By Sean Crose
Floyd Mayweather shook the fight world last Friday night by getting in front of a Showtime camera and calling out Manny Pacquiao to fight him. . .on the second of May, 2015.
Yet Bob Arum, head honcho of Top Rank Promotions doesn’t seem to want Floyd fighting Manny on May 2nd. Why? Because May 2nd is a Mexican holiday. And Canelo Alvarez, a Mexican fighter, wants to fight on that day.
Arum, for those who don’t know, is Pacquiao’s promoter. That means that the negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao match could conceivably be in trouble here. Floyd seems to be touchy about such matters, after all, and now Pacquiao’s promoter has proven to be touchy about such matters, as well.
It’s worth arguing that Mayweather chooses to fight on (or close to) Mexican holidays in order to get Mexican fans to pay big time for the pleasure of watching him on Pay-Per-View. On the other hand, Canelo lost to Floyd. What’s more, Floyd beat Canelo easily. That’s something to think about.
Let the debate commence.
“The only Mexican in the group (of fighters who may battle on 5/2) is Canelo Alvarez,” Arum told RingTV.
“And to poach on that date, which is a Mexican holiday, by non-Mexicans, shows a terrible disrespect for the Mexican people, both those living in Mexico and those living in the United States. And anybody who does the poaching ought to be ashamed of themselves. That goes for hotels and that goes for fighters and that goes for any of us.”
Mayweather and his supporters have accused Arum of keeping a Floyd-Manny bout from happening. It’s safe to say most of the public hasn’t bought into their argument up until this point. Such words from Arum, however may make people question.
To be fair, it seems that Arum is in a tough position here. The sum total of the man’s words and indications lead to the conclusion (true or false) that he and the rest of team Pacquiao haven’t gotten much feedback from Mayweather regarding a Floyd-Manny matchup. Why, then, shouldn’t Arum decide to push for a massive Alvarez fight with Miguel Cotto on May 2nd?
It’s also worth noting that Canelo-Cotto negotiations have arguably progressed at a much faster pace than Mayweather-Pacqauio negotiations have (talk about the understatement of the decade!). Did Floyd, one may ask, call for a bout with Manny on May 2nd with the intention of sticking a spoke in Arum’s fast moving wheel?
There’s really no way to tell. At least not from the vantage point of most fans and analysts.
Clearly, however, none of this is good news for the millions who want to watch Mayweather and Pacquiao meet in the ring. Things seemed to have reached a fever pitch this past weekend, with Floyd’s Showtime interview and Pacquiao’s strong, nearly hostile, response.
Now, it appears everything might revert back to the endless game of he said-she said that fans have been enduring for years. And that really is too bad. Boxing needs a boost, especially after last week’s series of questionable (to put it mildly) decisions from ringside judges.
Then again, fights, even super-fights, happen when the participants really want them to. And, let’s face it, Floyd and Manny need each other right now. At least they do if they want their respective legacies to be complete. And if they don’t want to risk boring their massive fan bases with sub-par opposition.
As 2014 winds down for the sport of boxing, one thing is certain:
At the moment, there’s more intrigue outside the ring than inside of it.
Let’s hope all that changes in 2015.