Mayweather V Pacquiao - The Unnecessary Controversy
This post/thread started off as a response to some of SouthPaul’s (SP) and a few other forum members wise comments in the “Check Out 50 Cent At ESPN Talking Floyd And Manny” thread.
However, after writing a few lines I quickly realized that what Mayweather has done with respect to the Pacquiao fight, and even others; is interesting enough to support its own thread. Not in the least as it has been the subject of great debate across the internet, through major boxing channels and amongst fighters; for a few years now.
This is my take on the subject and as usual I’m happy to hear your views and where you think I have it wrong or right.
With respect to the above-mentioned thread “Check Out 50 Cent At ESPN Talking Floyd And Manny”, and in particular Mayweather; I agree with most that SP and Amayseng say. Additionally, I also have a few other considerations to add on to the subject of why the Pacquiao and Mayweather fight didn’t get “made”.
Does anybody really believe that, if Floyd Mayweather wanted to fight Manny; the fight wouldn’t have happened by now? And does anybody really not believe that the Mayweather V Cotto fight didn’t happen when Cotto longed for it, and has only happened just now; for any other reason other than now Cotto is slightly more shop worn, knows how to lose, and the vulnerabilities associated with his style are more pronounced - which all makes him a safer bet if the fight isn’t won by KO?
Before I open up this discussion; firstly I want to say that I think Mayweather is brilliant and I am a big fan.
Don’t let my other Kostya Tszyu V Mayweather thread/post fool you into thinking that I don’t like Mayweather; as I do. I have met the guy, Roger and discussed Tszyu.
Floyd has fought many brilliant fights and in my opinion proven himself to be, probably, one of the best fighters of the recent boxing era, if not the best. However, I believe he avoided Tszyu and that, at and/or above light welterweight, his focus on matchmaking and other aspects of the game - particularly those that can provide an advantage in the ring - effectively deceive some of his claims.
Particularly those associated with Sugar Ray Robinson comparisons.
OK, just getting that all out of the way. As sometimes when one talks honestly of the Money Man and some aspects of his business/game; people interpret it as hating. And whilst that might be true for some, it’s not the case here.
Everyone is managed, all boxers have fear, and even Tszyu - as good as I think he was - perhaps unsurprisingly never re-matched Phillips.
Boxers and us - we’re all human.
But boxer’s must juggle the juxtaposition that is being aware of real dangers and threats, whilst seemingly ignoring them, pain, exhaustion and what our bodies tell us in terms of our survival instincts; all in order to compete, let alone win. That’s one dynamic of the sport.
In boxing, to be spectacular usually means you must either get knocked out or knock people out. It’s better to be proficient in the latter, particularly if you plan on staying around for a while, smiling and making money.
But what do you do if you find yourself in the sport and you can't KO people as easily as you should by even you own definitions, don’t really have a killer instinct, and are afraid of the spiraling risks associated with going for the kill; even when opponents are hurt?
And what if all those considerations are who you really are; but at the same time you have also positioned yourself as the ultimate boxing stylist-technician that works from an impenetrable defense?
You could look at Pernell Whitaker. Or you could look at Floyd Mayweather and how he has campaigned at light welterweight and above.
You see most of the controversy surrounding the way Floyd picks and competes within fights, comes down to the fact that in order to preserve his trademark and lossless record at light welterweight at higher; he has to find ways to look spectacular and win on points.
If you didn’t wait until people had been beaten, were old, shopworn, and/or have allowed insecurities - that eat at confidence and stability - to take residence within the mind; and did this; it would be truly spectacular. Perhaps even more than simply knocking guys out. Not in the least as the longer they're in there fighting, the greater the risk is.
Alternatively, you could stack the deck in your favor as much as possible without depriving yourself from the ability to point at why your opponent is a risk, can win and is a worthy opponent. That game is the promoter’s domain, and as we all know Floyd promotes himself.
Don’t mind what Golden Boy says; they're not really viewed as Mayweather’s promoter - at least not by Floyd and as shown by their contractual obligation to refer to Mayweather promotions in some way, shape or form, in almost all of Floyd’s fights. No, Golden Boy are there just for their network connections, business acumen and other commercial purposes - pretty much all the ones that earn Floyd additional money than would otherwise be the case.
“Additional money” and “otherwise”, meaning, in this context; if Bob Arum was still on the Moneyweather (you heard it first here) train. Which, despite being shrewd enough to lay the tracks and employ the fettlers; he isn’t.
Mayweather's hatred for Arum surpasses Oscar's in my opinion, and that’s relevant to this entire subject.
Mayweather and Oscar both found out in disappointingly similar ways that there were many, many, other ways to make extremely big dollars from what they did, and that Arum didn't tell them about them; even though he put them both on the map - so to speak.
Hell, Arum even cleverly organized for pretty models to waving placards and yelling out favorable things about Oscar in his early days like “please marry me Oscar”; when video cameras were rolling. Bob knew how to build a brand. And of course we all know that when other women see beautiful women approving of something, very few assess it on its own merits. They simply think it is something they should like and/or have. Same for some guys, and to prove it there weren't too many guys that would have minded being Oscar for a week or so during those times when his success in the ring was as good as his success out of it.
So, in terms of discovering why Bob went the extra mile – or so it seemed, and did all this; Mayweather has a similarity to Oscar.
As, like Oscar, Mayweather too discovered a source of income Bob was deriving from his boxing, or so it seemed, that he believed Bob ought to have announced, let alone shared.
Resentment soon grew, and even though Bob could fight out of the ring and in the court room (where careers, reputations and fortunes that dwarfed Mayweather’s purses were won and lost in an instant) easily as good, long and effectively, if not better in all senses, than Floyd; Floyd decided;
A) Not only that the money he thought he wasn’t getting from Bob’ other “resourceful revenue avenues” was rightfully his and worth the risk of having Arum boil over with the everlasting hatred and scorn of someone that always got their “mark” and strongly felt that the hand that feed a friend, Mayweather, was bitten.
B) His product, if marketed and managed correctly; could stand on its own two feet - particularly with the assistance of additional and alternative income streams.
Now, even though Mayweather’s divorce and dislike for Arum probably sprang from the well of Arum’s unannounced and other “resourceful revenue avenues”, and even though that is perhaps the very same spring from which Oscar drank and then decided to leave with a bitter taste in his mouth; Mayweather’s dislike for Arum, I believe, is of a far greater magnitude than Mayweather’s dislike for Oscar.
And this is one reason why Floyd allows Oscar to assist him make money under the guise of Golden Boy Promotions.
It’s important to remember that Floyd really has no love or sleep loss over Oscar. He doesn’t like Oscar very much and this estrangement probably originated during Oscar's hey-day when Floyd, as an up and coming professional fighter, saw what he believed to be a beatable guy make millions out of fighting the right opponents at the right time, and misleading the public. And when Oscar sought help and guidance from Floyd Sr. which provided Floyd with a direct communication lead to all that was happening (and possible) in the very big end of boxing business; it served as tireless motivation and confirmed for Floyd both, that Oscar was the mark and beatable, and that going without Arum had not hurt De-La Hoya one bit - therefore how could it hurt anyone that beat him and took all that was his?
Floyd now knew for sure that Oscar “selected” opponents and made them play his contractual game before the fight in the act of looking for advantages. Which was something Floyd, at the time, thought no-one totally confident in their own skills would do - at least not to the same degree Oscar did. He knew previously that Oscar tired in the latter rounds, could be one dimensional under pressure, and struggled with top level fighters, and now with his Dad training Oscar that was all confirmed for Floyd Jr.; making Oscar look like an even easier mark than before - even if Floyd Sr. didn’t already know and explain how Floyd would beat him at a predetermined weight. And Floyd Jr. also knew Floyd Sr. was employed by Oscar because Oscar had trouble with and wanted to learn the very same boxing style that Floyd knew like the back of his own hand.
With all that in mind Floyd knew being incredibly wealthy and a boxing superstar was just a matter of time and for the best part only dependent upon him continuing to win, moving up to welterweight or the another nearby weight, and of course fighting and beating the golden boy. And with Floyd’s father positioned right in the core of it all there was probably no better place for him to be in order for the seeds to planted within Oscar’s mind that a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a great idea and a good test as to whether Oscar could deal with the Mayweather style.
