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Will Mayweather Vs Pacquiao Ever Happen?

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. didn’t become the highest-paid American athlete in 2013 if he wasn’t one hell of a salesman. He might be one of the best, if not the best, in that regard.

Add to that a brash and arrogant character with exceptional boxing skills and you have the ultimate villain. He’s the man fans would love to hate. Mayweather plays the role of “heel” to perfection and therein lies the secret of his winning: the crowd frequents him, not because of his impregnable style but not favorable to the fans, but simply because they want see him lose.

To Mayweather’s credit, some of the best lowerweight fighters (Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Zab Judah) of the era tried to put a stink on his record, but to no avail. It’s no secret to the casual fan that for the better part of two decades no one ever did, and maybe no one ever will.

Manny Pacquiao’s rise to prominence in the mid-2000s became a beacon of hope for Mayweather bashers.

There’s this nice guy from the Philippines with a literal history of rags-to-riches, punching people left and right on his way to being considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world for over 300 weeks.

Finally, there’s now someone fans would consider a hero, the anti-Mayweather if you will.

All the talk about Pacquiao possibly beating Mayweather isn’t just wishful thinking. The Filipino machine has lightning-fast hands with real power behind them and most purists think Pacman’s all-pressure, fast-paced style might pose problems for the defensive-minded wizard. Even the great Sugar Ray Leonard called him the “Tasmanian Devil” for the way he juts out and throws cluster punches.

Rather, Money’s game isn’t so much about rapid-fire boxing as it is about not getting hit by one of the projectiles they call punches. But it made the meeting possible a hundred times more exciting. Styles make the fights, they say.

It’s a match-up that many thought was made in heaven. Or maybe not.

Years before, reports indicated that at least twice the fight had come close to going on only to fall at the last minute. The drug tests that Pacquiao doesn’t want to take part in, the $40 million guaranteed he turned down, Bob Arum, etc.

A lot has happened since then and Pacquiao, who was on top of the boxing world, has dropped to number 5 on most lists and Mayweather has been firmly planted in that number one spot.

Mayweather basked in the glory of having his fight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez billed as the highest-grossing PPV fight of all time (2.2 million buys) and reportedly generated $150 million. Pacquiao, on the other hand, won convincingly against Brandon Rios, but the PPV numbers could only muster an anemic 550,000 buys, leading.

Now that would only mean that Pacquiao has lost much, if not all, of his influence in talks about a potential showdown and Mayweather, the master that he is, won’t stop reminding Pacquiao of the now lower status of this last.

Recently, during a visit to Johannesburg, South Africa, Mayweather had a few choice words for the fighting congressman and even highlighted Pacquiao’s two previous losses and recent tax troubles.

“I’ve offered the fight to Manny Pacquiao before,” Mayweather said. “We didn’t agree on the terms. Years later we come back and I try to make the fight happen again. I offer him 40 million dollars. He said he wants 50 -50 So we didn’t make the fight happen.

“All of a sudden he’s losing to Timothy Bradley, he’s losing to Marquez… he’s got tax issues now. So, two losses and tax issues later, now all of a sudden he feels like saying: ‘You know what? ‘would do anything to make the fight happen’, when he’s really like, ‘Floyd, can you help me with my tax issues, get me out of debt?'”

Pacquiao retaliated by summoning his inner villain, appealing to Mayweather’s virility in a phone interview with a Philippine daily.

“I’m not desperate to fight him just for the money or the material things. I’m not the one looking for this fight, rather it’s the boxing fans all over the world. I’m ready to submit to any kind of rigor. drug testing.”

“Most importantly, I challenge him to include in our fight contract that we will receive nothing from this fight – view and endorsements – to charities around the world.”

In addition to proposing a charity fight, Pacquiao added:

“Floyd, if you’re a real man, fight me. Let’s do it for the love of boxing and for the fans. Let’s not do it for the money. Let’s make the boxing fans happy.”

Of course, Mayweather’s accusations that Pacquiao is broke are baseless and bordering on ridiculous. Pacquiao’s total earnings are estimated to be over $300 million, and he consistently appears on Forbes magazine’s list of highest-paid athletes year after year.

Mayweather may have topped the list for a few years now, but Pacquiao is no pushover himself. It’s also worth noting that “Money” got all of its green exclusively from its fights and zilch endorsements of all kinds.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, has a number of local and international endorsements, including Nike, Hennessy, San Miguel Corp., among others. The numbers may not add up to Mayweather’s totals, but you know what I mean. Even with Pacquiao’s issues with the BIR and IRS, he would still have enough money to last him and his family for a lifetime.

But did Pacquiao do more harm than good by challenging Mayweather this way? Probably, but Mayweather isn’t one to run out of tricks. He may be silent for now but expect an aftershock in the coming weeks.

Contrary to what some fans might suggest, Mayweather isn’t actually scared as in “scared chicken” to fight the eight-division world champion. But the thing is, he’s only so concerned about maintaining his undefeated record and he’s acknowledged that Pacquiao is as legitimate a threat as there will ever be.

What will happen if he ever gets his back? Now what if that cloak of invincibility that he has so long cherished is taken away from him? Will he have endorsements to fall back on or the face to confront the people and the media?

Floyd is a salesman, remember, and he may be a classier businessman than a fighter.

I am one of the millions who wanted to see a clash between two of the best of our generation. Never mind records, gate attendance and PPV purchases; no matter the W’s and L’s or the legacies, just watching Mayweather test his skills against Pacquiao and vice versa is enough to drive any aficionado crazy.

For my part, I believe that Mayweather will outlive Pacquiao if it could happen. I have always favored defense over offense in any sport and it will be no different this time around. But there are always guesswork and interruptions to play, especially in big events, and that’s what has made the sport so exciting.

But unfortunately, everyone has their own reasons and agenda for not making this fight happen. Manny had his when he was at the top and Floyd Jr. still has his despite his own limitations if there ever were any.

At first glance, Manny Pacquiao no longer cares whether he wins or loses; he has already lost and if he loses again, no one will be surprised. But I can’t say the same for Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Maybe he thought about those things and decided it would be too risky to fight a daredevil like Pacquiao. That said, let’s all put the buzz to rest until some real talk begins and don’t hold out your hopes on a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

But again, I’d like to be wrong this time.

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