by Charles Jay
It should not have been too shocking that Mayweather would have refused to accept a 50-50 split with Pacquiao for a fight. In fact, he has never really wavered from that; he believes that he is not only the better fighter, but the more popular pay-per-view attraction.
While Mayweather may in fact have slightly higher PPV numbers, he does not have anything in the way of the endorsements Pacquiao has, and it can be argued that Pacquiao has more impact internationally, not to mention a more rabid and loyal legion of fans.
In terms of some of the ancillary aspects of a promotion, he brings a more positive image to the table as well, making him, in effect, the “feel good” star of this duo.
But all of that may be missing the point a bit. There is one fact that is inescapable; if either of these fighters wants to make $75-$100 million for a single fight, there is only one fight that will do it, and that is the fight against each other.
In other words, both of them have 100% of the proposition, or they have 0%. There is no other package that makes sense than for them to have what is, in effect, partnership.
But Mayweather takes on the character of a real diva. With him, you get the impression that if it’s not one thing, it’s another. If he actually was amenable to a 50-50 split of purse, proceeds, something that reportedly has been offered by financier Eike Batista, and perhaps others.
This kind of mind game is hardly unprecedented in boxing. Sugar Ray Robinson was notorious for it, often threatening to pull out of fights unless he got more money, and of course that extra cash had to come out of the other fighter’s end, giving it the effect of one of those stinging jabs where the fist was twisted at exactly the right moment to cut up his foe’s face.
In recent years, Pacquiao had agreed to split money for his fight against Ricky Hatton, then backed off and demanded 60%, before finally settling on 52%.
It’s about a lot of different things. In a sport like boxing, where the combatants stick their chest out more than athletes in other sports customarily do, there’s a lot of ego that manifests itself in money. The guy who makes the most money is generally considered to be the more accomplished fighter and the bigger attraction, and that is something one fighter always likes to hold over the other.
But is it more than just a pissing contest where Mayweather is concerned? Even those who didn’t quite submit to the idea that Mayweather had an usually high level of apprehension can be forgiven if they have changed their minds. As one member of the boxing community who has dealt with Mayweather told Boxing Insider, “Floyd is usually a little nervous with a guy until he sees something that tells him he can beat him. When he saw Pacquiao’s last fight (against Juan Manuel Marquez), he seemed convinced.”
Well, maybe. Mayweather did a lot of posturing after that fight, demanding that Pacquiao come to the table and trying to reverse public opinion that he was “ducking” the fight. There were interviews, phone calls, tweets, but in the end it all comes around to the details that are going to convert this would-be fight from something people are talking about to something they can actually see.
And it is isn’t getting there.
Perhaps people who are reading this can relate, if they have ever come up with a creative excuse not to go to the dentist.
In this case, Pacquiao is the guy who seems to have to pull teeth to get Mayweather into the ring.
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