Aside from that, in Oscar’s mind, there would surely be no way someone (whom had already moved up a few divisions) could move up a few (more) divisions to light middleweight (as say Floyd Jr. was eventually asked to do), and then still present such a problem that his naturally heavier and more powerful left hook couldn’t solve. Therefore the standard criteria, and safety net, for most De-La Hoya opponents would still be in place; even with Mayweather.
Little wonder then Oscar made sure the fight with Mayweather was at light middleweight, which he knew would be Floyd’s first fight at a middle weight. However, as we all know weight, or power, is nothing if it not delivered and whilst Oscar should be applauded for the challenges he has taken throughout his career; it may be that he forgot how easily Shane Mosley had hopped up through the weight divisions to out work and box him in 2000; in what was a spectacular performance and fight, and perhaps the sign of things to come for Oscar when faced with guys, or championship fighters involving opponents with outstanding amateur and professional pedigrees.
You know the ones - guys that don’t give a feck about who they spar and what weight they are. Guys like Golovkin, a pre-Wright Mosley and Toney.
Floyd’s plan was then set and the only issue was getting into position so Oscar would fight him. Confidence about the outcome of such a fight only grew for Floyd when he saw how easily Hopkins and the style Oscar had so many problems with, spooked and manipulated Oscar to the point where De-La Hoya was so psychologically drained and beat in his 2004 fight with Bernard that he took the only way out that he could find that didn’t involve making an appointment with a plastic facial surgeon after the fight - the left hook to the body and “out” that Hopkins (unwittingly) gave him.
However before Oscar’s fight with Mayweather was made, and as the De-La Hoya starship went about its merry business as above described - strategically selecting and contracting some opponents whilst getting defeated by those that were from a higher boxing-gene pool and as such couldn’t be easily manipulated before and during the fight; Floyd Jr. became impatient and viewed De-La Hoya as someone that was merely looking after Floyd’s millions.
The desire to put his hands on the cash that awaited was like rust for Floyd - it never slept and manifested itself as ridicule, insults and sometimes uncalculated derision originating from Mayweather that for the most part provided onlookers and the media with an indication of the differences between logic that was at work. From this came the, perhaps, misinterpretation that Floyd was the villain. Initially this portrayal of Floyd served him satisfactorily, but later it grew on him and he allowed it to get under his skin. During those times he did all he could to make sure that he upped the ante on ridiculing De-La Hoya into fighting him, and a part of that tactic was to tell all whom would listen as to the reasons why Oscar should be considered a worse person than him. These reasonings often strayed into extremely personal territory, including how Oscar had children out of wedlock and other personal considerations that would be out of bounds to almost every fighter - except maybe Ricardo Mayorga.
And on it went, until Oscar finally announced the fight with Mayweather will take place in 2007 and be at light middleweight. By then Hopkins had well and truly demonstrated that Oscar had major difficulties with fighters that could deal with and/or take away his jab and hook, and make him reset. All of which Mayweather believed he could easily do, in addition to bringing to the table another problematic boxing consideration that was known to cause problems for the De-La Hoya style; an opponent possessing speed and a great defence.
Naturally with Mayweather viewing, and talking about, Oscar as above described; it didn’t take long before the dislike each had for the other was palpable. Oscar’s personal life and failings were all fair play for Floyd, and what did Oscar have to work and retaliate with? Not much really, as Mayweather had already been cast as the villain; so he had little to lose.
On the other hand Oscar had always been portrayed as the golden boy with dynamite hands and looks. His entire image was, at least according to Mayweather, false and misleading. And Floyd told everyone about it and provided what he believed to be supporting evidence.
Things got to a point where for De-La Hoya to respond to all the allegations, it would seem as if he was validating at least some of them. Nevertheless, even if one divided what Floyd said by three there was some particularly poignant information being spread by Floyd and some of it was new, sensational, damaging and hard for De-La Hoya to dispute.
Floyd presented a real problem for Oscar. De-La Hoya knew Floyd was a good hungry fighter, and that he knew a lot about him. Oscar knew he couldn’t lose it in public either, and at the same time he dare not confront Floyd about some of the allegations because what if Floyd chose to discuss and deal with one that Oscar would prefer not aired.
How to deal with all that? The only thing De-La Hoya could do was to defer it all to the fight.
But then De-La Hoya would surely risk being taken out of his game, if not completely fall into the trap. And it’s not like Floyd and his style can be successfully fought when you're angry and/or have something to prove. No, Mayweather is no Mayorga. To fight Floyd you must be relaxed and at least be light on your feet, capable of regulating power, feinting, and reading traps.
None of which you can do when worked up, tense and fighting like De-La Hoya or Hatton did.
The dislike between De-La Hoya and Mayweather, particularly from Floyd’s perspective, seemed to culminate in at least one of its major climaxes during the lead up to the Mayweather V De-La Hoya fight; when the media (perhaps wrongly) played Oscar as the good guy whilst at the same time apparently failing to meaningfully scrutinize;
1) Oscar's previous opponent selection (to the same degree that Floyd’s is now and was then).
2) The way Oscar won his fights contractually before they started.
3) Oscar's performance and struggles with top tier previous opponents; even if he did win.
4) Oscar’s personal life and those elements of it that served as justification for portraying Floyd as a good guy and Oscar negatively, or as a villain.
After Floyd dealt with De-La Hoya and confirmed that revenge was an awful motivator inside the ring with him; Oscar’s career was pretty much over and his weaknesses were exposed. Particularly for anyone at championship level possessing a style like Floyd’s, Joan Guzman’s, Hopkins or Forbes.
It happens to almost every fighter, so there is no shame in that. You can't say De-La Hoya didn’t challenge himself. After a while even the way he approached his fights - or rather what others thought and said of it - got to him; so he sought after defining and meaningful boxing experiments.
Yet for all the bad water between them Mayweather would rather do business with De-La Hoya, than Arum. Same for De-La Hoya; he will still do business with Mayweather after what has happened - who wouldn’t in Oscar’s line of work I hear you say.
And that tells you something other than golden boy doesn’t discriminate about where its income dollars come from.
Both despise Top Rank so much that it overshadows their dislike for each other, and in that sense De-La Hoya and Floyd are similar. Furthermore, this similarity when it comes to Arum, combined with the fact that Mayweather (despite the consistent verbal hints leading to "Mayweather Promotions") doesn't really have a (fully functioning, connected and elite level experienced) promotional outfit; pretty much define the main reasons why Mayweather puts aside his opinions of Oscar and works with GBP.
And this is relevant to what Floyd wants to achieve, how he wants to achieve it and what his limitations are. Or put another way; it’s relevant to the way Mayweather manages risk, selects opponents and provides the impression that opponents present a higher level of danger than they really do - in order to not only lay the foundation for a promotion, but to also maintain popularity (or interest) and get paid premium rates.
Amongst other reasons why this unusual coupling works, there is the fact that Oscar’s business model as a fighter - that is the way he approached fights - is not entirely dissimilar to Floyd’s. Therefore Floyd knows that De-La Hoya understands what his requirements are, including those that would never get written down. Some of them include never losing and never being vulnerable in any way to Top Rank.
Who better understands this than De-La Hoya?
As a result, both Mayweather and Oscar put their dislike to one side whenever Mayweather talks, fights and does anything that can be twisted into a dollar; safe in the knowledge that - whilst it may hurt to make each other rich - it is a far, far better proposition than the alternative option(s).
Plus it has long-term benefits too.
As the old lions - as they are called - like King and Main Event promotions and Top Rank, are probably too worn out now to take on each guy individually. However, together Oscar and Floyd, representing the (recent) past and (most of the) present of boxing, are practically unbeatable. Particularly if the draw-card is premium content. And it is.
And particularly if they shut out Pacquiao. Which both have very good reasons to do aside from the fact he works for Top Rank.
So there are all these similarities that both Mayweather and De-La Hoya share and understand, that conspire to remove more problems for each other than would be otherwise left unattended to and/or created if the dislike for each other was given priority. The fact that Mayweather need not even talk to De-La Hoya to make it all happen makes it all the more easier.
