Boxing

Mayweather must speak up soon

Inside Fights Trent Pusey
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To fight or not to fight? That is the question for Floyd Mayweather Jr.

With their self-imposed “deadline” now expired for Mayweather to sign a contract, Manny Pacquiao and his Top Rank promotional team are considering other options. This does not mean that negotiations are off with Mayweather, as a deal can still be reached for the superfight. It merely means that Team Pacquiao will wait no more.

It’s a shame that this fight hasn’t been made. Both Pacquiao and Mayweather are poetry in motion inside the ring. Unfortunately, they create nothing more than tabloid fodder outside of it.

The details of the contract that Bob Arum said he offered to Mayweather are unknown. In fact, there is no confirmation from the Mayweather side that they even received a contract. Yet with all the major sports networks running stories on the “deadline,” the Mayweather camp hasn’t said a word. And we all know how much Mayweather loves to talk. There are two sides to every story and it’s time that Mayweather tells his. If he doesn’t want the fight, then he ought to explain why. If he does want the fight, then what’s stopping him from signing the contract?

If Mayweather continues to be mum on the fight, then speculation will begin to run rampant. Just as when Pacquiao balked at the drug testing caveat demanded by Mayweather, Pacquiao had some explaining to do. No one had proof that Pacquiao was doping yet the accusations came anyway. Why would he pass up the fight and the money if he’s clean?

Until Mayweather speaks up, it will be perceived that he is balking at the deal. For whatever reason, be it the upcoming trial of his trainer and uncle Roger Mayweather or his possible desire to get this payday in 2011 for tax purposes, now Floyd has some explaining to do.

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Mayweather has never been shy. When it comes to self-promotion, he will be the first to tell you that he’s the best. He’s obsessed with his own legacy. Mayweather has always been careful about selecting his opponents so maybe he’s having second thoughts on a fight with Pacquiao. As Shakespeare penned, “Conscience makes cowards of us all.”

Mayweather may be overthinking his legacy, and in the process, losing an opportunity to enhance it. The winner of Mayweather-Pacquiao would not only gain pound-for-pound supremacy but also be considered the best boxer of the last decade. That’s quite a legacy being dangled in front of him.

So here we are. Two rounds of negotiating and still no fight. Each side has manipulated the media and the public into thinking that the other side doesn’t want to fight. The first negotiations last winter were borderline ridiculous. Remember $10 million per pound overweight? But what was once a comedy is now becoming a tragedy. Until we hear from Floyd as to why he isn’t giving his autograph, no progress can be made in the negotiations. No rhyme or reason exists, only speculation.

Pacquiao and Mayweather are both so stubborn that the negotiation process has been a fight in and of itself. Both are accustomed to getting everything they want during negotiations. Letting up now would be like conceding victory in the ring. That is not an attractive prospect for two egomaniacs.

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We’ve already heard the excuses from Pacquiao concerning the drug testing. We’ve also heard excuses as to why Mayweather may not want to fight in November. No more excuses. To thine own self be true.

This fight is too big not to be made. Boxing made Manny Pacquiao millions. Boxing made Floyd Mayweather Jr. into a superstar. Boxing needs this fight. But something tells me that these two are too stubborn to see it.

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