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Can An HBO Boycott Force Floyd To Fight Pacquiao?

Posted on 06/30/2010

We know HBO can pick and choose the fights they want to buy and not buy, as evidenced most recently by the television network’s curious refusal to purchase any Klitschko brother World Heavyweight title fights against the best contenders in the world today.

As the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather negotiations supposedly proceed on, a big question is: Would HBO use the same pick and choose business policy on Floyd Mayweather’s choice of opposition, if the American boxer chooses to not fight Pacquiao for 50-50%?

Because outside of Pacquiao, there really are no highly lucrative (and SAFE) options for Floyd to handpick. We all know Mayweather is not going to fight Paul Williams, Miguel Cotto, Andre Berto or Sergio Martinez, and none of those fights are even remotely close to the colossal magnitude of a Pacquiao event and rematch clause anyway.

So if Floyd yet again pulls his ducking act and escapes the danger of having to face Pacquiao in November, his options are quite limited.

And if HBO applies it’s business policy of picking and rejecting it’s fights to televise with the same demanding scrutiny which it uses towards the Klitschkos, Mayweather could be up the creek without an oar, so to say.

Without the backing of HBO, Mayweather Promotions and Leonard Ellerbe do not seem equipped or have the experience to be able to stage a Mayweather World Tour against a series of handpicks like Zab Judah, Nate Campbell, Matt Hatton or Lovemore N’dou.

So the conclusion here is that HBO could force Mayweather to fight Pacquiao by, in effect, taking away his other options. “Floyd, we will not buy any of your fights if you do not fight Manny Pacquiao now,” is what the HBO executive can tell Floyd. “It’s not personal Floyd, it’s business. And we do the same to the Klitschko brothers.”

What would Floyd do? Where can Floyd go?

Sometimes hardball has to be played in order to do what’s best for the sport in the long term scheme of things.

The question is, do the people at HBO have what it takes to produce the biggest fight in boxing history, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather? Or are they ill-equipped to know precisely how to do it?

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