And there is some fun for the odd couple in these strange get-togethers as well. After all it must be good, even from separate cities and armchairs, to watch the other promotional big guns (like big Lou, Main Event, King, Arum, Goosen, Shaw, etc . . etc) all either hurt or miss out on the really big dollars. All as a result of both their efforts.
And all because the new kids on the block are doing it their way. Remember those before-mentioned promotional organizations used to, before Mayweather and De-La Hoya, almost dictate what the sport would do and whom were its stars. They and their associated sanctions, practically controlled USA boxing.
So, Floyd must surely scream with delight when he (seemingly) promotes and stars in a big marquee Las Vegas boxing event that he knows Arum laid the seeds and craves for; but has nothing to do with. I am sure De-La Hoya doesn’t cry about it either.
Arum, a lawyer, powerful promoter and very wealthy and connected business man; is a force within his own right though. Take a look at what it took to pull Gamboa out of the quicksand after the so called Rios and Gamboa promotion that Gamboa - whilst not actually contracted - was said to have let down and caused Arum damages over. From where I was sitting it didn’t seem like Yuriorkis really had done anything wrong and/or had anything legal to answer to. However, often that doesn’t matter in boxing or law. And when you're in Gamboa’s shoes; you need to fight to eat. Whether you're right or wrong doesn’t matter sometimes, as sometimes once that writ application has hit the court registrar’s desk and been approved; your azz is already sorry and owned - and that’s even if the claimed damages were not more than you can earn in a lifetime with another prime contract and major promoter.
Furthermore, any writ that seeks to define whether your skills, for promotional purposes, are owned by someone else; that takes a long time to resolve; can be as damaging to your craft (if not financially) as losing the case. Particularly if, as is often the case, you can't fight for anyone else whilst the matter has not been resolved, whilst the promoter that “owns” you opts not to find you a fight and draw out the court case.
Not a good place to be when you're potentially the living equivalent of Joan Guzman incarnated into Floyd Mayweather; as Gamboa was before 50 cent saved him.
Anyone that knows boxing and Arum knows that, even though he has cashed in previously with Ali and many others, and also recently with greats including Margarito, Cotto, Clottey, Bradley and Pacquaio; he is and will always be severely jacked off with missing out on what a Manny V Mayweather fight can do. Particularly considering the manner in which Floyd has avoided Pacquiao, belittled him, offered PED use as a reason for his achievements, and waited until, now, when he has been beaten; before even considering meaningfully discussing Pacquiao’s career in any context.
The majority of that embarrassment is also, to some extent, silently worn by Bob as frustration. It is also undoubtedly pointed towards Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Promoters don’t like to have the tail wagging the dog. They are the ones that like to have the control. Bob Arum is no different. Ask Ali how many times he successfully controlled his fate, career, and who made more money from his efforts; him or the promoter.
The only way to change it is to have a promoter whose interests are perfectly aligned with yours, and/or promote yourself.
Lucky Floyd is brilliant at both the latter and boxing, and also not bad with the former. And lucky that the difference between being not bad and brilliant with the former can be addressed in the above-mentioned manner, by Mayweather realizing that his dislike for Oscar is much less than that he has for Arum, and also by working with GBP - whom he knows, out of all the available promotional options, provides the greatest chance of not selling out in any way to Bob Arum.
Effectively, Oscar’s network connections and his similar and dependable dislike and fear of Arum consistently ensure that Mayweather’s primary and secondary interests are catered to; in a manner that gives Floyd all the control.
And a promotional relationship like that is extremely important when you want to remain looking spectacular in boxing. Particularly when that usually means you must knock people out, whilst on the other hand you're only just accepting the realisation that you're slowing down and finding it harder than ever to look impressive and win on points with guys that are not contracted to any disadvantage.
Guys like Cotto - whom literally walked away from a possible fight with Floyd years ago when they were fresh because the fight and/or matchup got a similar (delay and disinterest) treatment to the Pacquiao fight; although not as harsh, dismissive and damaging.
Up until a few of Floyd's fights ago I have always thought Mayweather would beat Pacquiao. However, even though much of what Floyd previously said about Pacquiao, testing and the like, can make sense; much of it also doesn't.
There was much in what Arum previously said when, in response to Floyd effectively deferring a fight with Pacquiao by demanding thorough PED testing, he stated that “we shouldn't have one guy dictating how and what is tested”. A lot of people and even some of those in media put down Bob’s comments about PED testing and Pacquiao as someone jaded for all the above reasons.
Alternatively, anyone that thinks (as 50 has laughably stated when responding to the interesting but unanswered recent PED scare/claim about Gamboa) boxing has a good PED testing program - probably believes that the earth is flat and that if you wire your stereo speakers out of phase you can then communicate with alternative life forms on Alpha-Centuri.
Both claims are absolute rubbish.
Arum’s carefully framed statement, with his lawyer hat on, is especially thought-provoking given that Floyd has previously also, seemingly, produced results from tests that were not easily or credibly explained. Adding to the intrigue is how accepted levels of testosterone have been claimed and/or known to rise in accordance with his interests; particularly during the lead up to big Mayweather Las Vegas fights.
And yes I have heard the retorts for those allegations.
There is always an explanation. And I am yet to hear anyone that is tested positive to come out and clean with it and say “yes I took them because I wanted an advantage”.
Nuff said on that.
Still, regardless of evangelistic competitor or socially avenging promoter, often we are without full disclosure on precisely what is tested for, and perhaps more importantly what is out there that is known and/or suspected, but not tested for.
From all this (and as hinted at in my Kostya Tszyu V Mayweather post/thread) it is very clear that Floyd looks for advantages when matchmaking in a manner that betrays what he says and thinks about himself. And this is where it all comes undone for him to the point where his commercial persona and some of its claims becomes inconsistent and misaligned with his actions.
The problem or benefit (depends on where you sit and what your job is) with all that is that at the same time, Floyd is an exceptional boxer that you can perhaps envisage beating some of the guys that he wants to avoid and/or stack the deck against.
But at the same time he yearns for, has grown used to, and also become addicted to being spoken and thought of in terms of being unbeatable, elite and a fighter that possesses a multi-dimensional style that can deal with anything. In the very least to maintain that “impression” Mayweather must win handily, if not by KO, and that’s a lot of pressure as much as it is an opportunity for Arum to intervene - which is why he and Pacquiao have never been given the opportunity to.
To a great extent many, particularly those that pay and admire Mayweather, have all sucked the above-mentioned “impression” up; hence his previous paydays, HBO deals and also the current Showtime contract. For that to continue all Floyd’s money masters require is for this above-mentioned "impression" of him to remain static or be improved upon - particularly in the paying public's consciousness.
Therefore Floyd has many pressures, some of which he has placed upon on himself.
And this is why his latest opponent list is driven by safety as much as possible, and done so in a manner that doesn’t completely leave him without the ability to claim he’s the victim of hypocrisy or haters – should anyone (like Brian Kenny) call Floyd out on how, why and when he fought guys like;
1) Marquez. (Floyd, already the bigger, stronger, faster man; still came in over the agreed weight. HBO funds either directly or indirectly paid for Floyd’s penalty. All controversy aside, what Mayweather did to Juan made many reassess their views on the outcome of a Pacquiao and Floyd fight, not in the least as whilst Floyd enjoyed a significant size/power advantage, from the technical way he won the fight it was quite clear that Marquez’s style was not going to present him with the troubles it presented Manny; regardless of weight).
2) Brusles. (Was this really the kind of fight/competition that announced someone with Floyd’s talents had arrived at light welterweight. At the time Cotto and Tszyu were probably available; each having their own world title; WBO and IBF respectively)?
3) Baldomir. (What can you say, other than if there was a way to design a groundhog reincarnation day of Henry Brusels, but at welterweight rather than light welterweight; this was it. In almost every conceivable area that a fighter’s skills/talents could be rated - except perhaps for punch resistance and fearlessness - Mayweather was leagues ahead of Carlos, and it was an opportunity to look spectacular whilst minimizing the risk).
4) Ortiz. (Aside from the incredibly poor officiating and the fact that one can make a case for Ortiz deserving what he got; what Floyd did was remove the possible need to get involved in a dangerous and messy slugfest - which is one reason the incident was controversial. Ortiz’ skills and experience were never going to cope with the bright lights and the way Mayweather fights).
