By Hans Olson
“I’m not giving up the split. I’m not. I can’t afford to. No, I’m not. I gave this sport my whole life. I’ve been dominating this sport. I have record breaking numbers that I have done. He (Pacquiao) has no record breaking numbers…with or without Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather is okay. Floyd Mayweather fight for Floyd Mayweather. At the end of the day Floyd Mayweather has to be happy.”
Those were the exact words of Floyd Mayweather when he appeared on Costas Tonight last Thursday.
It was theorized by another writer on this very site that those words were an admittance of fear; that Floyd is concerned with his health, this being the reason–at least according to said writer–why he is “ducking” Manny Pacquiao.
Let’s take a look at this further as we go back to 2009. Since videos seem to be of the utmost importance, let’s take a look at what Floyd Mayweather was saying back on HBO’s short-lived talk show Joe Buck Live in December 2009.
Joining Floyd in the interview was New York Giant football great Michael Strahan.
Notice the enthusiasm and positivity from Floyd? Notice his absolute eagerness to fight Manny Pacquiao? This was prior to years of grandstanding and shady negotiation tactics by Bob Arum, Michael Koncz, and Pacquiao himself.
“I’ll be victorious, you can believe that,” said Mayweather, brimming with confidence.
And then what happened?
Manny Pacquiao refused to take Olympic-style drug testing.
I don’t care what the cutoff date was or wasn’t…
I don’t care if Manny Pacquiao will take the test now or if he won’t…
Now let me be perfectly clear: I don’t think Manny Pacquiao is currently on any PED’s or was on anything then.
Having said that, it begs the following question:
Has Manny Pacquiao always been the one afraid to fight Floyd Mayweather?
Because if he was 100% clean as he says he is (and as I believe he is) why wouldn’t he agree to Olympic-style drug testing? If he was completely fearless and dominant enough to beat the best in the world…why not take the test and prove it?
Well let’s see what Manny had to say back then:
So at first, Manny was okay with the testing…just not the day of the fight.
Then, just a few breaths later, 15 days out was too much because he would be in “heavy training.”
Let’s not forget that the minimal amount of blood drawn in a test would not be affect performance in any way physically. The excuse of being affected mentally holds more merit…but would a fighter with the mental strength that Manny Pacquiao himself has be bothered by some blood?
We all know the circus that the Floyd/Manny negotiations have been over the last couple of years.
It’s of no use to further agonize over the ridiculousness between the two camps.
But it isn’t ridiculous to call out biased boxing writers here, there, and everywhere, that fail to see the story for what it is…one with two-sides.
As we reflect on where the fighters were a few years ago—an eager Floyd and what appeared to be a timid Pacquiao—how in the world can we take anything seriously?
Of course Floyd is sick of hearing about Pacquiao…because he’s sick of the same excuses.
That’s not to say that Floyd doesn’t deserve some blame too: he does.
Anything other than a 50/50 split is a nonstarter…but Floyd knows that. The fight’s been dead in the water since Timothy Bradley signed with Top Rank last year. It was never going to be Floyd and Manny this May.
So Floyd calls their bluff. He can twist the arms and spin Team Pacquiao every which way this time around: it only yields a heavier hand in negotiations in the future when Manny might actually be willing to take the fight.
The sooner it is acknowledged that each party deserves blame, maybe the sooner we would start seeing negotiations make some progress.
I won’t hold my breath though.
The fact is, as great as Manny Pacquiao is (and he is without a doubt an all-time great), he doesn’t fight for glory or God or love of country…he fights for money.
And out of the two in these negotiations, there’s one man who uses “money” as a veil for deceiving his millions of fans…
And then there’s another who simply uses “Money” as a nickname between the words “Floyd” and “Mayweather.”
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow @hansolson
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