By Ivan G. Goldman
Unless someone bakes a wi-fi-enabled device into a cake for Floyd Mayweather, he’s unlikely, under the rules in force at the Clark County Detention Center to get a realtime peek at Manny Pacquiao’s big face-off against Timothy Bradley Saturday night.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
However, his cell is in Las Vegas, a town that’s always made its own rules. Founding fathers include Benny Binion, a gangster and convicted murderer out of Texas, and Bugsy Siegel, a charming killer and racketeer from New York. Both arrived with piles of cash and a willingness to bump off their rivals, which eased their entry into the town’s higher circles.
Mayweather’s crimes are of a smaller caliber. They mostly involve slapping around women, which is why he’s doing 90 days as we speak. But considering the amount of business he’s brought to town, don’t be surprised if he ends up getting a special screening somewhere.
Photo by Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos
Regardless of when he watches or the conditions in place, he will of course see the fight. How it comes out as well as his own personal impressions will be pivotal to the next phase of his career. For example, if Pacquiao barely squeaks out a win, we just might see Mayweather alter his course and include the fighting congressman in his fight future. If he loses, Mayweather will curse himself for dodging Pac Man all these years but also be tremendously relieved, seeing an end to his nightmare that when he goes to the ropes against Pacquiao his shoulder roll won’t save him, that he’ll get caught and caught again and . . . enough said.
But very soon Mayweather would notice that a Pacquiao defeat has blasted a hole in his life. Mayweather has wriggled so strenuously and consistently to avoid that $50 million Pacquiao purse that it’s woven into him, body and soul. Losing the nightmare would be almost like losing his faith. He might have to devote himself to dodging Bradley instead.
If Pacquaio looks really impressive, if his calf muscles don’t bother him, he’s in tip-top shape and rolls over Bradley, who Ricky Hatton calls “a very slick and tidy boxer,” Mayweather will pull his old bag of tricks out from under the bunk, sort through them, consult with his visiting co-conspirators, and get started. Just to limber up, he may tell us Pacquiao eats dog. He could then trot out a brand new strategy, one we haven’t seen before. He’s done it before. But he’ll probably revert to the old reliables.
For example, Floyd might once again say, okay, he’s ready, let’s do it. He’s often said that Pacquiao’s an easy fight. But when negotiations begin, there are no taping devices in there, no witnesses, and the Mayweather people skedaddle out of there with their own unique version of what’s true and what isn’t.
Lately the Mayweather camp has been playing a new card, Bob Arum. They claim it’s Pacquiao’s promoter who stands in the way of a deal. Sure, it’s possible that Arum, who loves big deals, is opposed to making the biggest money fight in history. And maybe fish peddle bicycles. But it’s not likely. Mayweather has something to lose in the fight. He could get beat up and he could lose his undefeated status. What’s Arum got to lose?
If the pay-per-view numbers don’t match the 1.5 million viewers who bought Mayweather’s fight against Cotto, Mayweather can claim he deserves a much bigger slice. It wouldn’t be true. Their numbers on average pretty much match up. And there are two participants in every event. Cotto brings lots more buyers than less-known Bradley. Also, Pacquiao attracts a greater share of overseas money.
Of course the standard Mayweather dodge for years has been to claim Pacquiao is on PEDs and that there’s just no good way to keep the diabolical congressman from his evil chemicals, although a bad Pacquiao showing would mean, according to Mayweather, that he’s no longer on the juice that sustained him. Lately Mayweather revived the PEDs tactic when he claimed Pacquiao’s head is bigger than it used to be.
Oddly, Floyd has entire regiments of fans willing to discard all logic, just as he does. They’re like old-line, oblivious Stalinists, armed with their own non-facts and non-history. He also has a squad of lawyers that so far has managed to delay the progress of Pacquiao’s slander suit against him. But that won’t last.
Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE
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