5) Mosley. (Way past his prime and exhibiting very obvious signs of weaknesses that top level and other fighters could exploit; when Floyd fought him. Mosley, like Cotto and Margarito wanted to fight Floyd when Shane was in his prime but the fight didn’t happen).
6) Zudah. (Had, shamefully, just lost to Baldomir - an incident many thought and hoped would defer the fight because, in the very least, there was then no title on the line. But no, the fight went on and became sensational for all the wrong reasons; some of which resulted in Zab Judah being suspended for a significant period of time. Underneath the surface was another story, one of Floyd struggling with Zab’s speed, southpaw style and ring savvy for the first half of the fight. Unfortunately by the 6th round Judah had begun to melt under the pressure and then his training and preparation regime became obvious).
Of whom all were in some way associated with some kind of controversy, even if there were not other, more entertaining, worthy and dangerous opponents out there.
And if the above list and the curious aspects of those fights where all accidental, then it’s not only incredibly remarkable but there’s also then a fairly good chance that a light zephyr can blow a completely unassembled Boeing 747 jet in the midst of maintenance and parked in an open hangar; into a fully functioning airliner - in time for its engineer to return from his coffee break.
You see, for all Floyd’s brilliance, ever since he became a light welterweight he has really looked to stack the deck in his favor. So much so that it became really obvious. What has contributed to the controversy about this has also been that Floyd, if he chose to, could probably have beaten some of the guys he avoided.
But that may have made for a dangerous and messy brutal fight at a weight where Floyd could have been KO’d or hurt, particularly if he got into a serious, vicious and extended exchange; which is one feature of a fight that Mayweather avoids these days. This, I believe, is one reason why he took Ortiz out when he could; even though he could probably have beaten him over the distance if it lasted that long. Floyd knew that Victor was prepared to lay it all on the line in that fight, and Floyd would prefer to fight a guy that is not quite so unpredictable and dangerous.
Which leads me to what else has contributed to the above-mentioned controversy related to Floyd. Namely, the need to look as if the “impression” that has earned Floyd his millions and placed him where he is now; is genuine, sincere and real. Because for that to happen, and the entire business and boxing machine around Mayweather, including himself, to continue in its existing and projected states; Floyd must maintain the “image”, “perform”, win, and fight guys that he believes will allow him to shine.
But it’s very hard to do that whilst accepting all oncomers, mandatories and challengers.
To a much lesser extent there is a fighter in Australia that has done a similar thing. Danny Green. Sure he’s not as flash and talented. But many of his fights, particularly when analyzed, have nowhere near the risk, danger and challenge, that he would have his fans and marketing department believe. In fact some of his opponents are sought out because they do appear recently weakened from psychological or physical disorders (Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Paul Briggs), and there is no suggestion here that Floyd goes to that extent when matchmaking. However clever match making and shrewd advertising techniques go a long way towards giving the fans something to believe as well as indoctrinating them as to what the fighter and promoter would like them to think the reasons are for those beliefs. Combined with the high percentage of uninitiated fans in Australia and those that don’t understand how, to a large extent and unlike amateur boxing, in some ways professional fighting can be easier – not in the least as for the most part you can choose your opponents right up to contention stages; Green has had his way with the boxing public as they're bent over the table, and not even bothered to call them in the morning to thank them for the good times.
It’s a testimony to how much sport is a business first. Because, if you're worth big dollars to the economy and a particular sanction; then you can usually chose your opponents through contention stages and also whilst a champion. Particularly if you're the IBO champion where there is almost no such thing as a mandatory challenger that you don’t want to fight. Naturally, this describes why Green is an IBO fighter, and whilst Mayweather probably wouldn’t bother with the IBO sometimes his operational mode can seem to treat other sanctions that have a better reputation (is there such a thing, or is that an oxymoron) as if they have no meaningful mandatory challenger - or at least as if they have none that he approves of.
In any regard I think you get the picture. Enough of Mr. Green and the analogy.
So, we know that Floyd has an enormous amount of pressure, due to the above. What we also know is that along with the safety first approach that Floyd sometimes employs, at times he will also take big risks and find a way to win. If not he never would have fought Oscar, re-matched Castillo and consistently had all those great fights at weights lighter than light welterweight.
That includes Corrales, Chavez and Ndou.
Even some of his untainted fights at light welterweight and above have been great. Including the recent fight with Miguel Cotto. As in that boxing match Floyd showed us that he is a true champion even though that bout undoubtedly presented unexpected difficulties for him, together with how he bled from the nose and was unable to really find a signature and reliable punch or combination in the fight - until the latter rounds - despite Cotto being rather predictable.
But in conjunction with these considerations and perhaps serving as one of the more significant points of complexity about Floyd, the controversy, and his decisions in relation to his match-ups and the way he fights; he has also become heavily addicted to looking good as he executes his craft – regardless of how diametrically opposed that requirement may be with respect to addressing the increased complaints pertaining to risk taking, or lack thereof.
Perhaps some comfort can be derived from the fact that the addiction is not new. As Roy Jones, Oscar and several others have had a similar infliction. With Jones it pushed him to become increasingly selective to the point where he was vulnerable to capable boxers that were prepared to fight hard for all 12 rounds, and Tarver. With Oscar it could arguably be said that he became infatuated with it to the point where he was literally unprepared and unable to maintain welterweight and middleweight punch-output averages over the full range of a fight, when faced with guys that could deal with his left hook and carry out the goal to un-prettify his good looks.
There used to always come a point in prizefighting where the two philosophies can no longer live as one. Safety first and stiff competition, regardless of the cause – even if it is to look spectacular - rarely make good bedfellows and coexist for long. That is unless the competition is not living up to the advertising posters and/or the sanctions are failing to feed live mandatories into the mix.
Floyd will soon be faced with a choice, even if it is not upon him now as a result of the Cotto fight.
Does he want to maintain the impression and give spectacular performances regardless of the competition? Or does he really want to go deep and substantiate that his skills and style can handle whatever is out there at or about the weights he campaigns.
In order to do the latter and substantiate that his skills and style can handle whatever is out there, Floyd will have to be a little more James Toney than Roy Jones.
Toney (in his prime), is a good example of someone that was probably one of the best smooth operators of all time (in my opinion). He had many aspects of that which Floyd subscribes to, down pat beautifully. Furthermore, Toney didn’t give a feck whether he had to wear some battle scars during or after the fight – or even before.
Better that than fight someone that was easy; as Far as James was concerned.
And the real boxing fans know all this, yet it seems Floyd has gone out and signed up on a string of easy fights in spite of it all anyway. Well, at least according to many boxing writers.
Or has he? Will Guerrero push through, capitalize on Floyd’s slippage and connect; where Cotto couldn’t?
Or is Floyd so clever at walking the boxing tightrope strung tightly between being spectacular and truly challenging himself; that he has not overlooked how important it is to test yourself every 3rd or 4th fight. Which is exactly what he does.
In my mind (and I am critically judging at championship level here) a perfectly prepared Mayweather has way too many tools for the high volume punching, practically defenseless, unbalanced, but tenacious, fast and powerful southpaw Pacquiao.
If Floyd were prepared to dig deep and fight, his tools combined with his naturally greater strength, balance, boxing IQ, defence, and weight should be major assets and advantages.
I believe Mayweather knows that with his defence and style he could probably easily send a variety of right hand punches – leads and counters – in to a rushing Pacman, and connect with uppercuts and an array of other weapons – particularly as the distance closes.
But any Mayweather fight with Pacquiao also had/has a very high likelihood of not being pretty, and furthermore it is also not without its dangers either. And that’s a problem even aside from the fact that Pacquiao is promoted by the arch-enemy.
Floyd knows it is very hard for even his style to deal with fast, tenacious southpaws. Particularly those that are KO artists, not easily intimidated and tireless.
Furthermore, aside from Oscar and Cotto, and perhaps also Hatton (all of whom Floyd struggled with to varying degrees and at times, and was not able to always look pretty) Floyd has probably not fought another guy that is as big as Pacquiao is; in all senses of the word. Additionally, at the time the height of the Mayweather and Pacquiao controversy had peaked Pacquiao had, or was on his way to, knocking out Oscar, Cotto and Hatton in devastating fashion that Floyd was unable to emulate.
