On January 6th, the day Floyd Mayweather Jr. was to begin his 90 day jail sentence, a miracle happened. The judge ruled to suspend Mayweather’s sentence until June so the May 5th megafight against Manny Pacquiao could take place. Fans rejoiced. The last roadblock to the fight was removed, until Bob Arum invented a new one.
Arum claims that Pacquiao won’t be able to fight until June at the earliest because he is still recovering from a cut suffered during his November bout with Marquez . Arum had never mentioned this before when Mayweather chose the May 5th fight date. He had even considered another May fight for Pacquiao. He chose to reveal the day Mayweather’s sentencing was suspended and the fight would be viable again. It is obvious Arum doesn’t want the fight. He intends on protecting Manny’s elite status and to continue to make easy paydays against in-house chumps. No surprises there.
What does Manny have to say about this? The number pound for pound fighter in the world, the eight division world champion, the Filipino senator? Not much. He’s said he wants the fight, if it can be made. In all reality Manny can force the fight and he doesn’t. Who could stop Manny if he demanded the fight, if he chose to sign the contract for May 5th? No one. No one is stopping Manny from demanding the fight and yet he doesn’t. Manny Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight Floyd Mayweather, or at least he doesn’t want to fight him badly enough to do anything about it.
Floyd Mayweather isn’t completely innocent in making this fight difficult. He picked a date and a venue without consulting with the Pacquiao camp. Mayweather likes to be the boss, to feel like people are working on his terms. Setting a date and a deadline for Pacquiao was passive aggressive and disrespectful way to start fight negotiations. Still, the fight is there to be made. Pacquiao could be the bigger man and sign the contract and show his disapproval in the ring.
Maybe Manny truly believes he’s lost a step. In his last two outing against Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao didn’t look as good he did in his earlier fights. He looked slower, less fierce. He was unable to damage his opponents in any significant way. Before those fights Manny looked unbeatable, weaving a legacy of savage knockouts and hospital visits for his opponents.
Now we have a fallible Pacquiao who chooses to stay in the background and let Bob Arum make excuses for him. Bob Arum’s job is to promote fights and make money, his greed and lack of interest in the fight is understandable. Manny claims to be a fighter who fights for the people, who wants to put on a good show for his fans. The burden is on Manny to step up and demand the fight.