Franchise Thoughts: Call Me Crazy, But I Still Think Mayweather-Pacquiao Is Going to Happen

Well, this was an unpleasant Christmas present.

Like most of you, I've been following the drama surrounding the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight and the falling out between the two sides regarding drug testing. Like some of you, I assumed the rift would be solved through negotiation and we'd still be watching the bout everyone wants to see on March 13.

Now I think it's seriously time to revisit that line of thinking. When Bob Arum is talking about alternatives for March - and color me surprised that Paulie Malignaggi is at the top of the list - things are definitely looking a little grim.

I haven't really weighed in on the drug testing and steroid issue, mostly because of the holidays. It's interesting because it's not clear whether Mayweather's testing demands are gamesmanship, a true suspicion that Manny is on something, or (most likely) a little of both.

Likewise, it's equally hard to know whether Pacquiao has something to hide or is just playing his own game of hardball. Boxing fans and members of the mainstream sports media, just getting back into boxing for the first time since Mike Tyson's prime, have taken just about every point on the range of opinions.

Some have even tried to have it both ways. I'm talking about Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, whose most recent column says Floyd's request is ridiculous but Manny should agree to it anyway. Say what?

I think Wetzel is making the same mistake many sports writers make and assuming that the spectre of steroids will haunt Pacquiao if he doesn't agree, when the truth is most fans really don't care that much. If he tested positive, sure. But simply the suggestion that he might be juicing because he refused to cave to Money's demands? I think not.

In the end, the whole thing doesn't interest me as much as whether or not Pacquiao and Mayweather are eventually going to fight, and I think they still will. It probably won't happen in March as originally planned, but there's simply too much money involved and too much interest from the general public for it not to happen.

Interestingly, when we ran a poll asking when Mayweather-Pacquiao would take place a few weeks back, the easy winner was the second half of 2010. Our readers are pretty slick, because I could easily see that happening now.

So Pac Man will fight Paulie or Yuri Foreman or whoever, and Mayweather may need a stay-busy fight as well. When both fighters make good but not great money from those matches, they will find their way back to the negotiating table and make it happen for the fall.

Unless one of them loses a tune-up fight (ahem, Roy Jones!) or gets injured in the interim, you can take that to the bank.

Posted by The Franchise


ICUH8N said...

Just curious on how you guys feel about all this. Opinions?

uatu said...

I am largely indifferent. But I will be enraged and a bit sad if some how this fight doesn't come to pass. I am not saying I would quit watching the sport, or boxing is dead, but it will take me a little while to get over it.

Plus, I too think the fight is going to happen anyway, so that's why I am indifferent until terms are final.

ICUH8N said...

I've followed Mayweather since the Olympics. I haven't missed a fight of his since he beat Genaro Hernandez. Thats well over 20 fights. I think He's misunderstood and he's just the type of guy everyone loves to hate. I enjoy watching his fights and have always been eager to see his brilliance in the ring everytime he fought.

I started watching Pacquiao when he fought Barrera the first time. I won't lie, he had a few BS PPVs that I missed, but overall, I've watched and enjoyed 11 of his last 15 fights. He's definitely a crowd pleaser and I love his style. While I never really jumped on the Pac band wagon, I still respect the man for never turning away from a challenge and fighting everyone Arum put in front of him.

With all that said, I will also be quite enraged if this fight isn't made. I blame both and they will definitely lose a lot of respect from me. They both act like they're bigger than boxing and their egos are too big for their own good (yes even Pacquiao). If Pac fights Paulie, I won't be watching. Paulie has been more outspoken than Mayweather SR accusing Pac of steroid use, yet Paulie isn't get sued, he's getting a big pay day. This is the same Paulie that got stopped by Hatton, the same Paulie that got beaten bad by Cotto, the same Paulie that said he only boxes because it pays good, the same Paulie who can't punch his way out of a wet paper bag. I can't imagine who Mayweather could fight. Mosley? If Mayweather fights Mosley, I'll watch that, anyone else, I won't watch.

