Opinion by Alex Groberman
(1 Day Ago) in Sports / Manny Pacquiao
At times during the rollercoaster that is the greatest fight to never happen, you have to take a step back and look at the fans of both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
On Mayweather’s side, originally, you had true boxing aficionados who were certain that his technical know-how and defensive ability would give him the edge over his opponent.
On Pacquiao’s side, originally, you had true boxing aficionados who were certain that his speed and knockout ability would give him the edge over his opponent.
The two groups mentioned above, have turned into “Floydiots” and “Pactards.”
Now it’s important to note, the reason that a once-fascinating boxing debate devolved into a third-grade shouting match isn’t because the original fans got dumber, it’s because a bunch of dumb fans got added into the mix.
In Mayweather’s new corner you have a group of people who don’t know a boxing glove from a kitchen mitten. That, however, does not stop them from arguing for their guy because they don’t like how pro-Pacquiao the media has come.
Then, you have Pacquiao’s merry new band of supporters. They never followed boxing before the Filipino superstar blew up, know little about the sport but have a lot of national pride. They belittle Mayweather’s track record, and constantly accuse him of ducking.
The problem with both sides is that they legitimately ruin the debate for people who actually know what they are talking about.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand how money splits in boxing occur. They are not based on perceived talent, or on who you think is the better person. Rather, they are based on the marketability and selling power of the fighters in the match.
For some reason, both “Floydiots” and “Pactards” have shown a complete inability to comprehend several factors involved in the money-split for this fight. They seem to think it’s cut-and-dry that the guy who isn’t their new favorite boxer in the world should accept what their new favorite boxer in the world is offering. It’s not that simple.
First of all, Mayweather has more than proven with his last two fights that he is a bigger draw than Pacquiao is. Again, for all the international hoopla, for all the attention that the Filipino sensation gets on nifty Pacland message boards, Mayweather is the bigger draw. This is not opinion, this is undeniable truth. A fact.
With that said, the reason that Mayweather-Pacquiao has the potential to do such huge numbers is not strictly because of Mayweather. Rather, it is the combination of the two arguably best pound for pound boxers coming together to decide who is better once and for all that is the draw. Thus, while Mayweather may be the traditionally bigger draw and may usually get more of the fight money, you can see why Pacquiao’s side would object to this idea now.
Clearly, the money division is not the black-and-white situation that fans try to make it out to be in the comments sections of news articles.
Besides the money, though, there is a bigger problem. That problem’s name is Bob Arum.
Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, has a long history of shady business dealings and telling various untruths to get his way. He, like the majority of other promoters in the boxing industry is someone who you should listen to for the same reason you listen to your favorite comedian – entertain purposes. He is not to be believed, and by no means trusted for anything he says.
Anyone that knows anything about boxing, knows that if Arum says that “A” and “B” happened, you can expect that “C” and “D” really happened.
I guess Pacquiao’s new fans didn’t get that memo, though.
Arum has been telling anyone who will listen that he has been negotiating with Mayweather’s people. Mayweather’s corner, however, denies the claims.
Here is what really happened: Arum has been using HBO Sports president, Ross Greenburg, as the go-between to pass messages along to Mayweather’s people for the fight. Now, we have no idea what these terms were, nor do we know what Arum’s intentions (mind you, his history with the Mayweathers isn’t great) were when he passed the terms along. The reason we don’t know about the terms, by the way, is because Arum refused to specify them.
Then, Greenburg would go and give those terms to Mayweather’s people. According to Arum, said people never responded to his proposals. Now, unlike with the terms of the fight that he passed along, the famed promoter had no problem telling the media that he had in fact passed a proposal along to the Mayweather camp. This, of course, went directly against the “we won’t deal through the media” agreement that the two corners agreed to after fight discussions broke down last time.
Now, I want fans to be clear on this: Arum has admitted that he did not personally contact Mayweather’s personal advisors or the President of Golden Boy Promotions. Again, this is not opinion, this is not hearsay, this is a proven fact. Arum’s idea of direct negotiations, strangely enough, did not actually involve the party he was trying to negotiate with.
Arum never expected this fight to happen in 2010. He was just playing the media, gullable fans and anyone with any vested interest in the fight for fools. He simply wanted good press for himself and his fighter at the expense of Mayweather, and this is how he chose to get it.
As soon as the laughable deadline that Arum set up for Mayweather to agree to his new terms expired, he issued a statement that he understood why Mayweather would not want to fight this year. That Mayweather’s uncle was having legal problems, and that as a result he was probably in no mood to fight.
Really? So why set the deadline in the first place?
For the sake of PR.
Then, with his mission of creating a media storm accomplished, Arum moved on to create a fight for November 13 between Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito, another fighter from his Top Rank group.
So for those keeping score at home it’s: Bob Arum 1 Boxing Fans 0.
Congratulations gullible fans, you’ve all just been punk’d. Arum lured you all in with a lot of dramatics about a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout this year, only substitute it with a filler fight at the last second.
Not that watching the Filipino sensation pound on an unlicensed known cheater isn’t great though…
The worst part of it is that if you look around, everyone fell for it. Mayweather’s fans (all three of them active on the internet) are screaming to high heaven that Pacquiao is at fault for the fight not happening. Pacquiao’s fans are ranting and raving about Mayweather being a “ducker” and a chicken.
And all is happening while the main culprit, Arum, grins and shoves money into his pockets, laughing all the way to the bank because the fans don’t even realize they have been duped.
Hey, maybe we are all “Floydiots” and “Pactards” after all