By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya doesn't expect a mega-fight between welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38KOs) to happen any time soon.
Mayweather faces WBA 154-pound champion Miguel Cotto on Saturday night, while Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight title against Timothy Bradley on June 9th.
There are two reasons De La Hoya believes the fight is being blocked off from happening. De La Hoya feels Mayweather will expose Pacquiao in the ring and in doing so he will take away some of the luster from Top Rank's biggest superstar.
"I just think that Mayweather will expose Pacquiao. And I'm not saying it would be the end of his career. It's one loss, big deal, to Mayweather. This is [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum's last fighter who is going to make him a lot of money, who is going to generate big numbers on pay-per-view. Why is he going to expose him and risk all that he has with Pacquiao," De La Hoya said.
"Bob Arum is a great promoter for many years and he promoted some of the best fights ever and obviously egos are going to get in the way of making this big fight happen. Not only egos, but you have to take into account the fear that Arum has if Pacquiao loses. And if Pacquiao loses...so what, he loses...it's no big deal because he's still Pacquiao. That's why Arum is thinking 'I better face him with Bradley, I better face him with my guys. I better face him with [Juan Manuel] Marquez again.' And then maybe for Pacquiao's last fight, he'll face Mayweather."
During the final years of his career, De La Hoya fought both Mayweather and Pacquiao. He lost a close twelve round split decision to Mayweather in 2007 and got stopped by Pacquiao in eight rounds in 2008. Based on their styles, he believes Pacquiao is tailor-made for Mayweather.
"[Pacquiao is] a great fighter and I respect him. When I fought Pacquiao, he was like a fly - throwing punches everywhere. He didn't hurt me whatsoever. He was just throwing so many punches," De La Hoya said.
"Mayweather, on the other hand, has a style where he doesn't really like to fight and that's why it will be so complicated for Pacquiao because he'll just come forward and leave himself vulnerable to counter-rights that Mayweather will be throwing and Mayweather will be timing him. You know, styles make fights. The more Pacquiao will push the fight and the more that he'll pressure Mayweather - the easier it will be for Mayweather."
During the last few months, the biggest obstacle in making the the fight - is money. Mayweather offered Pacquiao a flat fee guarantee of $40 million dollars, with no precentage of the pay-per-view revenue. Pacquiao wants an even 50-50 split. As far as the split, De La Hoya says the final decision is up to Mayweather.
"It is what it is. I can't speak on the purse split. That's up to Mayweather. We just promote him and that's up to him. He's his own boss," De La Hoya said.