Yes Floyd had probably softened up Oscar and Hatton for Pacquiao. We know that. But Pacquiao destroyed Cotto - well a starved Cotto.
So (remembering that the bulk of the controversy surrounding these guys originated before JMM KO’d Pacquiao) if the fight ever happened ones things for sure; Pacquiao wouldn’t have been walking into the ring to face Mayweather feeling intimidated or as if he was less than Floyd. And Floyd would have the added pressure knowing that if it went to the scorecards, that was a place that Arum could touch him and change him forever.
In fact, Mayweather could most probably bet on that what he would get with Pacquiao (at the time of the main controversy) was 12 rounds of the same difficulties he had for the 1st 6 rounds with Judah. But with the added concern that Pacquiao can hit hard and doesn’t get tired easily; unlike Zab.
Little wonder the whole idea got buried under the perfectly timed PED suspicion scandal.
And for the reasons Floyd has (and hasn’t) discussed he decided that he wanted Pacquiao to substantiate that he was prepared to categorically confirm he hadn’t artificially enhanced his performance; in order for any fight with Pacman to go ahead.
The move both had substance and was a smokescreen for hidden agendas. But none of that really mattered, because Mayweather’s move was all that was required to permanently stonewall the whole show.
For a fighter that has all the above-mentioned pressures and priorities, like Mayweather; strategically demanding that Pacquiao substantiate that he was prepared to categorically confirm he hadn’t artificially enhanced his performance; was a move that was as good as it was bound to discover another reason not to fight Pacquiao - if that was required.
Delaying the fight in this manner not only greatly increased the chances Pacquiao would physically decline, it also increased the chances that someone else would beat him and that his bargaining power would erode and provide yet further reasons that would possibly assist Floyd’s interests.
Particularly since Arum need to make money from Pacquiao is probably greater than his thoughts about Manny’s longevity in the sport – a problem Mayweather doesn’t have, anymore.
And Pacquiao’s initial responses to Floyd’s testing requests; well it didn’t really didn’t help him did it? Not in the least as Pacquiao’s initial reasons given for not wanting to take blood and the other tests Mayweather suggested, were laced with as much potential to raise eyebrows - as Mayweather’s concentration on reasons to not make the Pacquiao fight in the first place. Particularly when looking at the above listed 6 opponents and fights that Floyd designed and participated in.
And with this came an endless pit of reasons and controversy that whilst not entirely fictitious; perfectly performed both as expected and planned. The fact of the matter was that there were so many real and imagined reasons for Floyd not to fight Pacquiao that nobody knew the truth and another risk in the ring (Pacquiao) and out of it (Arum) was avoided; most likely because Floyd was unsure whether he could finish the fight with a KO win. And if he couldn’t that would mean going to the scorecards on a Top Rank promotion; which was very risky regardless of the Golden Boy - Top Rank percentage split.
Let’s be real here.
Does anyone really believe that if Floyd, with all his skills, thought he would easily KO Pacquiao, he wouldn’t have just gone in there, embarrassed the hell out of Pacquiao and Arum, got the job done, made a few snide remarks about Bob in the victory speech, and then rode off into the Las Vegas sunset wearing the national Philippines colors?
No of course not. Pacquiao was the Judah that wouldn’t tire and come undone after 6 rounds. Plus he had also demonstrated that it only took him one punch or combination to blow guys out. A guy like that can destroy your career or bring it close to that point - as was proven by Pacquiao’s destruction of De-La Hoya, Hatton, Diaz, Margarito and others - even if his promoter can't and doesn’t have a life-long vendetta that features you as the main actor.
History tells us that Floyd then had a break, a retirement; surely hoping the Pacquiao matter would too.
Upon Mayeather’s return from his retirement he had decided to do something about the rumors he was avoiding Pacquiao. As a result Floyd challenged Marquez, safe in the knowledge that the money being offered to Juan would not be insignificant and thus ensure that Marquez was not too overly particular with the contractual fine print; as is often the case in prizefighting and promotion.
The idea, whilst not new, worked. If Mayweather came in fat, Marquez got more cash, and that was what it was all about. Floyd could then fight with an advantage that would be deemed outrageous in most contention and title fights, whilst according to the agreement he was doing absolutely nothing wrong. Agreements like these are often viewed by opponents as serious money earners, and if the price is right the “W” doesn’t matter. It’s not fixing a fight, but it is also sure as hell not leveling out the playing felid either. One guy effectively sells his access to a contractual element that would ensure the game was fair and therefore he not only loses the advantage but the other guy also gains one.
It’s not just subtraction. Cotto did it with Pacquiao, and Floyd did it with Marquez. In fact Floyd didn’t just add weight and an advantage, whilst taking away or minimizing one of Marquez’ assets; throughout the entire lead up to the fight Juan, as with most of his fights, was most likely on a diet and not as strong as he would otherwise be in order to make weight. He probably had no idea that Floyd was not experiencing similar constraints and instead would have expected Floyd to come in quite weight drained. So, Floyd managed to get Marquez, perhaps unnecessarily, weakened before the fight; whilst Floyd himself was significantly stronger than Marquez even if Juan didn’t have a diet to adhere to and even if Mayweather was not overweight.
The fact that Floyd wanted to do all that with a guy that troubled Pacquiao and usually campaigned at a few weights below Floyd is extremely telling; even if there were no rumors associated with Floyd avoiding Manny.
Just as a KO artist who gets his opponents out of the fight early all the time will, eventually, be somewhat vulnerable to a good fighter that can survive and take him into the latter rounds and then turn on the heat - the same goes for fighters with excellent defenses. Their punch resistance is usually almost always a weakness; because (wisely) they never get hit.
Of course, Marquez didn’t have that problem at all and Floyd new it. In fact Marquez was probably the only guy that Pacquiao, during his reign of terror, had been unable to properly KO. And that was a problem for Floyd. Because if Marquez walked through the punches of Floyd and didn’t respect him, he and his trainer were easily clever enough to know how to get past Floyd’s defense and hit him the way Mosley did in the early rounds of his encounter with Floyd. After all, it’s not like Mexican boxing gyms don’t specialize in breaking down that kind of defence - as a top level Mexican pro you must know how to get past it, otherwise you will never make it to the top.
This may provide insight as to why Floyd came in overweight and with an advantage with his Marquez fight. What seemed like a simple, agreed upon single advantage, was really a gain for Floyd that recalibrated if not removed the biggest single differentiator between them. And both Floyd and his team knew it. They're not stupid.
Let’s look at some more patterns and/or coincidences related to Floyd. He beat Marquez in the above-mentioned controversial overweight manner, but then (recently) went on and won against Cotto in a gritty fight (for Floyd) that didn’t involve the contractual advantages Pacquiao had KO’d Cotto with, or those Floyd used with Marquez. However Cotto, particularly for Floyd, was slower and far more predicable than Marquez, and also Cotto’s attack almost always involved much less punches and combinations. Cotto’s reliance on left hooks seemed to also be a great benefit to Floyd also; as Floyd’s defence and counter-punching style was tailor made for guys slower than Floyd that relied on their left hooks. So from all this Floyd could therefore afford to back off on some of the more obvious advantages, even if Floyd was not supremely confident in Cotto’s stance making him perfect for the Mayweather uppercut; whether via uncoiled shoulder roll or the left hand.
And let’s face it, Floyd really needed to back off on some of the more obvious advantages and matchmaking approaches he had adopted in the past, particularly if he didn’t want to bring anymore heat upon himself and come across as a hypocrite whilst attempting to expose how Pacman managed to crush Cotto and others like Pacquiao De-La Hoya in such devastating form. So with the pros and cons of a Cotto fight and its relevance to Pacquiao all weighed up; Floyd then used the Cotto fight and its success to both deflect attention away from a Mayweather V Pacquiao fight and elaborate on how Pacquiao and Roach like their opponents not to eat and lean; before capitalizing.
