It’s come down to judgement week, the contract is in Mayweather’s hands. Everyone in the boxing world including his “family” over at HBO want him to fight Manny Pacquiao on November 13. Pacquiao wants it, Arum wants it, Golden Boy wants it, every boxing fan on earth wants it. But does Floyd want it?
I believe the answer is a big, fat No.
But Floyd being Floyd, the all-time greatest duck in the history of boxing, is a cunning little fellow and there is a way he can still pull off the duck without destroying his own reputation. We all remember how Floyd recently threatened to retire again for a year or two – Floyd can use that “timeout” card again and say he does not want to fight Pacquiao in November but would prefer to fight him in 2011.
This would be a clever move by Floyd as it will sucker HBO in to pay Floyd another big payday, as I predict he will set up a handpicked fight in 2010 after Pacquiao signs to fight Cotto or Margarito.
This would be clever thinking on Floyd’s part as the hope will be from the Mayweather camp that Pacquiao will lose a fraction of intensity, drive and motivation now that he is an elected congressman. Also, Mayweather fully knows that Pacquiao is 100% jacked up to fight him and him alone, right now. And by having to settle for fighting a secondary opponent like Cotto again or Margarito (“Great fighters have trouble getting up for mediocre fights”) – which by the way are two extremely tough fights – Pacquiao could come in just a tad complacent vs. Cotto or Margarito. Keep in mind, Pacquiao is not a 100% fighter now, he’s a part time fighter and part time politician. Remember how Oscar’s ring skills declined when he became a part time boxer and part time promoter?
Mayweather is no dummy. He knows damn well now is really not the smartest time to fight Pacquiao because Pacquiao is at his prime, monstrous, devastating best. By forcing Pacquiao to wait another year and go through one more very hard fight against Cotto or Margarito – two fighters Floyd would never ever fight himself – it could drain Pacquiao of just a percentage of his greatness and leave him vulnerable just enough where Floyd will then feel confident to finally agree to get in a ring with Manny Pacquiao.
So that’s the prediction. Floyd will back down again in the coming days from having to fight Pacquiao and will then desperately hope that his much envied arch rival will lose to Cotto or Margarito and/or begin to decline from his current Fighter of the Decade, Pound-for-Pound #1 form.
As soon as Floyd sees Pacquiao start to struggle – and that inevitable day is going to come – the Pacquiao-Floyd fight will be made in a New York minute.
But the truth is the fight really should be made right now, and no bulljive excuses from either combatant should be accepted.