By Michael Marley
While the general public is stimulated by Floyd Mayweather Junior's apparent overture to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 5, boxing insiders are not exactly booking flights to Las Vegas or trying to get tickets.
As is almost always the case in a cuthroat industry, skeptics abound as to Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum and Mayweather's key shotcaller Al Haymon ever sitting down to make a deal for the super bout.
One such cynic is former St. Louis policeman and now an outstanding manager-trainer Kevin Cunningham.
Cunningham's has no dog in this fight as he and his top boxer, Devon Alexander, recently signed up with Golden Boy Promotions after parting ways with Don King.
"It's a shame if the big fight does not happen," Cunningham said Friday. "It's something the mainstream public, all the sports commentators and the fans, are demanding.
"They get it done in other sports so it makes boxing look bad. Look to college football with top two teams, LSU and Alabama, playing each other this weekend. You got Number 1 playing Number 2. But in boxing, we can't see the top two guys fight it out?"
Cunningham thinks the intense dislike between Haymon and Arum runs too deep and will block a megamillions fight deal.
"I think Mayweather wants to fight Pacquiao. But the Haymon-Arum feud runs deep. It's an ugly situation if Al and Bob block the fight when Floyd and Manny want to do it."
I have to agree that the real challenge to HBO fightmakers is not Floyd and Manny, especially with random drug testing being a non-issue now, but in getting Haymon and Arum to meaningfully negotiate.
If Uncle Al and Uncle Bob bury the hatchet, Mayweather-Pacquiao becomes reality.
But this pair has a history of burying the hatchet in the other guy's neck.