It didn’t matter to Floyd that he had done something similar with Marquez as that which he was exposing Pacquiao for; as Floyd not only did that to Juan in a much more clandestine and shrewd manner where the advantage was similar except without Marquez being noticeably limited by his own physiology - but Floyd also cleverly and deliberately failed to KO Marquez when he could - in order to contain the almost certain revolts that would be associated with Floyd’s contractual advantages and to ensure they didn’t reach a fever pitch once all the agreement’s details were out in the open. In effect by not KO-ing Marquez, it gave Floyd the ability to claim that any perceived contractual or other advantage was not as great as it really was; which is exactly what happened. Furthermore, in all the controversy and sensation perhaps the relevance was lost that whilst Pacquiao certainly did enjoy contractual, weight and other advantages with guys he sensationally blew out like De-La Hoya, Margarito, Hatton, and Cotto; this didn’t apply to Pacquiao’s life and death fights with Marquez - regardless of whether Floyd opted to starve down and make weight, or not.
As an adjunct, and De-La Hoya aside, for the most part it seems that Pacquiao managed to get the majority of the top-level opponents he sensationally bet up to agree to extreme weight changes. Hopefully no-one would be foolish enough to say that, at least in part, that was not due to the fact that both Pacquiao and the majority of the aforementioned opponents were Arum’s boys, or if not they were in some way connected.
Despite dominating Marquez in a manner Pacquiao could only dream of, Nothing Floyd did really provided conclusive evidence he would beat Pacquiao if they fought.
And that’s not surprising because that is why they have boxing fights; to see who is best between two competitors.
Beating an opponent that beat a mark; doesn’t mean you will beat your mark. Not in the least because styles make fights. And even though;
a) Mayweather weakened several high profile guys before Pacquiao sensationally beat them to a much more conclusive result.
b) Mayweather successfully achieved less conclusive victories over top level opponents that Pacquiao destroyed, but without enjoying the same pre-fight and fight advantages that Pacquiao did.
c) Happenings like this where Mayweather practically fought almost everyone that fought or went near Pacquiao - but not Pacquiao - went on for several years.
It did nothing other than to fuel the desire for a Pacquiao V Mayeather fight, and of course promote discussions on who would win and if Mayweather was really avoiding Pacquiao. . . . . .
So, what can really be deducted from all of Floyd’s actions? After all this discussion and investigation is mostly about that and whether there is an undeniable pattern, greater than a coincidence, in Floyd’s actions that provides insight as to whether his given reasons for not fighting Pacquiao are the absolute truth.
One striking observation is that Floyd has or had a very strong and obvious interest in the reasons not to fight Pacquiao that appears to be imbalanced and out of proportion to how beatable and unworthy he claimed Pacquiao was. It is remarkable to look at Mayweather’s opponents and think that out of all them Floyd has never been faced with squaring up against someone on the juice before; even if Pacquiao had been using. By that I mean there does seem to be some element of convenience associated with Floyd’s reasons for not fighting Pacquiao, and that convenience must surely trace back to Arum and the need to not only win but look superior and spectacular. Another very interesting observation is that Floyd was unwilling to fight an opponent (Marquez) that best resembled the difficulties associated with fighting Pacquiao and one that had agreed to all Floyd’s PED testing requests; without some significant advantages. And that was despite the fact that Marquez had been a featherweight for the majority of his career, and had only just moved up to lightweight to fight and beat Juan Diaz 7 months prior to Floyd expecting him to face up to what was in all likelihood, particularly by the time he walked in the ring, a light middleweight Floyd Mayweather.
But the whole point of requesting opponents and Marquez to undergo stringent PED testing was, according to Floyd, to ensure the playing field was level. Yet the advantages Floyd contracted into the agreement with Marquez and enjoyed were at least as beneficial and dangerous (to Marquez), as say Marquez theoretically using PEDs and fighting Mayweather. And, in the same way that Floyd opted to exercise his legal right and not present himself for Pacquiao’s claim for damages arising from Floyd’s alleged claim he was using PED’s; this surely has implications for how the Marquez fight was used as a mechanism by Floyd to justify not fighting Pacquiao.
I don’t think Floyd is scared that he will lose to Pacquiao. I think that he is scared that he will not look good and/or spectacular doing it. (Before Marquez KO’d Pacquiao, and maybe even now) Floyd was/is unsure that he would be able to manage a tenacious Pacquiao whirlwind for 12 rounds and not look spectacular and/or get embarrassed. Fast southpaws with excellent stamina, that throw a lot of punches and have good punch resistance; are always very tough to win against, let alone look good against; even if they don’t have marquee experience. But Pacquiao is all that, plus he has the experience gained from fighting literally every serious top level contender from featherweight to welterweight.
So Pacquiao was never going to get stage fright, forget the script and drown in the big lights of a Las Vegas fight. Something Floyd can almost always be guaranteed his opponents will experience to some degree.
Even though I think that the Mayweather that KO’d Hatton would probably beat the Pacquiao that KO’d Hatton; the speed and power Pacquiao demonstrated with Hatton confirmed that he can do something (at least then) that Mayweather can't. Contrary to Mayweather’s claims; there was nothing in the Pacquiao V Hatton fight that Mayweather previously did to Hatton, that enabled Pacquiao to easily take out Hatton in the way he did. Sure, Mayweather may have softened up Mosley and Oscar and exposed some weaknesses, for Pacquiao; but Hatton was taken out way too early by Pacquiao for any of that to be attributed to Floyd. In fact Hatton rushed Floyd similarly throughout their fight and Floyd, for whatever reason, took longer to adjust but still got the job done. If Pacquiao’s fight with Hatton had taken longer and Ricky started to crumble than my opinion may be different.
And this is all relevant because there is no way that Floyd (particularly if he was not confident of KO-ing Pacquiao) believed he would be able to fight Manny for 12 rounds and not get hit with a punch like that, or several. Remember how often and easy Judah -another fast southpaw - landed in the 1st half of his fight with Floyd? But Pacquiao hits much harder than Zab, and he can throw all night. And as before-mentioned, one of Floyd’s main weaknesses is punch resistance - because he never meaningfully and practically trains it - as to do that is akin to getting hit in your own gym. I am not saying Floyd is chinny; but he’s no James Toney either. If you doubt me; check several of Floyd’s recent fights with top guys where he gets hit hard - usually he will hold straight away. Mosely is one example, and Cotto is another. In fact during rounds 8, 9 and 10, Floyd repetitively held Cotto’s right hand because Cotto was hurting him with it after he lured Floyd’s chin out from behind the shoulder with a right hook to the body or something else effective. In fact everything about Mayweather’s training points to not practically and meaningfully exercising punch resistance. Put together with the fact that Pacquiao could probably match Floyd for speed, and therefore take away much of his ability to use his reflexes defensively and offensively; little wonder Floyd wanted advantages when facing someone whom was not bothered with Pacquiao and someone that had serious punch resistance.
And little wonder Floyd (or his advisors) didn’t respond to and go out of their way to chase up Pacquiao and make the fight when both Pacquiao and Roach, finally after much ambiguity and playing on their part too, made it clear that they would agree to all Floyd’s testing demands. And let’s not kid ourselves that they haven’t said that now.
There's a principle I always use in life. It has served me for decades and sometimes resulted in situations where people have thought I am a little prophetic; particularly with work and other situations involving multiple and or influential people, and the usual politics and misleading behavior. If used correctly, it is absolutely faultless in its ability to cut through the crap.
I always look at what people do, not necessarily what they say. The difference between the two and how and when it changes is often more revealing than what the person has said. This technique is particularly apt for Floyd’s actions with respect to Pacquiao.
It’s important to remember that this discussion is not about whether I think Floyd would beat Pacquiao now. It’s about whether what Mayweather has said about why he hasn’t fought Pacquiao makes sense and/or is the real reason he hasn’t fought Pacquiao.
Above I listed 6 fights of Floyd’s that all involve some kind or multiple advantages. Some of the advantages are very serious and/or meaningful. They are by no means the extent of all the examples that illustrate how Floyd’s fights often start at the contractual stage. The multi-layered hypocrisy Floyd applied in relation to his approach to the Marquez fight is as stunning as it is revealing. Aside from Floyd’s above-mentioned and unfair advantages in the Marquez fight he, incredibly, held that fight up as if it were a shining example and a beacon for cleaning up the sport and ridding it from competitors whom seek an unfair advantage through PEDs - from there he confusingly used that fight as justification for not fighting Pacquiao and as a means to embarrass him and say “look how easy it is to take the tests”.
Do we know what Floyd was testing for before, during and after the Marquez fight? What if the testing and its scope was not absolute? Or, what if there was a relatively unknown performance enhancing substance that was known to be in circulation and use, and that substance was omitted from the test’s scope?
That wouldn’t happen would it?
Another observation from this investigation and what Mayweather does (not what he says) is that Floyd is as risk averse as a top level prizefighter can possibly be. Much of this comes from the fact that he is a brilliant boxer blessed with magnificent skills and an ingenious fighting IQ. However a lot of it also originates from the fact that Mayweather, particularly now, sees himself as more of an entertainer than a fighter. And that presents problems when opponents are underestimated, or when they perform unexpectedly well, and/or if they don’t capitulate and are prepared to go to the trenches.
Looking at the manner in which Mayweather avoids risks, it’s not incorrect or inappropriate to say that it is almost as amazing as his skills - the degree to which Floyd avoids risks - that is considering how great a boxer he is.
I can't recall a fighter as skilled as Floyd that avoids risks to the same degree as he is skilled. And in this sense, that aspect of Floyd’s game is probably unmatched.
The fears and risks of fighting and boxing often present themselves when a fighter steps up into the ring without knowing whether he will win, knowing only that he’s saturated with the feeling that tonight he will probably be in the fight of his life. However since Floyd became a light welterweight he has either rarely felt that and/or done almost all he can to avoid it. If you look at the guys within that timeframe that Floyd has faced, for various reasons, there are very few that have presented him with a real danger, and of those that have the danger has usually been addressed before the fight contractually, as above-mentioned, or in some other way.
The main threats Floyd has fought since becoming a light welterweight are Hatton, Marquez, Oscar and Cotto. Marquez has been addressed. Oscar was probably past his prime but being the big and main draw-card that he was, he fought Floyd on grounds that didn’t serve any discussion that Floyd is risk averse. Not in the least because Oscar provided Floyd with very little in the way of advantages going into the fight. Hatton had always struggled at welterweight with lesser fighters, was too short for the weight and had no defence; particularly for someone with Floyd’s skills. Aside from that Hatton was in his prime, but needed an opponent to stand in front of him in order to make a good fight. Cotto had been, controversially, destroyed by two Arum fighters prior to meeting Mayweather, was way past his prime and (for all the above reasons) considered to be relatively easy.
So Oscar was probably the most difficult on paper and in the ring. That was also the only above-mentioned fight at light welterweight or above that Floyd had, where he didn’t control who and when he fought, and the other contractual aspects of the fight; like weight. When you put Pacquiao against that list there are significant differences and risks.
Pacquiao had beaten them all. He was faster than them all. He hit harder than them all. He was fitter than them all. He threw more punches than them all. He was more experienced with being successful with top level fighters than them all. He was more fearless than them all. None of them were a southpaw, but Pacquiao was. And the list goes on.
Yet we were told that Floyd couldn’t fight Pacquiao because Pacquiao wouldn’t take the tests.
Looking at what Floyd has done and paying slightly less attention to what he has said; after a while it becomes extremely difficult to accept that all the above factors, observations, advantages and considerations associated with Mayweather’s career, have all somehow happened by chance and still managed to benefit Floyd’s interests greatly - because he is not risk averse and Pacquiao was not seen as a major risk.
From light welterweight up; in a nutshell all the above-mentioned factors that stacked the deck in Floyd’s favor and benefited his interests greatly also conspired heavily to present a situation where, for Floyd, it was simply too easy and comfortable to do anything other than;
A) Allow the majority of the public, and those in the sport, to believe that there was at least some validity to Mayweather’s concerns about Pacquiao and PEDs.
B) As a decoy to the real thing, fight opponents like Marquez that Pacquiao had trouble with; with advantages and in a manner that Mayweather had sometimes himself criticized Pacquiao for.
C) To try and embarrass Pacquiao by beating opponents he had beaten; in a manner that highlighted the advantages Pacquiao had contracted into the agreement.
D) Go about providing the impression - regardless of how tainted and misleading that impression may be - that by fighting and beating everyone else but Pacquiao - whether it be with an advantage to the equal of that which he had criticized Pacquiao for or not - this meant that Floyd was not scared of Pacquiao and would easily beat him.
And this was not just because Floyd didn’t believe he could control enough of the contract and other aspects of a Pacquiao fight and promotion to squeeze the same kinds of advantages he managed to get with Marquez; even though, with Arum, that would definitely be true. Of all the priorities Mayweather must have in that mind of his, deeply etched into the section that houses his brilliant boxing and business intelligence, there surely must be the following upper-most priorities that drive his actions far above that which he says.
1) Never embarrassingly lose a fight - particularly one that changes the entire “impression” of your boxing persona that has cleverly and, perhaps justifiably, been created and nurtured for commercial reasons.
2) Never fight, or lose to, a Bob Arum or Top Rank fighter.
3) Never give anything to Bob Arum; particularly control of your career.
4) Never step up into the ring without knowing whether you have, at least a better than a 50% chance of winning; particularly if the contest has the makings of turning into the fight of his life.
And the only way to fulfill all those requirements was to not fight Pacquiao. But how to do this without revealing why and not appear as if you're running.
And with that thought a Eureka moment dawned that symbolized perhaps one of the few times in boxing where the fact that it is probably riddled with PED’s actually became something useful for those other than the users and sellers. It’s just a shame that usefulness was put to work for the purposes of evading accountability associated with a fight was not being made. Together Floyd’s claims, rationale and testing requests and his associated actions, especially those related to not fighting Pacquiao, tell us as much about the sport and industry as a whole, as they do about the reasons the fight was never made.
There is a certain level of prevalence that anything must statistically have in order for an audacious but unsubstantiated claim to be made in a manner where its author can be confident of achieving the desired results from the claim - particularly when the audacious claim serves alternative purposes as much as it disregards any reliance on proof, and the controversial and absent admissions that would normally be required to validate it.
If you had never swam in the oceans but made the claim they are full of fish whilst also disregarding the absence of you personally possessing any proof; perhaps you can grasp the concept at large here.
Mayweather needed a good explanation and reason in order to preserve the privacy of his above-mentioned pattern and reasons that really served as the motivating ingredients for avoiding the fight with Pacquiao. And he needed to shift and/or deflect attention away from himself in the process. But at the same time and as Arum has vehemently pointed out both in and out of law courts; Pacquiao has never tested positive, is willing to undertake PED tests and Floyd has never meaningfully substantiated the basis for his evasion and allegations.
It may have also served Arum to have highlighted the above-mentioned Mayweather hypocrisy associated with the Mayweather V Marquez fight; but he fell short of that.
What we can deduct from all this is that Floyd was not only protecting his right to look spectacular and thinking about being risk averse in electing to put a Pacquiao fight on the bench for a while whilst the PED allegations he designed and participated in sorted themselves out and served their multiple purposes - but that also, and perhaps even more revelatory than the real reasons the fight was deferred, is the fact that his actions in relation to this matter speak of a boxing world that is so saturated with PEDs that Floyd himself became so utterly confident that his claims and actions would serve their intended purposes - that he saddled up and rode them out in order to follow his instincts, professional requirements and also the above-mentioned priorities; despite the fact that he didn’t even possess any real proof, even though at some stage he surely must have known that it would at some stage be required. This consideration is all the more remarkable when one considers the personal nature of the Pacquiao PED allegation, the potential damages it carries with it, the embarrassment if it all backfires (which to some extent has happened), and also that in releasing and/or participating in such claims - regardless of the reasons - Floyd was effectively and indirectly calling out his most feared adversary; Bob Arum the lawyer, extremely wealthy businessman and very influential promoter.
Naturally Floyd didn’t show for, and lost, the related court case.
So from this we can deduct other pieces of information than just how someone views the prevalence of PED us in boxing. We can also consider that that court-room loss for Floyd and all associated with it ,was seen as less than the risk associated with fighting Pacquiao. That is remarkable for someone so focused on their image and apparently unafraid of Pacquiao.
And if you look back to when Mosley first sought a fight with Floyd it wouldn’t be hard to see a similar pattern of evasiveness, albeit for different given reasons at the time, that lasted for many years and almost seemed purpose designed to ensure that Shane was only ever contested, if at all, after such times as he had declined and been beaten. Same for Cotto. Same for Margarito.
