By Ivan G. Goldman
The forecast for spring is partly cloudy with a stronger chance of a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao showdown.
Why? Let’s walk over to the satellite picture. Note that Mayweather, shortly after leaving the slammer August 3, had kind things to say about his Filipino nemesis. “I think that Pacquiao is an unbelievable fighter and hopefully we can make the fight happen in the future,” he told a video interviewer. I’d thank the lady who held the microphone, but I couldn’t find her name anywhere. Anyway, there was Floyd, sporting a new post-jail hairstyle that included some hair this time, and amazingly, he was suddenly capable of mentioning Pac-man without insulting him. He failed to speculate that Manny ate dog meat or depended on PEDs, and even spoke of his archrival with what looked like genuine respect.
In the Big Fight tap dance these two have conducted for years now, this could be real news. It’s a clue they might finally scratch the world’s itch and fight each other before they’re too old to climb the ring steps without assistance.
Another positive sign: Floyd’s father, Floyd Senior, let it be known that Pacquiao informed him while Floyd Junior was still doing his 90 days (60 after time off for good behavior) that he was wondering whether he could get in to visit Junior in the Clark County Detention Center. That’s a strong indication that Manny, who’s already said yes to blood testing for outlawed chemicals, considers the match a live possibility. And Floyd had plenty of time to think in his one-man cell. It may have had a positive result. More maturity, for example.
It’s difficult to imagine that the world’s two best welterweights don’t notice the many millions of dollars lying at their feet waiting to be picked up if they’ll just nod their heads. Who knows? Maybe Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum could even meet Floyd and his partner/promoter 50 Cent over a cup of coffee and hash out the principal issues. There don’t seem to be so many anymore. The biggest sticking point is the percentage split on the purses. But there’s an easy way to solve that. Split it down the middle — on condition that Pacquiao drop his lawsuit for slander against the Mayweathers. Everybody gets something by sending the lawyers packing.
If they want to see how a super-fight gets made in a hurry, Money and the Philippines congressman ought to be inspired by Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. It seemed like they put their match together in less time than it takes to get the wraps on.
Apparently Arum, who’s set the wheels in motion for Pacquiao to fight November 10 on pay-per-view, has presented him with the names Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, and Timothy Bradley, while very much hoping Manny won’t opt for a revenge match against Bradley because it would, Arum says, bring in a smaller payday.
Mayweather has kept his career plans private, but Arum is offering him Pacquiao in April. Note that there’s no blood feud between Arum and 50 Cent. That could be hugely important. Arum gets along with Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy, who used to represent Mayweather, like the Hatfields with the McCoys.
Plenty can go wrong here. What if Pacquiao loses this autumn? What if Mayweather does? Yes, it may very well all fall apart again. But the greatest obstacle to this match has been Mayweather’s fear that he might lose and ruin his undefeated record. He’s likely gained more confidence now that Pacquiao has failed to score a knockout in his last five fights. Manny’s paper loss to Bradley in June may have given Floyd a scare. What if someone deals Pacquiao a solid defeat before Mayweather can get a piece of him first? He’d be leaving mountains of money and glory on the table.
If these two great fighters get it on, there will be tons more speculation on how it will go. That’s part of the fun. But there would be only one thing for sure. Big storm, uncertain outcome.
Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE