By Sean Crose
“Laying back, relaxing, enjoying good weather, palm trees, and piña coladas. While they continue to lie about making the fight… I’m just going to continue to travel and explore the world on my private jet. #FightNotMadeYet”
These words, and their accompanying hashtag, were reportedly created by Floyd Mayweather yesterday in response to the hubbub started by a TMZ piece which claimed the potential matchup between Floyd and fellow pound for pound great Manny Pacquiao was a “deal done.”
Floyd’s online posting, which came with a picture of the champ lounging in a tropical paradise, was undoubtedly indicative of the shallowness the man (sincerely or not) exudes for media consumption. Yet it also answered a nagging question many fight fans had been asking:
Was Mayweather-Pacquiao a go or not?
Clearly, it’s not. At least not for the time being. If ever.
Mayweather’s post was followed by the inevitable snickering, tisking and eye rolling of those who (for reason’s unknown) delight in the perceived gullibility of many fight writers and followers. Here’s my question for the snarky set, though:
How many people had an unqualified, unquestioning belief in TMZs headline?
The fact is that most responsible media (including Boxing Insider) focused primarily on TMZs report, rather than on the “done deal” aspect of its headline. That’s a nice distinction that needs to be noted for anyone with a modicum of fairness in his or her veins.
Here’s the truth, folks: TMZ, whatever its reputation may be, has broken some solid stories (just ask the people at Northern Trust Bank) enough to warrant serious attention when it posts a headline like the one which sent shockwaves throughout the fight world on Friday. What’s more, TMZ did make it clear that “a formal announcement” had yet to be made.
Still, the point of this piece isn’t to defend TMZ. It’s to illustrate the fact that the media, particularly the boxing media, is stuck on the Hype Express. What’s more, there’s no way to get off until this bullet train arrives at its hoped for destination or once again runs out of steam in the desert.
Make no mistake about it – being a fight writer is a whole lot of fun (most of us do it primarily for the sheer pleasure). Right now, though, being a fight writer means one has to walk the tight rope between being a realist and being a cynic.
Some have chosen to be cynics. These are the ones you will find tweeting clever quips every time a piece of major or supposedly major news breaks. It’s their right to do such things, of course. In truth, some of those quips can be pretty funny. Here’s the thing though – these reporters may be willfully choosing to ignore real stories when they emerge.
Floyd calling out Manny on Showtime, for instance, was about as newsworthy as a boxing story can get. To ignore it out of a jaded sense of been there-done that would have been a bit irresponsible for a fight journalist, don’t you think?
Having said that, there’s so much information out there regarding this potential superfight – some of it coming from major players in the negotiations – that it seems journalists now need to be equipped with built-in lie detectors. It’s great when something comes straight from the horse’s mouth, but when Mr. Ed contradicts himself a month later it’s hard to know what to think next time around.
So, will the fight we’ve all been waiting years for finally come to fruition?
Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
At the moment, there at least seems to be a general consensus that negotiations between the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps are indeed ongoing.
And that, honestly, is all we have.
That and quotes from Manny where he calls out Floyd. Oh, and quotes from Floyd reminding all of us yet again how rich he is.
Welcome to the Hype Express – destination unknown.