Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum set a deadline of last Friday for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to sign a contract to fight his Filipino superstar or miss out on the lucrative payday altogether for 2010. When the deadline came and passed at midnight on that evening, Arum held a press conference indicating Mayweather still had wiggle room over the next ten days; the anticipated time he expected it would take to secure an alternative fight for the pound-for-pound best in boxing. In response at a charity event in Miami on Sunday, Floyd Mayweather Jr. indicated to the Associated Press he is not even thinking about boxing right now.
Regardless, Manny Pacquiao will be scheduled to fight someone, likely Miguel Cotto or Antonio Margarito, in November of this year, so the hope remains Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may still come to an agreement for a super bout sometime in 2011. But should the unthinkable happen and Manny Pacquiao lose that interim bout in November, all bets are off, as we may never see the “Pacman” and “Money” settle their differences in the ring.
Although remote, Manny Pacquiao could lose to either of the men considered to be the front runners for a backup plan, so in the event that scenario transpires, where would that leave us? A rematch of course, which would put off a possible fight with Mayweather into 2012, and by that time the luster of a mega fight between the two would likely have worn off with boxing fans.
Let’s face the facts. As good a technician in the ring as Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be, his fights are usually a bore to watch, and the only reason he is so popular right now is because so many people want to see the man lose. Yes Mayweather fans, he has happily played along as the bad guy in each of his big promotions, and that is what has garnered the interest of so many people who have tuned in to see his fights. But how many times can Floyd go to the well with all the insults and profanity laced tirades aimed at his “Mr. Nice Guy” opponents before people realize this is nothing more than a dog and pony show?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has indicated on multiple occasions throughout the course of his career that he may be through with boxing. This is his opportunity to cash out of the sport right now, win or lose. Why put at risk this fight of ever happening? It just does not make any sense whatsoever.
Cowardice is the first reason to come to mind for many boxing fans, but I believe otherwise. Boxing is simply a means for the man to make money, and it is likely something he does not like to do for pride, pound-for-pound status or anything else.
So the next time anyone sees Junior in the ring again will quite possibly be when the cash begins to run short once more, as was seemingly the case when he returned from a brief retirement to face Juan Manuel Marquez last year. Between his purses from that bout as well as his more recent fight with Shane Mosley, he should be financially set for sometime to come.
But Mayweather playing the waiting game is truly playing with fire. A lot can happen between now and the time he decides to fight again, and by then the opportunity to earn anywhere from $25 – $50 million in a bout with Manny Pacquiao could be a distant memory. As much as he likes money, one would think he realizes that more than anyone else.