All roads lead to HBO. They don’t lead to Mayweather, they don’t lead to Pacquiao. HBO has the bank, the prestige, the history of showcasing boxing at it’s best.
Devon Alexander, the emerging superstar will tell you. “When I hear the music of HBO (Boxing) come on, that motivates me. I want to be on that. I want to be on HBO when the music comes on. When a big fight comes on and I hear that, that motivates me.”
A big fight that might or sadly might not come on HBO pay-per-view is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. And it’s all because Floyd keeps making excuses and reasons to duck the fight. Floyd wants that HBO money but he doesn’t want to have to face the fists of Manny Pacquiao to get it.
The kid is used to getting things his way and he thinks HBO is going to cater and protect him again, and eventually pay him those big bucks for his next fight, which he obviously prefers does not involve Manny Pacquiao.
HBO should know that all roads lead to HBO, not Floyd Mayweather who is but a pawn of HBO. Al Haymon too is a pawn of HBO. In the big picture, Manny Pacquiao is a pawn to HBO. HBO, you would expect, is going to be around a lot longer than Floyd, Pacquiao, Haymon and Arum.
So do you see? All roads do lead to HBO.
And HBO should remind itself that it really doesn’t need Floyd. It’s Floyd who needs HBO. In a heartbeat, HBO can banish Floyd from the family – same as it did to the Klitschko Brothers last month – and focus on investing it’s resources into promoting and developing worthy and fearless talents like Devon Alexander, Tavoris Cloud, Celestino Caballero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Odlanier Solis, Tomasz Adamek, Robert Helenius and many others.
Where else can Floyd go if HBO kicks his ass to the curb? Showtime and ESPN don’t have a comparable budget to HBO. Few people will pay to see Mayweather fight his handpicked opposition. Mayweather Promotions has never staged a big show on it’s own. There are no outdoor stadiums clamoring to stage a Floyd Mayweather sparring session.
The fact is, Floyd Mayweather desperately needs HBO. There are plenty of talented, hungry boxers ready to step in and replace a cowardly ungrateful boxer who is snubbing his nose at a check for approximately $40,000,000, and potentially up to $75,000,000 if there’s a rematch with Pacquiao.
HBO doesn’t need Al Haymon either. Nor does HBO need Al Haymon’s fighters, they need HBO. Andre Berto, Antonio Tarver, Chris Arreola, Andre Dirrell, Librado Andrade, are not superstars nor are they even close to becoming superstars. If HBO is willing to play hardball with Haymon and Mayweather, they can get what they supposedly want – the biggest fight in boxing history.
But if HBO fails to take charge of the situation and allows Mayweather and Haymon to dictate, to call the shots, HBO will deserve much if not most of the blame for the failure to produce Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, the biggest global event in boxing history.
Sometimes the best need to be pressured and coerced into fighting the best, and that’s obviously the case here with Mayweather being extremely uncomfortable about putting himself in a position where he can potentially get himself brutally beaten up, battered, abused and knocked out.
But HBO has to do what they have to do. It’s not personal, it’s a business. HBO is a leader in sports broadcasting and must make the fights the fans want to see, where the best meet the best.
Like the Formula 1 race car champion Michael Schumacher says, “When you’re the best, you’re always questioned. You win the race and there’s always the next race. There’s always questions.
It’s what makes it interesting. The challenge. To see if you’re still the best.”
The world wants to see if Mayweather or Pacquiao is The Best. They want to see the fight now.
All great things do come to an end. And HBO has something to prove about itself here too. We don’t know if HBO is still the best TV boxing network in the United States. Like a boxer, they have to prove it with every show they produce. If Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fails to materialize, maybe it will signal that the HBO empire will have begun it’s crumble.
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