Floyd vs. Manny? Nope…Again

Photo by Grant Smith

Photo by Grant Smith


Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao is considered one of the most anticipated boxing matches in recent memory. However, fight fans are getting to the point where they just want to get it over with.


While boxing fans are eager to see who wins and claims the No. 1 spot in the mythical pound-for-pound pantheon, they are also eager to call a wrap on the bout so they can move on with their boxing lives.


Up to this point, until this fight happens or it is confirmed it never will, all boxing news and stories seem to come back to the “Floyd vs. Manny” question.


While fans eagerly anticipate the bout, they have been waiting for three-plus years and some are losing interest, convinced the bout will never happen. And some feel the bout has been hanging in the balance for too long and had lost some of its lustre.


But Mayweather is nothing if not a salesman and there were a lot of rumours going around that he had picked his platform, Sunday’s Super Bowl, to announce that the fight was a go. There’s likely little argument that there is no better time or place to announce a big event than the Super Bowl, which obviously generates a huge viewing audience.


It turned to be just that: a rumour. Apparently, fans are going to have to keep waiting. Maybe fans were merely hoping Floyd thought the fight had simmered long enough.


Almost any other opponent (other than Pacquiao) would be a tough sell for Mayweather and whether or not Mayweather-Pacquiao turns out to be a good fight remains to be seen.


But it is the fight fans are demanding and Floyd ever the businessman, realizes demand equals dollars.


Floyd and Manny bumped into each other recently at a Miami Heat game and exchanged a few words, possibly a phone number and a handshake. Then, word got out that the two met again at a hotel later that evening and spent an hour or so together talking about, one would assume, their proposed mega-match-up.


This was confirmed the next day when Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz told the Los Angeles Times newspaper that, “Everyone left on good terms. Floyd’s very personable, very cordial. Like Manny said, ‘It’s God’s will.’ God put us together.’” Some would agree the way negotiations for this fight have gone, they would indeed take divine intervention to see the fight come to fruition.


Gossip news site TMZ really amped up fans’ hopes when it broke the news on late Friday night that both Pacquiao and Mayweather had agreed to terms and will indeed fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And in a recent conversation with the New York Post, Top Rank Promotions boss Bob Arum indicated everything was looking good for the match-up to finally take place.


“Everybody is doing the right thing,” Arum said. “We’re looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days, it will get done. The issues are being narrowed down to extraordinarily small points. I’m optimistic it will all be put together in the next couple of days.”


Regarding the recent closed-door chin wag between Mayweather and Pacquiao, Arum said, “I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not. Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight.”


In a recent interview, Floyd Mayweather Sr. even admitted it’s time to make this fight happen. If what his son says is true, that he is indeed closing shop after two more bouts, then Floyd Sr. realizes the door is also closing on the fight. “Now is the time”, Big Floyd said. “The fight needs to happen soon while both fighters still have something left.”


While Pacquiao has long claimed he was ready to go, it appeared Mayweather finally felt that now was the time to pull the trigger on boxing’s biggest fight. And what better stage for an announcement of this magnitude than the Super Bowl?


That said, it appears this is all wishful thinking from hopeful, delusional or perhaps outright gullible fans.


Recent interviews revealed a growing sense of frustration from Pacquiao as he awaited word from Mayweather on whether they could close the deal on a bout that could generate between 250 and 300 million dollars.


“My promoter and I, we’ve already agreed to the terms and conditions of whatever [Mayweather] wants. We’re just waiting on the signed contract from him. That’s the hard part – if they will fight or not. We have to know soon because if they will not fight, we can move on and choose another opponent. The fans deserve this fight,” Pacquiao said. “The challenge is…we know he’s undefeated and claiming he’s No. 1 pound-for-pound in the world. I just want to prove who’s really number one. If the fight is on and he beats me, I’m really convinced he is number one. If not, I’m number one.”


But who really is number one?


Perhaps, after all this time, we thought we might finally discover where and when this question would be answered.


Wishful thinking.



Weekend update


* “El Papa Macho,” a children’s book written by Hector Camacho Jr., will be available in Spanish for the Puerto Rican market this month. “Macho Dad” is about the life of Hector “Macho” Camacho Sr. and depicts the love between a son and father and the loss he feels when his father is no longer with him. It was created especially for children who have lost their parents.


* In what could be considered the first big upset of 2015, Tony “Lightning” Luis won a ten-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten, IBF #15-rated Karl “Dynamite” Dargan last Friday in Connecticut.


* WBA President Gilberto Mendoza on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: “The public needs the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Mayweather’s running out of opponents and it seems he only has two more fights in his career. The purse is soaring and any other opponent has no meaning for Mayweather.”


* R.I.P. Canadian sports photographer Sean Coates. A fixture at ringside for a lot of fight cards. One of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Never had a bad word to say about any fighter. Respected fighters on every and all levels from four-round prelims to world champions. He had a lot of respect for anyone willing to walk up those three steps and take their shot.



Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at bill.tibbs@ucnlive.com and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/tibbs_bill.



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