For Pacquiao, if not Mayweather than who?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao will fight whoever his promoter Top Rank CEO Bob Arum puts in front of him. With undefeated WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayeather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO) refusing to agree to a 50/50 split of the revenue for a Pacquiao – Mayweather super fight, Arum has virtually pulled the plug on that fight happening for the time being.
“Pacman” has said on numerous occasions that he wants the Mayweather fight and apparently is baffled that Floyd is insisting on a bigger piece of the pie. It is Pacquiao however who planted the seed in Floyd’s head in the first place by saying a couple of months ago that he would take a smaller cut to get Mayweather into the ring with him.
Manny may have been serious and well intentioned when he made that offer to Floyd, but realistically no one ever expected Arum to agree to those terms. In retrospect when Mayweather demanded a larger cut a few days ago, and was turned down by Pacquiao it gave Floyd the perfect opportunity to back away from the potential match up, while at the same time shifting the blame to Manny. Floyd is not only the greatest fighter of this generation, but also a master manipulator of the media.
With Mayweather apparently out of the picture, who does that leave for the other great fighter of this era to fight? The field has narrowed just like the field of candidates in this political primary season. The two most likely candidates to fight the Filipino icon are WBO light middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KO’s) and undefeated light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KO’s).
Cotto however, has indicated that he is not willing to fight at the 147 pound catchweight that the Pacquiao camp is asking for. While that may be a bargaining ploy on the part of Cotto, Arum is keeping his options open and taking a hard look at Bradley. Bradley also has the major drawback of not having a huge fan base, in which case Arum would have to pull an extra rabbit out of his hat as he did in the Mosley fight to make the fight sell to the public.
Meanwhile Arum is putting the wheels in motion to put together a match between Lamont Peterson and Juan Manuel Marquez in April. The winner of that fight would then face Pacquiao in November if he wins his fight in June.
The chances are that the big showdown between Pacquiao and Mayweather will not happen in November and boxing fans will be disappointed once again.