As usual, Floyd Mayweather is being coy about who his next opponent will be, but rumors circulating around the boxing community point towards Amir Khan.
Boxing’s pound-for-pound king is expected to end the speculation sometime during the week to the displeasure of Top Rank Promotion’s CEO, Bob Arum, who insists Manny Pacquiao should get the next shot at Mayweather.
“Yes [the fight can be made], if people stop posturing,” Arum said during an interview with USA Today. “Absolutely. It can happen. It’s stupid if it doesn’t happen. They owe it to the sport. What, is Mayweather going to fight, Amir Khan? Who gives a [expletive]? We’ve announced we’re willing to make anything happen. Now somebody has got to contact us so we can sit down and explore how it can happen. Isn’t that the way normal people deal? You can’t wave a wand. I’ve said unequivocally, we’re ready to sit down and see if a deal can be reached.”
After going 0-2 against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Arum’s prized asset, Pacquiao, rebounded with a dominant performance against Brandon Rios. The win silenced critics who felt the Filipino congressman was done after getting brutally knocked out by Marquez, reminding them all that Pacquiao is still good enough to dominate decent fighters and probably hold his own against the elites.
While Pacquiao was getting work done in Macau, China, Mayweather was enjoying a front-row view of the Glory 12 kickboxing event in the theater at Madison Square Garden. The message was clear: Floyd Mayweather couldn’t care less about anything involving Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd’s stance isn’t particularly surprising, considering how frustrating trying to organize the super-fight has been for The Money Team. A simple request for Olympic style drug testing derailed the first round of negotiations, the second was simply posturing by Pacquiao and his handlers, and the third brought out arguably the silliest excuses in boxing history, with everything from Pacquiao needing more time for a cut to heal, to the MGM Grand being too small to host the super-fight.
The third round was particularly frustrating, since Arum and Pacquiao were up for a fight against Mayweather when it looked like a pending jail sentence would derail the bout. Their act was so convincing, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa postponed Mayweather’s sentence, opening the way for the highly anticipated super-fight which would have been a tremendous boost to the city’s economy.
Then Arum and Pacquiao ran away from the negotiating table, trying to convince the world that Mayweather was, once again, at fault for the failed negotiations.
It was unbelievable.
Still, Arum doesn’t think that has negatively affected his relationship with Floyd in anyway.
“This idea that Floyd hates me or I hate Floyd is poppycock,” Arum added. “Maybe the people around him are saying that. But Floyd and I, and certainly Todd [duBoef] and Floyd, have always had a wonderful relationship. These so-called writers are saying, ‘Well, it can’t happen, because Floyd hates Bob Arum.’ Floyd doesn’t hate me, like I don’t hate him.”
Mayweather has since signed a historic six-fight contract with Showtime which could potentially make him the highest paid fighter in sports history, raking in a $41.5 million purse for the boxing clinic he put on against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September, more than likely, somewhere close to $90 million overall when you factor in the pay-per-view sales which brought in over $150 million, out grossing Floyd’s 2007 bout against Oscar De La Hoya.
Clearly, despite the fact some still think a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout could generate historic revenue numbers, Floyd is doing too well financially to be bothered about money left on the table by not fighting his arch rival.
There’s no egotistical motivation for Mayweather to seek a fight against Pacquiao either since it’s virtually unanimous among respected boxing experts that Mayweather is a significantly better boxer.
Ironically, Pacquiao, who is now dealing with tax evasion charges in his native Philippines, is the one who’ll suffer the most from the two men’s inability to put together the most demanded bout in recent boxing history. His bank accounts have been frozen by Filipino authorities, who claim he owes $50.2 million in back taxes, forcing him to borrow money from folks like Arum.
Hopefully, Pacquiao, 34, gets his financial house in order while he’s still able to compete at boxing’s top level, but he likely won’t get any help from Mayweather.