Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2015: Don’t hold your breaths just yet
Milan Ordoñez on Dec 15, 2014 05:11 PM
Photo credit: Floyd Mayweather Official Facebook fan page
48 hours after the news broke, the entire world is still up and about from Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s newly found assertiveness to call out Manny Pacquiao on American cable television.
“We want the fight. We are ready. Let's make it happen. May 2nd. Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let's do it."
Bold statements coming from a man who has been repeatedly accused of avoiding the fight through the plethora of reasons he laid out through the entire negotiation process. However, these new developments can be deemed as a sign of progress when looked at on face value.
After all, both Arum and Pacquiao left the decision up to Mayweather, and now that they’ve got the concurrence that they’ve been waiting for, it is pretty much a done deal, right?
Taking a look at his entire statement through his three-minute interview with Showtime’s Steven Farhood, the sly cat that Mayweather is, still left a few loopholes that can potentially send everything back to square one.
“Of course, we have to make the fight happen on Showtime Pay-Per-View”
Unbeknownst to the general public, Floyd Mayweather is currently under an exclusive contract with Showtime Sports. In the beginning of 2013, the two parties engaged in a lucrative six-fight deal. After both the Guerrero and Canelo fights last year, and the two Maidana fights this year, “Money May” is now down to the last two fights of this contract.
Just how lucrative is this deal? According to Forbes.com, it is worth a whopping $250 million. As 2014’s highest-paid athlete, he closed out his fighting year with a total of $105 million through the Maidana fights alone. His total career earnings? A total of $405 million.
These numbers alone would justify Mayweather’s ride-or-die love affair with Showtime. Pacquiao, of course, has HBO Sports broadcasting his fights.
A possible compromise would be a broadcast partnership between the two cable network giants. After all, the same deal was done with the heavyweight super fight between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis in 2002.
But just recently, junior middleweight standout Saul “Canelo” Alvarez jumped ship from Showtime to HBO. To make things more interesting, he also vowed to take all “Mexican dates” from Mayweather: namely Cinco de Mayo and the Mexican Independence Day, which falls on September 16th.
"Canelo Alvarez gave me my marching orders, and that is fighting in May of next year and in September of next year,” said Oscar De La Hoya speaking for Alvarez. “So, as his promoter, I have to do whatever I can to make that happen for him."
With Canelo’s new network deal, and his camp adamantly pushing for a May 2nd fight date as well, it puts HBO in a tough spot. Can they broadcast two mega fights in one night? Probably. Probably not. But this sure is another bureaucratic mess that bigwig promoters wouldn’t want to deal with.
“Bob Arum is stopping the fight.”
This line of reasoning is getting way too old already, but it is still being mentioned, nonetheless. Mayweather has been playing the Bob Arum card for years now, and it seems like he is not planning to stop doing so. For Arum’s part, there is no way he will be leaving Pacquiao’s side until 2016, when his boxer’s fighting contract runs out and finally opts for retirement.
The hostility between Arum and Mayweather dates as far back as 2012. Long story short, both men just could not see eye-to-eye in terms of the business side of things. From this standpoint alone, it would be reasonably justified for Mayweather to have his apprehensions about working with someone he cannot stand dealing with.
Bottom line, as long as this particular blame game is alive, then the chances of this fight happening is mainly anchored on Bob Arum’s death date. And as long as Mayweather continues to play this game, do not expect this fight to happen. Period.
“I offered you $40 million, you didn't want to make it happen. You lost twice, now you want the same money. That's not gonna happen.”
This is another tricky stipulation that defies all logic, as far as business ethics goes. To Mayweather’s credit, he does have a substantial right to demand for a higher cut since he is the pound-for-pound boxing king, and the zero on the loss column of his record does hold great significance.
According to reports, this fight is expected to gross AT LEAST $250 million, and his purse alone is predicted to fall on the $100 million range.
Now, assuming that this number does hold true, Mayweather’s insistence to lowball a global superstar like Manny Pacquiao by offering an amount that is less than 16% of the total purse is a blatant slap in the face. And even if Pacquiao does decide to forego his morals by blindly obliging “for the fans’ sake,” what are the chances of his management team to keep silent and just take it as it is? Almost nil.
At this point, all the skepticism is warranted, just like how it has been for the past years. Unless both fighters have signed on the dotted line, this is merely another noisemaker from one Floyd “Money” Mayweather, and another facet of the sport of boxing that makes it ever colorful.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @Mr_Ordonez