“Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.” Sugar Ray Leonard
By Alex P. Vidal
THERE should be no more excuses.
Fight fans will never forgive those behind the careers of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. if the two won’t face each other next.
Or if the dream fight, postponed multiple times, will never happen, at all.
But, lo and behold, Uncle Bob Arum is now singing a different tune.
The 82-year-old Harvard lawyer has joined the chorus of those calling for the Pacquiao-Mayweather match to happen soon.
“Speaking for Manny and myself, we’re tired! Every place we go they ask us when is that fight gonna happen? When is it going to be made? You cannot believe the number of times I’m questioned about this by just people, waiters, anybody, who wants to know one question ‘when is the fight gonna happen?’ I say enough is enough! Let’s just make the fight happen. Let’s get it done,”
Arum declared hours after the Filipino lefty retained his WBO 147-lb crown with a commanding 119-103, 119-103, 120-102 unanimous decision against Chris Algieri in Macao on November 23.
“And let’s make it the next fight for each fighter sometime in the next six months of next year. That’s our position and we’re going to do what we can to make it happen.”
We are tired of the now-you-hear-it-now-you-don’t tug of war; of the blaming game and finger-pointing on who’s to blame why until now the megabucks deal has not been inked.
The Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight should happen soon or next year.
No more 2016. No more 2017.
By that time, Pacquiao, 37 years old before the May 2016 elections in the Philippines, will be very busy campaigning for senator.
By that time, 39-year-old Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), the richest-ever prizefighter in history, may no longer want to allow somebody to inflict more damage on his face in preparation for a grand retirement.
By 2016, the commodities may no longer be ripe.
It’s enough that Mayweather has collected five straight decision victories against Miguel Angel Cotto (12 rounds), Robert Guerrero (12 rounds), Saul Alvarez (12 rounds) and Marcos Rene Maidana (12 rounds twice) while waiting for Pacquiao to get old.
It’s enough that Pacquiao amassed seven decision wins in his last nine bouts with defeats only to Timothy Bradley (first fight) and Juan Manuel Marquez (KO6, fourth fight) while waiting for Mayweather to say “yes, I’ll fight you, Manny.”
There are other upcoming ring superstars waiting for their date with fame and destiny who deserve to be given large paychecks and mammoth publicity like the one being enjoyed by Pacquiao and Mayweather.
They are only waiting for Mayweather’s and Pacquiao’s exit and they, too, must be itching to hit a paydirt in the main events.
Giving Pacquiao and Mayweather “honorable” or farewell cash prizes as a token of appreciation for their magnificent contribution in fight business won’t hurt the industry that benefited a lot from their talent.
Uncle Bob should expect Mayweather to continue demanding for a 60-40 purse. HBO, Top Rank and probably Showtime (a rival network) should be ready to fork out some $50 to $60 million for Mayweather’s pcoket.
After the Macao conquest of Aligieri, Pacquiao was again hounded by calls for a Mayweather duel, which is actually beyond his call.
Pacquiao (57-5, 38 KOs) is very much willing to retire immediately after facing Mayweather for an exclamation point of his fistic career that started on January 25, 1995 with a four-round unanimous decision against Edmund Enting Ignacio in Sablayan, Mindoro Oriental.
Fighting again after a Mayweather showdown would be a total folly unless he wants to retire with a brain injury, physical deformities and speech defects (he can’t afford to speak like “Barok” in the Philippine Senate).
He does not need more fame and money. Pacquiao has secured a place in history.
As an elected senator in 2016, he can forget boxing and focus as a lawmaker.
Retirement should be a non-negotiable option for Pacquiao win or lose against the charismatic black American.
Mayweather will never be happy for the rest of his life once he retires without swapping leathers with the only man in the planet to win eight world titles in eight different weight classes.
He will be booed and jeered at as “coward” everywhere he goes.
It’s a big injustice for boxing and a mockery of sports if the Pacquiao vs Mayweather duel will not materialize.
No matchup can be compared to the Pacquiao vs Mayweather rumble in terms of global excitement and promotional wizardry.
Fans can tolerate the delay, but not the postponement.
Fans can forgive and accept if Mayweather lost to Maidana and Pacquiao lost to Algieri, but not the cancelation of the
Pacquiao versus Mayweather match, much ballyhooed as the ultimate showdown.
It’s better late than never.