by Boxing Insider News
Even though Floyd Mayweather would appear to have enough on his plate this week in holding off the bid of interim WBC welterweight champ Robert Guerrero to throw his career into a tailspin, he has felt compelled to address a subject that fight fans are still talking about, at least to a certain degree, which is the fight with Manny Pacquiao that never happened.
Mayweather, in an interview with ESPN, claims that he offered Pacquiao a $40 guaranteed purse for a fight, but the offer came before Pacquiao stepped into the ring with Juan Manuel Marquez last December, and all bets were off afterward as Pacquiao suffered a knockout loss.
According to Mayweather, he got Pacquiao on the phone and made the offer personally, telling him that he could have $20 million within 48 hours, but that Pacquiao demanded a 50-50 split and nothing less and hung up the phone. We assume this would have been with Mayweather Promotions running the show, but there is no confirmation as to whether the money Mayweather was offering had been guaranteed by an outside investor or casino.
In the interview, Mayweather danced around the issue of whether he still believes Pacquiao takes performance-enhancing drugs, questioning how a fighter who began his career at 105 pounds “popped out of nowhere just walking through the bigger, stronger fighters,” and asserted that when he is on what he describes as a level playing field, “There’s no blueprint on how to beat me. I can crack any DaVinci code when I’m in the ring.”
All fight fans recall that Mayweather avoided finalizing a match with Pacquiao for several years, based on his demand that Pacquiao submit to random drug testing, a demand that was refused for a number of reasons, including the proposition that it would take too much out of Pacquiao so close to fight time. Accusations were hurled, rumors started, lawsuits filed, and the end result is that we are no closer to having that fight then we ever were.
Maybe the question at this point is whether such a fight, with both fighters older and perhaps more vulnerable, would have nearly the value it did when it was first being discussed. Indications are that it would still have considerable value, with Pacquiao certainly able to draw healthy pay per view numbers and Mayweather’s marketability enough to have reeled in a record-breaking deal with Showtime.
From a business standpoint, the glitch is that Mayweather believes that he is by far the bigger draw, and that he should be compensated along those lines, while Pacquiao considers himself at least an equal. Mayweather will have none of that talk, and any talk about purse parity is going to produce a virtual standoff.
If the $40 million offer was indeed real, it may well have represented the largest one-fight take in Pacquiao’s career, but the Filipino ex-champion clearly saw himself as an equal draw with Mayweather. But he has now lost twice in a row, and will try to put one in the win column this November in Macau when he takes on either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios. After that, one would assume he would take on either Juan Manuel Marquez or Timothy Bradley. The logical choice would be the winner of that fight, but the very fact that Rios is being considered after having lost to Alvarado demonstrates that he would be willing to take an opponent coming off a defeat.
Mayweather’s immediate concern is, or should be, his bout with Guerrero, a champion in four divisions (featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and welterweight) who has lost just once as a pro. It takes place on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas and will be the first installment in a deal Mayweather has with Showtime that could eventually bring him over $200 million.