This doesn’t mean Floyd would have officially lost to those guys. More that if Floyd can't look good and win in style; then he’s usually not interested. Remember he’s an entertainer more than a hard core fighter, and the emphasis and priorities are all around being spectacular and selling the above-mentioned “impression”.
With Mayweather knowing that Arum was so influential and powerful, particularly in Las Vegas where Floyd lives and operates; it sure must have been important to Floyd to defer the Pacquiao fight by any means, including the use of the aforementioned tactics that were almost guaranteed to increase the chances of meeting Bob in court - his boxing ring
So we can safely say (from Mayweather’s actions) that deferring the Pacquiao fight was more important to Floyd than avoiding Arum’s well-known need to, and success with, closing out vendettas. Especially those vendettas related to boxers that, according to Bob, are ungrateful, or in need of retaliation for other purposes; that are well known to be more longstanding and lively than radioactive decay at Chernobyl.
There is a problem with this though. As the whole idea of not fighting Pacquiao was to avoid risks associated with Bob Arum and Top Rank. Yet the, seemingly, best explanation for not fighting Pacquiao led directly to Arum. Therefore the most common denominator in all Floyd’s actions pertaining to a Pacquiao fight; is indeed deferring and/or avoiding a fight with Pacquiao.
The PED argument makes sense. But not enough to explain all Floyd’s actions and their inconsistencies. Floyd eventually made the fight with Shane and he admitted using; so why not Pacquiao now he has categorically stated he will subscribe to all requests, demands and tests. Is it because he has not declined like Shane (I am mostly referring to the time before the last Marquez V Pacquiao fight).
Once again there are all these patterns and actions that betray what Floyd says, particularly with respect to Pacquiao, and expose an undying need to be spectacular in boxing matches that overrides and governs Floyd’s decisions almost to the point where not being able to do look spectacular is considered as unappealing as a loss. And to a great extent Floyd’s recent Showtime contract performs a similar function whilst adhering to the pattern and also inserting and insulator layer between himself and the matchmaking.
Unless Pacquiao becomes a Showtime fighter or something else significant happens to change the status quo associated with this unnecessary controversy; there is probably a rapidly decreased chance that Pacquiao will ever fight Mayweather. After all if Floyd now stays true to not fighting him that also appears as if he was one hundred percent sincere when he stated his original reasons for not fighting Pacquiao.
And with it all it’s not too difficult to work out that - even if Floyd wasn’t putting aside his dislike for the golden girl and working with Golden Boy Promotions in Las Vegas and also elsewhere – refraining from fighting Pacquiao is probably the best way to validate his current position and rub salt into the already festered wound that was reopened when Arum and Pacquiao defeated Floyd in court over damages associated with Floyd’s so called Pacquiao PED claims.
I think it’s safe to say that Floyd knows that Bob Arum shouldn’t be provided with any more chances to fulfill what must be one of his most personal objectives - one that Arum would probably derive enormous satisfaction from and one that would probably serve as a signature achievement to close out his own professional and stellar career.
No, for now Floyd will not be the one to assist Bob in any way to serve up the boxing industry with a groundbreaking promotion that has all the makings of being as record breaking and sensational - as it has potential to overthrow Floyd and satisfy all Top Rank’s personal vendettas. Floyd has already sampled a little of how that may taste recently when Arum legally called him into question about his claims related to Pacquiao and of course why the Pacquiao fight was never made. In turn Floyd opted not to show up to court. As for any remaining doubts about how a Pacquiao fight even part promoted by Top Rank may play out; Floyd can always refer to the eternally disappointed and deposed Oscar De-La Hoya.
After all Mayweather had already seen Bob exact revenge and do it all to Oscar. Oscar had tread a very similar path to Floyd in terms of how their relationship with Arum had started with a fanfare, but resulted in a bitter separation that unfolded in a manner where both sides pledged everlasting allegiance to war and revenge.
And they're precisely the kind of fights Arum wins.
Not in the least as they often rely on business savvy, determination, the law and how well it can be manipulated, and real management and professional experience. The game is almost always won in Arum’s favor as soon as he deals you a hand that requires you to lawyer up; whether you initiate it or not. You see, in comparison to Bob, his adversaries almost always are clueless as to whether their legal advisors are on the ball, aware of every dip and curve in the road, and operating transparently. If you have ever used lawyers before that statement will most likely make perfect sense. For Bob he’s already a lawyer so his legal representatives talk the same language as him and wouldn’t try and pull the wool over his eyes. And to add to that, Bob has probably forgotten more about the inner legal mechanisms and tricks of both boxing and promotions than any consulting lawyer that his adversaries could access, probably knows.
Why do you think Oscar gave up Pacquiao years ago even though it seemed he agreed to fight for Golden Boy Promotions? Because Arum fired a legal shot; that’s why. And of course for the above-mentioned reasons.
With risks that great and several clear real life indicators as to what can happen if one takes Bob on in his own game and backyard; even if Floyd’s actions didn’t betray the fact that he obviously possessed an undeniable degree of uncertainty and concern about the outcome, impression and events associated with a Mayweather V Pacquiao fight; it was just never going to happen. At least not whilst Pacquiao was dangerous and in his prime, and whilst Floyd couldn’t, in some way, successfully stack the deck in his favor to offset the risks - as had happened before with guys like Marquez.
All factors point to the risks of a Pacquiao fight being just too great for Floyd and the PED controversy serving an announced purpose and finally being exposed for its inconsistencies. Viewed in this light Floyd’s actions, including the recent move from HBO (whom have a relationship with Top Rank); makes sense, explain past events and also predict future ones.
Which is exactly what a good theory should do.
And it’s not rocket science. All we need to do is look at what people do and not what they say. Floyd Mayweather is no different in this case. He is not unexplainable and neither is the unnecessary controversy and misdirection surrounding the inability for anyone to put together a Mayweather V Pacquiao fight. In fact in some cases Floyd is actually easier to read because money, for all its virtues, makes people awfully predictable. Sometimes it even increases the distance between words and action.
In summary; Floyd is not a fool. He knows that the ridicule for not making the fight with Pacquiao – whether true or not – is far, far less damaging to his brand than losing to Pacquiao - or fighting him, struggling and looking vulnerable.
Vulnerable doesn’t attract major network budgets. Spectacular and unbeaten does.
Finally, and perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is that with all the manufactured, real and imagined controversy hanging around the much coveted Mayweather V Pacquiao fight’s neck; that was cleverly utilized as reasons not to fight Pacquiao - even before Marquez, perhaps controversially, KO’d Pacquiao - for all the aforementioned reasons Mayweather simply saw the Pacquiao fight as an unnecessary risk even though in my opinion he probably could have beaten him.
Such is the addiction to looking spectacular, staying on top and avoiding risks, and of course being wary of an old powerful lion whose need for vengeance is almost as tireless as his main event.
The big question is now that Pacquiao better fits the criteria of a Mayweather opponent at or above light welterweight; is the fight still an unnecessary risk.
Or will all that’s required to make it, be Pacquiao coming out of contract with Top Rank?
Whatever the answers to those remaining questions are; hopefully the unnecessary controversy surrounding whether what Mayweather has said about why he hasn’t fought Pacquiao and/or if it is the real reason he hasn’t fought Pacquiao; is clearer now and makes more sense.
As always please let me know what you think, where I have it wrong and what your thoughts are. Because at the end of the day the above is just my opinion.
Re: Mayweather V Pacquiao - The Unnecessary Controversy
In a nutshell, Money May is a prizefighter, not a Jesus willing to fight even in hell. Money May marches to his own beat. And to fight whomever, nobody can put the heat. And he got those moves from the late, great Sugar Ray Robinson.
Let's call a spade a spade, just as Sugar Ray, Money May got it made. He's going to do it his way no matter what people think, believe or say. Holla!
Re: Mayweather V Pacquiao - The Unnecessary Controversy
Floyd knows that very little of the "controversy" will matter in the history pages. What will, will be an unbeaten record (if it stays that way) and his fluid and effective stye. Oh, and of course the fact that he made millions and that there can always be a good case made for him beating even those guys he may have ducked.
In any regard, from the above and the patterns and actions described; I think there is a very good case to support the view that Mayweather had/has alternative reasons for not fighting Pacquiao.
Last edited by stormcentre; 03-07-2013 at 06:15 PM.