This is how I see it. Both guys know this is the fight EVERYONE has been asking for. They both need to man up and compromise. Again though, I won't lie here, I kinda slightly favor Mayweather. I'm sure you guys aren't surprised on that lol. Let me explain...

When negotiations started for this fight, everything flowed smoothly. Weight, gloves, and purse split were agreed upon immediately. The date changed from May 1st to March 13th and that was almost a problem.... But then it wasn't... Location was a much talked about item, but everyone knew it was going to end up in Vegas. Pac demanded a ridiculous 10 million dollar a pound weight penalty. People thought Mayweather would refuse, but surprisingly, he accepted. Mayweather wanted Olympic style drug testing and BAM, brick wall.

Now, everyone is asking... "Who does Mayweather think he is to demand this?"... "This has never been asked for in a fight, why now?"... "Why does Mayweather think he's bigger than boxing?"... I guess everyone is forgetting that this isn't just another fight, it's THE fight! It was common sense both guys were going to demand dumb things. Pac demanded the 10 million dollar a pound weight penalty, Mayweather demanded the stricter drug testing. When has there ever been a 10 million dollar penalty? When has the 2 best lb for lb fighters ever fought each other? When have both fighters ever been guaranteed 25 million bucks for a fight? How often do you see a fight get this much exposure on ESPN? So why would Pacquaio make such a huge deal about all of this? Why is anyone making such a huge deal? I honestly don't see why Pac just doesn't agree. I'm sorry, but his excuses for not accepting those terms is what made me favor Mayweather. BS excuses like needle phobia, superstition, it will weaken him, blah blah blah... THATS what makes me think Pac just doesn't want it. If he wasn't coming up with so many excuses, I would probably be evenly split on the issue, but BS excuses from Arum and Pac makes me think Mayweather is kinda right.

Bottom line though, this fight HAS to be made!!! Enough bullshitting from both sides!!!

Nick Tylwalk said...

Actually, what's irritated me more than the drug testing issue itself is the reaction from the mainstream sports media, who you can tell are not used to covering boxing after largely ignoring it for the last decade or so.

First of all, as ICUH8N mentioned, negotiations went so quickly and smoothly for weeks that I was shocked at how they were going. I expected long and difficult bargaining, so I was not surprised when things hit a snag.

I also agree that both guys have big egos, though perhaps understandably so, so there is an element of gamesmanship that is involved in all of this. I firmly believe the fight is going to happen, whether it takes place in March or later in the year.

But it irks me that the press has been so quick to breathlessly report that the fight was off just because of things Arum or Schaefer or whoever said. Um, these guys are boxing promoters. You always have to take the things they say with a grain of salt!

I also quickly get tired of reading stories about how boxing needs this fight, like it's going to wither away and die if it doesn't get made. The sport is bigger than any one fight, even one that could very well be the richest of all time. It will be a disappointment if the fight falls through, and we'll probably be in for another round of the extremely played out "boxing vs. MMA" articles again, but boxing will still carry on.

ICUH8N said...

I'll tell you one thing, boxing may not need this fight, but I do. I feel as if I need this fight. I don't care who wins, best offense vs best defense, best 2 lb for lb fighters in the world, I NEED THAT.

uatu said...

I don't think pbf is unwise or unreasonable to ask for strict testing. It's a fight, THE fight, and not only is the outcome hugely important to both men, but as always there is a safety issue.

If I was Floyd, and I was clean, I would ask for such testing for every fight. What's the downside? The only reason it isn't tested to such an extent is probably the cost involved. These guys have the money to pay for it, this isn't some local show.

The last supposed Manny offer sounds reasonable to me. Blood at the initial conference, blood 30 days out, blood immediately after, and all the urine you can drink along the way.

And if they go to Paulie, conisdering what you said about him being an outspokent critic of Manny's, well that would be pathetic hypocrisy.