to be that Mayweather wants a blood test 14 days prior to the fight, and Pacquiao will only give one 30 days before the fight. Over this, the biggest fight for both boxers went from highly probable to doubtful. The animosity between both camps will make this a difficult negotiation to revisit. This is not good for the sport. The two signature fighters of this era should settle things in the ring, not in the world of trash talk.
Who Is at Fault?
The short answer has to be Mayweather. The fight was all but signed. If he and his camp had a problem with drug testing, as it exists today, why pursue it during a fight negotiation? The boxing community didn’t hear a peep during his 18-month retirement, and now suddenly he is a crusader for drug testing? Does this ring hollow to anyone else?
One can easily recall that people who play sports are not the ones who make rules for sports. Floyd Mayweather attempted to become the first participant of a sport to become the commissioner. Pacquiao even acquiesced when he did not have to, agreeing to three blood tests. In turn, Mayweather remained firm on his timetable, and now we have a failed negotiation.
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The debate on this topic is over upon realizing Floyd had no right to even levy such arbitrary and capricious demands. In the process, an alarming amount of fans have sided with Mayweather. They figure, “Why would Pacquiao miss out on a career-high payday? Just take the tests!” Well, first of all, Pacquiao is subject to the rules of the commission, not Floyd Mayweather. Secondly, it’s not everyone’s job to ask, “How high” whenever Mayweather says, “Jump.”
Examine the mindset of someone who did all the things Mayweather did in this negotiation. You stand to make the most money of your career, a staggering $30-$40 million. You then start making drug-testing demands. In the end, you turn down a fight over a week or two difference in a blood test. Does it sound reasonable to think that by not caving to every Mayweather whim, Pacquiao is in effect saying, “I insist on taking performance-enhancing drugs.” This is a conclusion many are jumping to. Startling.
The arrogance exuded by Mayweather is flabbergasting. He never misses a chance to tell everyone that he is the greatest of all time. Meanwhile, he avoids tough matches at all costs. At junior lightweight and lightweight, he fought the best. We’re approaching a decade since those days. At four years at welterweight, he has skirted the challenges of virtually every major fighter in what is a glorious era for the division. Floyd Mayweather is the only big-time fighter in recent memory who went 40 fights without ever being an underdog. That alone speaks volumes toward his safety-first approach to his career.
Fans are tiring of his M.O. At some point, the best fighters of an era must ply their trade against fellow stalwarts. Mayweather is on the verge of having squandered the bulk of his prime fighting unworthy opponents. Sure, he’s undefeated and a winner of many belts. Knowledgeable fans, however, need to see the landmark talents of their generation fight the best, and that is one area where Mayweather’s legacy will suffer tremendously.
By fighting Pacquiao, he had a golden opportunity to wipe the slate clean. He could have emerged from his financial problems while silencing the growing contingent of observers who feel he has ducked good competition. To sabotage the fight on the verge of it becoming official will be a tough pill for the boxing world to swallow, especially if the fight never materializes.
Everyone loses in this scenario. Pacquiao now faces growing suspicion concerning his cleanliness. Fans had their mouth watered by a long-awaited blockbuster fight, only to have it snatched away at the last moment. Mayweather will continue to have an alarmingly poor resume for someone calling himself the greatest of all time. Last, but not least—the sport of boxing misses out on a much-needed boost.
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