By Keith Idec
Emanuel Steward seems about as sick of talking about the possibility of a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight as everyone else interested in boxing.
He, too, hopes the fight finally happens. The HBO Sports commentator doesn’t necessarily think, though, that the fight is any closer to being made now than it was two years ago, despite hints from Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, last week that indicated Mayweather might want to box Pacquiao in May 5 in Las Vegas.
“My thoughts on Mayweather and Pacquiao fighting is it’s still 50-50,” Steward told Tony Paige on WFAN-660AM in New York early Saturday morning. “I don’t even think about it anymore in my mind. Everyone wants to see the fight except, it looks like, the fighters and the promoters who have the two fighters. They seem to be very comfortable with each one of the fighters picking up in their own separate way these … $30 million purses regularly. And they don’t have get into making negotiations with people they don’t like.”
Steward is in Las Vegas to call the third bout between Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) and Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs), a 12-round fight for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title at MGM Grand. If the Filipino superstar is able to decisively defeat Marquez this time around, the veteran trainer realizes the HBO Sports broadcast team might spend more time at the end of the telecast talking about Pacquiao-Mayweather than Pacquiao-Marquez III.
“It’s a fight that we’re all looking forward to, if it would happen,” Steward said. “But it could end up being an ugly fight, also. So I put it out of my mind.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for the Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.