Rivalries are not supposed to work this way. In boxing, a rivalry is supposed to be based off what happens in the ring, not to the media outside of it. Think Muhammad Ali–Joe Frazier or Sugar Ray Robinson–Jake LaMotta. That is what makes the “rivalry” between the two best fighters of the last decade, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, different from all others. It is boxing’s greatest rivalry that never was.
On Thursday night Pacquiao appeared on ESPN’s late night talk show “Olbermann” to promote his April 12 fight with Timothy Bradley. By all accounts the rematch for the WBO Welterweight title that Pacquiao lost in June 2012 excited the boxing world for both storylines and for featuring pugilists of near-equal skills. However, that was until Keith Olbermann asked the Filipino Flash if he would ever fight Mayweather, the fighter to which boxing compares each to.
“I want that fight but it’s up to him,” said Pacquaio. “What I can say now is that our line is open 24 hours, seven days a week. If he will call and say ‘yes’ then the fight (will happen).”
The fight will never happen and boxing fans have given up trying. It is why fans earlier in the week got so excited for Bradley-Pacquiao II, because it was seen as the present-day equivalent of Pacquiao fighting Mayweather in 2009, the biggest fight possible. Five years ago was when Mayweather and Pacquiao’s camps got together for initial conversations about a “Super Fight.” The two got into it over Mayweather’s blood testing demands and nothing came to fruition. Same thing happened later in 2010…or so we think. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said the paperwork was filled out and all Mayweather had to do was ink it. Mayweather denies the second negotiations ever happened.
Now the fight would have no relevance whatsoever. Back when the talks were going on, Mayweather and Pacquaio were the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the business. That is not the case in 2014. Mayweather has continued to defeat anyone in demanding fashion, but Pacquiao has lost some luster. He was knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012 and has slid down the pound-for-pound rankings that Mayweather is still securely perched atop.
With that being said, it almost makes the fight that could have earned each fighter $50 million just to step in the ring, just another fight. Mayweather would dominate Pacquiao in what I am calling a 12-round unaminous decision (barring another CJ Ross incident) to stay undefeated. Not to mention the battle that would ensue over whether HBO, Pacquiao’s network, or Showtime, for which Mayweather has a scheduled four more fights, would be able to broadcast the not-so-super-fight.
Unless their is a live telecast showing both Maywheather and Pacquiao signing their contracts for the fight, I do not want to see or hear about it. We are all sick of the antics. Let it go.