by Charles Jay
Manny Pacquiao has a “take it or leave it” proposition in his hands from Floyd Mayweather.
Or at least that’s the way Mayweather would like it to sound.
In the made-for-TV interview Mayweather did with leftist author/professor Michael Eric Dyson, he directed a comment toward Pacquiao: “$40 million is what you are getting. Either you take it, or you leave it.”
Such a statement makes the assumption that Mayweather will be the one who has the purse strings. Certainly he aspires to be a promoter, but who put him in charge? He has not been an at-risk promoter to date, and so there isn’t much reason to believe he would be in the position of “lead promoter” when it comes down to putting on a major event like this one.
Unless, of course, he is looking to dictate who much some money man (maybe even Top Rank promoter Bob Arum) is limited to paying Pacquiao.
Naturally, throwing out a figure like that leaves some holes. There are other considerations to ponder, like merchandising, international money, other ancillaries. There may be a “back end” Pacquiao can climb through to get more money out of the deal.
But you get the idea; if Manny wants Floyd, he’s going to have to take the short end of the stick, by about a mile and a half.
Mayweather asks for $40 million himself to fight lesser opponents. He wanted it to fight Paul Spadafora. He thought he was going to get it to fight Victor Ortiz, before the financing fell apart, but he probably got pretty close. He knows that Pacquiao is at least in his league when it comes to popularity.
This is essentially Mayweather’s way of saying that he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao. But you didn’t need someone like me to tell you that.
It would serve him right if Pacquiao said something like, “Yeah, OK, I’ll take it.”
Then what reason would Floyd come up with?
Yes, the drug-testing issue, which has been dissected and re-dissected a million times.
We know it’s more than that.
Mayweather says he doesn’t need Pacquiao, but that Pacquiao needs him. I would beg to differ slightly. I’m not sure either of these fighters needs the other. They could both retire comfortably, Pacquiao’s current tax issues notwithstanding, and move on with their lives, and while there would always be a certain amount of controversy surrounding their inability to come to a deal to fight each other, if that didn’t bother them all that much, it would become less meaningful as time went on.
Sure, if the two want to become a greater part of “history,” they would help themselves if they had such a mega-fight, because during the pay-per-view era, there have been relatively few of these kinds of fights that have not been made. And from that standpoint, they DO need each other because there’s no one left. But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.
The guess here is that if there was a lingering argument in subsequent years, Mayweather would be the one suffering more from it. For one thing, he doesn’t appear to winning the “public relations war” that has been part of the ongoing theme. In other words, you’d have to say more of the public believes he is avoiding the fight much more than Pacquiao is, although in substance, it may not be so obviously the case.
Another factor is that Pacquiao has a very definitive path picked out for himself, which is a career in politics, so he will have moved, on more of a full-time basis, into a rougher arena, and, if we believe the speculation, being president of the Philippines will be a much more important thing than to have had the chance to beat Floyd Mayweather.
On the other hand, Mayweather doesn’t exactly have something like that to glide into. Sure, he’ll try his hand at promoting, or making a rap record, or whatever else he’ll do to capitalize on his name. Or maybe he’ll do nothing at all. But it’s not like there is going to be another discipline at which he is going to excel. And if he remains in Las Vegas, you know he’s going to show up at a lot of the major fights in town, and he’s going to hear over and over again about how he “ducked” Manny Pacquiao.
Is that the way he wants to go through the rest of his life?
Maybe, just maybe, he should reconsider that “take it leave it” ultimatum.