At the moment Floyd Mayweather Jr. reportedly has less than 24 hours to decide whether or not to move forward with a possibly epic November 13th clash with Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas. The upcoming decision of the Grand Rapids fighter is one that has been widely documented and due to the slow summer schedule and undying interest in a Pacquiao-Mayweather clash, Floyd’s every move seems to have captured the boxing world’s breathe.
Promoter Bob Arum has already let it be known at if Mayweather doesn’t give a satisfactory reply by midnight tonight that he will be looking at both Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto as suitable replacements for his prize charge. Both men are fine fighters but each still has question marks hovering around them for different reasons and neither would make for an intriguing clash as Mayweather.
Whatever direction Floyd decides to move in, here is how the aftermath might look…
If Mayweather doesn’t sign
If Mayweather doesn’t get back to Arum tonight then he will undoubtedly suffer a waive of backlash from people within the sport. The hold up to the initial Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations stemmed from Mayweather’s insistence that both fighters be randomly drug tested leading up to the fight, a proposal that Pacquiao wasn’t on board for. Now that Pacquiao has changed his mind and reportedly accepted those terms it looks as though Mayweather has no legs left to stand on and people will be questioning why exactly he decided to not to move forward with the contest.
Little has been said from the Mayweather camp in the past few weeks and you have to wonder what is going through their mind. Some say that the upcoming trial of Floyd’s uncle and trainer Roger this August has played a factor, as the 33-year can’t fathom the thought of being in the corner without him. Roger is facing charges of assault from a former fighter of his, Melissa St. Vil, and could be facing time behind bars.
Other people have mentioned that perhaps money is an issue and that Mayweather is either still living large off of the $40 million plus he made in his victory against Shane Mosley in early May or that he is concerned about tax related issues surrounding a fight with Pacquiao. More than anything there are those who simply feel that Floyd is afraid of facing a fighter of Pacquiao’s caliber and seeing his perfect 41-0 record become blemished.
If this takes place expect Pacquiao to either face Cotto in Las Vegas or Margarito at a neutral location, as the Tijuana fighter’s application for reinstatement in Nevada was recently tabled. You can also expect such fighter as Timothy Bradley, Paul Williams, and Andre Berto to try and angle themselves for a shot at the Filipino icon in 2011, although it remains to be seen how long Pacquiao will continue fighting in the sport.
If Mayweather balks his legacy and reputation will both take a hit and the only way he would be able to redeem himself would be by facing Pacquiao in May of next year. If the Pacquiao fight doesn’t materialize then Floyd could still stay relevant by taking on a fighter like Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who is definitely a risk, but even then there will still be many wondering what could have been.
If Mayweather signs
If Mayweather does surprise us and gets back to Arum with a definitive acceptance towards the bout then the pre-fight buzz on the fight will immediately take off. Despite still four months away, the fight would be covered from top to bottom unlike any event in recent memory. Floyd would also show that he is willing and able to meet the one fighter who the public is truly dying for him to see.
In a perfect world this would be how things play themselves out but this is boxing and things don’t always seem work in a reasonable manner in this sport. All we can do is watch the clock tick and see what happens.
For images of Floyd Mayweather in the ring please click on the image gallery below…
For images of Manny Pacquiao in the ring please click on the image gallery below…
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]