Manny Pacquiao is currently busy campaigning for a congressional seat in the province of Sarangani in the Philippines. From all accounts, the political process in Sarangani can be a wild and wooly adventure, but Pacquiao will take time out from the stump to work as an analyst for the Mayweather-Mosley television broadcast in the Philippines. Needless to say, Pacquiao, whose proposed bout with Mayweather imploded earlier this year over drug testing demands seen by many as a clever Mayweather smokescreen, will be more than just an interested observer. In fact, his next step, at least as far as boxing goes, may very well be determined by who wins the bout on Saturday night. Freddie Roach has already stated that Pacquiao will fight again regardless of the outcome of the election, so Pacquiao will be searching for an opponent and Mayweather-Mosley has been seen by some as a box-off for the right to face Pacquiao. Not exactly the kind of prize most would hope for–the possibility of being vivisected in the ring by the greatest fighter in the world–but some might appreciate it more than others. But what about Pacquiao? What outcome is he hoping for on Saturday night?
Pacquiao has gone on record and has given Mosley more respect than most who have weighed in on the bout recently. “I think Mosley has a great chance to win,” Pacquiao told The Ring. “He’s a fighter. Mayweather is a boring fighter but I think, Mayweather-Mosley will be a good fight.” There seems to be an air of wish fulfillment to his outlook on the fight, as if Pacquiao, like many others put off by the obnoxious behavior of “Money,” would just like to see Mayweather knocked through the ropes and into press row. But there might be other reasons for Pacquiao to hope Mosley wins.
If Mayweather, as expected, wins, then Pacquiao will be at the mercy of Floyd, Roger, Floyd Sr., and Leonard Ellerbe. Flapdoodles over drug testing and whispering campaigns about steroids will now also be combined with new, vice-like financial demands. Because his pay-per-view numbers against Mosley will far exceed those Pacquiao pulled in against Joshua Clottey last March, Mayweather feels that he is, as usual, in the boss chair. Judging from his recent comments regarding his pay-per-view prowess, Mayweather will look to add financial acrimony to any new negotiations. As one might imagine, this will not go over well with Bob Arum or Team Pacquiao. In other words, as far as Pacquiao-Mayweather is concerned, things are going to get worse before they get better.
In addition, Mayweather is such a polarizing figure that he virtually guarantees blockbuster success regardless of who gloves up against him. No matter where Mayweather breaks ground, so to speak, he will hit paydirt. “With or without Pacquiao,” he allegedly told BoxingScene.com, “I’m still going to go out and make $20 or $30 million a night.” He is, more or less, correct. With a toxic persona calculated to draw the casual fan who confuses vulgarity with glitz, Mayweather can–and has–called his own shots in boxing. Pacquaio may be his equal (if not his superior) between the ropes, but he is no match for Mayweather outside of the ring. Unassuming and soft-spoken, Pacquiao has earned his fame based solely on his fistic merits. Mayweather, on the other hand, has developed a shtick that often overshadows his measured style in the ring. This “superstar status” makes it easier for Mayweather to pick and choose his opponents.
If Mosley, a 3-1 underdog on most books, can spring the shocking upset, then a fight with Pacquiao is nearly automatic, since Mosley simply wants to fight the best and there would be few, if any, hardline stances on his part. Compared to most fighters, Mosley is a breeze to deal with. Because he is determined to solidify some sort of lasting legacy, Mosley has agreed to fight almost anybody without rancor or fanfare. Immediate rematches with two foes who beat him easily–the late Vernon Forrest and southpaw nightmare Winky Wright–certainly prove that much. If not for unforeseen circumstances, Mosley would have faced Andre Berto and Zab Judah as well. Simply put: Mosley wants to fight the best and always has. It would be no surprise at all if Mosley waived “Olympic style” drug testing procedures–talked up not only by Mayweather but by his de facto promoter, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. Mosley has also learned to put his
financial ego in check ever since his stringent demands for an direct rematch with Oscar De La Hoya went nowhere fast in 2000.
For Pacquiao, a Mosley victory will mean his blood pressure level will not rise significantly during negotiations. The same cannot be said if Mayweather wins the fight, especially if he wins impressively. An avalanche of insults, some witty, some merely vulgar, a flashy lifestyle of the rich and infamous vibe, and an unruly family that puts the “dys” in dysfunctional have combined to make Mayweather the only mainstream American fighter currently extant. Over the next few months, if Mayweather beats Mosley, the heckling, dickering, kvetching and retching–partly legitimate and partly contrived for branding purposes–will hit radioactive levels and the only possible innocent bystander, other than the concept of good taste, naturally, will be the superfight itself. Who do you think Pacquiao wants to see win on Saturday night?