Although the fight talks are now long dead, for the time being at least, the controversy over what actually took place between the representatives of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather rages on.
As most fans will no doubt have read essentially one side says that the two were in negotiations to put together a fight, while the other insists nothing even remotely close to this ever took place.
Today though the final player in proceedings finally spoke up, hopefully ending speculation and settling the matter once and for all.
Fans on either side have been divided over which side should be believed, but today Ross Greenburg has given his side of things.
The one man in the middle of the two camps and who can probably be trusted more easily than anyone else is Greenburg, the president of HBO sports, and as such a neutral party. Unlike either side his interest in getting involved was purely that the fight would get made, and discrediting either side wouldn't have served him any purpose because he will still have to work with both in the future.
In a statement released today Greenburg said:
“Fights like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters’ ability to connect with sports fans around the world. It’s unfortunate that it won’t happen in 2010. I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2nd, carefully trying to put the fight together. Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it.”
Greenburg's statement not only confirms that talks indeed were happening, but also clarifies what kind of negotiations were happening. It was speculated by many writers recently that the talks only actually consisted of Pacquiao's side making an offer through Greenburg, and Mayweather's camp subsequently ignoring it.
At the same time, Oscar De La Hoya today also claimed that there were no talks going on, a stance he shares with Golden Boy and team Mayweather. This despite the fact that he famously said that a fight agreement was very close on a Spanish television station, and then later claimed to have been misquoted.
When asked by boxingscene today why he previously claimed that the two sides were close to finalizing a fight deal, De La Hoya said:
"I think I said it because I get the question asked so many times that, obviously, I was fed up and tired of it and I just said like, yeah, yeah, it's gonna get made,"
"So it was a quick answer that I should have obviously thought about. But, obviously, negotiations weren't going on. Nothing was going on. Like I said, Mayweather has the key to making that fight happen."
What if anything occured between the two sides? There were talks between Mayweather and Pacquiao There were never any talks Pacquiao offered terms, Mayweather didn't respond Created on Jul 26, 2010
poll by twiigs.com
My assumption is that of all people, Greenburg is the man to trust in this situation. He has no vested interest in anything besides telling his side of the story, and probably has no preference between Top Rank and Golden Boy, who both provide him with big business.
Why the Mayweather team is continuing with their denial of the talks is certainly lost on most, and with Pacquiao now fighting Antonio Margarito in November and Mayweather possible looking into other fights himself, they might save themselves further embarrassment by just letting the matter drop.
Samuel Yorke, Pittsburgh: "Greenburg proves it, the Mayweathers have been lying all along"
Dennis Santiago, New York: "The public has already decided, so why are both sides still tring to outdo the other one? No one trusts Arum, Oscar or Schaefer but Greenburg isn't on anyone's side here so calling him a liar is pointless"