By Ivan G. Goldman
The Red Sea will part and allow the super-fight the whole world craves to enter the pay-per-view Promised Land. So says Floyd Mayweather, Sr.
Floyd Junior’s father, trainer, and close advisor told a reliable Boxing Insider source that Team Mayweather is indeed shooting for a super-fight with Manny Pacquiao next May. That, according to father Floyd, is the “big surprise” his son alluded to when he first mentioned two weeks ago that he would give Marcos Maidana a rematch for Sept. 13.
The trouble is, Floyd Senior has said some screwy things over the years, and though the source is solid, the father isn’t. On the other hand, Floyd’s most trusted fight advisors are his father and uncle, Roger Mayweather.
The source, who’s both a manager and trainer and quite knowledgeable, said Floyd Senior made the remark about Pacquiao as they discussed other matters. He wasn’t absolutely sure that Daddy Floyd wanted his comments repeated so he asked me not to identify him. He’s known the father for many years. Floyd Senior, he said, wants the fight to cement his son’s legacy and bring in what would certainly be the biggest haul in boxing history. The source wasn’t absolutely certain when they spoke two weeks ago that the entire team was in agreement on a Pacquiao fight.
“I thought at the time that maybe the dad was just saying that because he was trying to motivate the fight.” Just the fact that the father is pushing for the fight is significant, but the source said that since then he’s seen other indications that the rest of the team is on board.
It’s clear that Showtime and the Mayweather people are displeased with the pay-per-view numbers they achieved in the May 3 fight with Maidana. They’re still keeping the figure a secret. Apparently they hope that if they wait long enough the question will just go away.
“I know Showtime will push for this fight,” said the source. “Where else can they get 2 million buys? Floyd is at a different level. He’s fighting for history.”
Floyd’s assistant, Leonard Ellerbe, was recently cornered by an interviewer who must have asked him eight different ways to reveal the Maidana PPV number, and Ellerbe found an equal number of ways not to answer the question.
“Sometimes you can’t make everybody happy,” Ellerbe responded at one point. He also pointed out that Mayweather, 46-0 (26 KOs), deposited a $32 million check after the fight and that there was a $15 million gate. “What Floyd’s bottom line is is nobody’s business,” he said, a peculiar remark coming from a “Money” team that focuses over and over on cash as a measure of success. Floyd has an odd compulsion to be photographed with stacks of hundred-dollar bills.
A super-fight between the top welterweight icons has been negotiated, nixed, discussed, renegotiated and nixed again for years. Now Floyd is 37, Pacquiao 35 and they box for separate networks that have irreconcilable differences. Floyd has said more than once that he won’t do business with Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, who promoted Floyd for many years.
But Richard Schaefer is no longer CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which handles promotional details for Mayweather fights. He was a major stumbling block to the super-fight. Barricades are crumbling.
If the two best welterweights of their time never meet in the ring that in itself would make history, but it wouldn’t be the kind of history anyone would want to brag about. Other welterweights such as Sean Porter, Keith Thurman, and Kell Brook are fighting their way up the ladder, but at this point they can’t attract Mayweather or Pacquiao numbers.
When Mayweather said he will reveal a big surprise for May, many fans guessed the surprise would be Miguel Cotto, who’s been defeated by both Mayweather and Pacquiao, 56-5-2 (38 KOs). Analysts are fond of saying that Cotto, now trained by Freddie Roach, has become a more complete fighter. Roach is best-known for his role as Pacquiao’s trainer.
Pacquiao is set to fight somebody Nov. 22 in Macau, where Philippines Congressman Manny won’t have to endure Uncle Sam’s tax bite and his American promoter Arum can get whatever enticements have been dangled before him by Macau’s casino moguls. So far Chris Algieri, offered the fight by Arum, has balked, apparently dissatisfied with the money.
A Mayweather-Pacquiao fight next year would presumably be televised by Showtime, which used to brag that it gave Mayweather the fattest fight contract ever. At this point the fight won’t be believable until the moment the bell rings.
New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman’s Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag was released in 2013 by Potomac Books. Watch for The Debtor Class: A Novel from Permanent Press in spring, 2015. More Information Here