Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Mayweather-Pacquiao Hype: Please, God, Make It Stop

By Cliff Rold

O.M.G.

Floyd Mayweather tweeted and called Manny Pacquiao a punk.

For real?

For real.

This is boxing in 2012. 

Last week’s announcement that lineal World Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather would have his domestic violence sentence postponed until June sent shockwaves through the game.

Mayweather’s previously announced May date could be fulfilled.  Neither he nor WBO Welterweight beltholder, and leading rival, Manny Pacquiao, have a fight officially in the queue.  After years of waiting, fight fans could see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Could this be it?

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum seems to want anything but, claiming his latest version of ‘later this year.’  Manny Pacquiao has released statements to the affect that he wants Mayweather next but has fallen short of saying he’s not fighting unless it’s Floyd. 

And, be sure, Pacquiao could put his foot down on this if he wanted to. 

In 1991, following his rematch victory over Razor Ruddock, Mike Tyson challenging Evander Holyfield to regain the Heavyweight crown was the most obvious fight on the planet. 

Promoter Don King started making noise about doing another Tyson spectacle first.  Press reports of the time had Tyson demanding Holyfield and nothing but.

The fight was signed for November 1991. 

A rape charge and October rib injury sent the match into the year 1996, prolonging Holyfield’s arrival at the moment of ultimate public crowning achievement for five years.  It was unfortunate, but injuries happen.

The fight at least got signed.

The failure to make Mayweather-Pacquiao since it first appeared imminent in early 2010 has been a source of endless chatter, speculation, and bloodlust from fight fans.  The press and pundits have joined them.  Comparisons have been made to other big fights not made in years past, but has there really ever been anything like this in boxing?

A ready point of comparison has been the lack of a Riddick Bowe-Lennox Lewis bout in the 1990s.  That was certainly a big one.  Following Lewis’s win over Ruddock in October 1992, and Bowe’s toppling of Holyfield for the Heavyweight title in November, they appeared on a collision course.  Fight fans wanted to see the two big men do big damage to each other.

Allegations from Bowe’s side had Lewis asking for too much money.  Lewis’s side screamed duck.  Bowe chucked a WBC belt in the garbage and Lewis picked it up for a defense against Tony Tucker.  It looked, in grand boxing tradition, like a dangerous fight being set aside to marinate.  Bowe losing to Holyfield in their 1993 rematch spoiled the recipe.  Lewis getting knocked out by Oliver McCall in 1994 set it further away.

The 1990s was a great decade at Heavyweight.  Bowe-Lewis was the one that got away.  It was big…but it was no Mayweather-Pacquiao. 

Bowe-Lewis wasn’t setting new revenue and pay-per-view standards.  Fan desire to see it hardly crept into the mainstream sports consciousness the way this so far failed date has.  Bowe-Lewis was the biggest fight not to happen in its day but it was never the sort of hands down biggest fight in the sport this is.

In terms of public appeal and star stature, this fight in its time is comparable to the most significant clashes of boxing’s many eras.  Greb-Walker. Louis-Schmeling II.  Frazier-Ali I.  Leonard-Hearns I.  Whitaker-Chavez. Trinidad-De La Hoya.

Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Freaking Twitter.

Please, God, make it stop. 

Fight or don’t fight.  That isn’t the question.  That is the demand at this point.

So far, public demand hasn’t meant a damn thing.  Every generation has matches that don’t happen.  It is rare for THE (all caps for a reason) fight to fall through the cracks.  The argument has been made, recently and more than once in recent years, that profit margins make a difference.  Pacquiao and Mayweather make so much apart there really isn’t that strong an economic incentive to force the fight. 

It’s a fair argument.  However, it’s also fair to recall that boxing, despite its carnival attributes, is still a sport.  Great competitors like to compete and be compensated.  The desire for the former makes room to negotiate the latter.

It’s enough at this point to wonder if they both WANT the fight as competitors.  

Sure, Mayweather announcing a date and site (May 5, MGM Grand) before any talks could even start was the height of arrogance.  It could just be a power play with no eye on a serious fight. Still, the reluctance to make the fight at critical points by the Pacquiao side is impossible to ignore at this point.  Pacquiao, because of his greater rise up the scale, historical accomplishments, more humble public persona, and crowd-pleasing style, hasn’t taken as much flack for the failure as Mayweather. 

It’s time now for that to stop.

The fight fell apart in early 2010, allegedly over testing procedures for performance enhancing drugs.  Mayweather’s side conceded on multiple negotiation points and was even willing to haggle over cut-off dates for testing which, with blood and urine, is designed to play through the clock. 

It was the Pacquiao side that walked away. 

The walk killed the fight when it seemed closest.  It is that side now which doesn’t seem to be willing to move hard towards the fight.  ESPN’s Dan Rafael tweeted (there’s that social media again rearing its funky head) that, if Team Pacquiao doesn’t think Mayweather will take the fight for May 5, they should call his bluff and see what happens.

The cards are still in hand. 

