News reports out of San Antonio confirm that the Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather camps have indeed been engaged in the recently rumored negotiations for a fight. Responding to a question at Showtime Sports, Mayweather said that he would “absolutely love” to fight Pacquiao in May of this coming year.
Pressure to make the fight has been building for some time now, but Mayweather has appeared to be avoiding the fight. Many have speculated that Mayweather is worried about losing his undefeated status and subsequent claim to being, as his TBE moniker suggests, the best ever.
Reports out of Vegas have been that Mayweather is seeking a 70/30 split of the total revenues. This has reportedly been a bit of a sticking point in the negotiations as the Pacquiao camp, including his long-time promoter and chief Mayweather antagonist Bob Arum, refuse to be low-balled. Pacquiao is on record, however, saying that he will agree to the B-side of a 60/40 split just to make the fight happen.
Reports indicate that Mayweather is seeking a rematch clause in the contract were he to lose. If he wins however he would have the option of walking away and contracting with other fighters for his next fight. If the fight does well economically, and Mayweather does in fact win the fight, many expect that Money May, as he sometimes refers to himself, will be true to his nickname and pursue the big money that again awaits.
Mayweather continued to chide Pacquiao for poor pay per view numbers his recent win over Chris Algieri produced and his recent loses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. The latter knocked Pacquiao out with a single punch in the sixth round of their now-infamous fourth fight. This fight appeared to be the end of any Mayweather vs. Pacquiao talk, but as time passed and Pacquiao stared winning again, the fight again captured not only the imagination of fight fans, but of the general public as well.
During the interview, TBE reminded viewers that it was Pacquiao’s fault that the fight had not taken place earlier. He said that he and his team “tried to make the fight happen years ago” but that there were performance enhancing drug-testing related issues. Again there was the implication that Pacquiao was using performance enhancers, as he suggested that the snag in the earlier negotiations was really about Mayweather establishing an “even playing field.” He went on to characterize Pacquiao as somehow financially desperate despite his November fight generating a 20 plus million dollar payout.
The would-be “best-ever” concluded the interview stating, “Let’s make this fight happen for the people and the fans, Mayweather verses Pacquiao on May 2.” Then, after a pause said, “Cinco de Mayweather,” a tip of the hat to the Mexican holiday he has claimed his own for years now. The only problem is that, as reports out of Vegas indicate, a massive fight between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez looks to have been finalized for the same date. The date, as it turns out, is very important as many Mexican fans enjoy celebrating the event with a good pay per view fight. Alvarez, a wildly popular Mexican boxer and budding pay per view star, wants to take back the date for Mexican fight fans.
With that, it looks like a new drama is developing that fight-fans can enjoy over coming weeks. With so much money on the table and with such high public anticipation and pressure it looks like Mayweather has finally made peace with the prospects of the fight taking place. Floyd Mayweather, the would-be best to ever lace on the gloves appears finally be in a situation where he has no alternative but to fight.
Commentary By Matthew R. Fellows
Photo By: Oliver Petalver/The Daily Sports Herald – Flickr License