There are reasons being bandied about by Arum to delay but May 5 is as good as any day and there is no reason it can’t happen then.  Maybe it’s bigger another day, but we’re talking about gaps between massive and massive.  If the issue is making the most money, show the stones Super Middleweights Lucian Bute and Carl Froch appear on the verge of showing and sign a two-fight deal. 

Hey, a little dreaming never hurt. 

It’s 2012.  Pacquiao is 33 years old.  Mayweather will be 35 in February.  Neither is at their absolute peak anymore.  They were much closer in 2010.  The chance to see the best possible version of both men in a ring together has already passed.  But…
As long as both men keep winning, as long as both keep the upset bug at bay, they are still THE fight.

Make the fight or shut the hell up already.

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Rolaz on 01-12-2012

Mayweather Jr. simply needs attention, but that's all he can show... It would be more believable if he identifies his Official Negotiator and from there, both camps starts negotiating. He can also clarify the status of his Boxing License in…

Comment by smith3536 on 01-12-2012

[QUOTE=hillbilly;11660063]Preparation for jail? Are you kidding me? I've seen many people go to jail and ain't much preparing necessary. Many don't even know they are going to jail until they get cuffed and stuffed. Since when does a fighter get…

Comment by [email protected] on 01-12-2012

i would like to believe chicken floyd's tweet is for real...but i will not be surprised if the coward will turn to no-name foes again... or take another vacation if the negotiation is close to being done... it has been…

Comment by Dedication on 01-12-2012

This is timeless - cracks me up everytime: (Cut to 4:14 if you can't be bothered to watch the entire thing, despite it being an very entertaining watch overall) This vid needs updating!

Comment by hillbilly on 01-12-2012

[QUOTE=WESS;11658853]No he made it clear months ago that May 5th was the date just like Bob did with Mayweather last year with his countdown clock. Not only that he goes to jail June 1st. How do you not understand this?…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (50)
Top Headlines Photos: Ishe Smith, Julian Williams Face To Face at Weigh-In Oscar Vasquez Hopes To Land a Major Fight in 2018 BJ Flores Sets Record Straight on Alexander Povetkin Fight Photos: Sullivan Barrera Grinds Hard - Ripped, Ready For Valera Amir Khan: I Embarrassed Myself By Making Joshua Accusation Chavez Jr. Return: Alfredo Angulo Now The Frontrunner Denis Shafikov vs. Rene Alvarado, HBO Latino, December 9 Wilder's Trainer: Deontay Wants To Be First Heavyweight at 50-0 Dejan Zlaticanin Returns on December 14, Broadway Boxing Jessie Vargas vs. Aaron Herrera Finalized - Dec. 15, PBC on FS1 Ricardo Mayorga Rules Out Retirement, Plans February Return Diego De La Hoya vs. Jose Salgado - Golden Boy on ESPN, Dec. 14 Bellew: It's Disgusting That Wilder Insinuated Joshua is on Steroids UK News: Tommy McCarthy, Lewis Crocker, Ricky Summers Miguel Cotto Career Special on HBO, November 25 Photo: Carl Frampton, Horacio Garcia Ready For War in Belfast Joseph Parker: I Have 'A Lot of Options' Other Than Joshua, Wilder Frampton: All The Big Fights Interest Me, The Best is Yet To Come Shawn Porter: Crawford Beats Horn Easy, Everybody is a Target! Teddy Atlas Explains Why He Favors Lomachenko Over Rigondeaux Ishe Smith: I Asked For Julian Williams, Confident I'll Get The Win Nathan Gorman Welcomes Daniel Dubois: He Knows Where I Am Alexander Povetkin vs. Christian Hammer - Full Card is Set Truax: I Have To Be at My Absolute Best To Beat James DeGale Jarrell Miller: I Would Stop Dillian Whyte in Four or Five Rounds Ryoichi Taguchi vs. Milan Melindo Unification Set, December 31 Wilder Would Agree to Fight Ortiz Again, Wants to 'Punish' Him Kovalev: The Pressure Will Be High To Fight Beterbiev, Bivol Roy Jones Jr. Brings WinnaVegas Casino Card To BeIN Sports Jamie Conlan Plans To Box Jerwin Ancajas, Not Go To War Jose Martinez Stops Jesus Martinez for NABO Championship Parker Says Forget Wilder Fight: I'm Knocking Anthony Joshua Out! Vasyl Lomachenko: The Fight With Rigondeaux Will Be Historic Kellerman on De La Hoya-McGregor: It's Amazing Conor is Favored Photo: Giovani Santillan, Dodzi Kemeh Ready For Battle Photos: Anthony Dirrell, Denis Douglin - Nearly Brawl at Weighin Canelo-Golovkin Rematch: Update on Negotiations, Date, Venue Jarrell Miller: Muscles Won't Save Joshua - He Has a Glass Jaw Ferdie Pacheco - "The Fight Doctor" - Passes Away at 89 Naoya Inoue vs. Yoan Boyeaux on December 30
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement