Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mayweather - Pacquiao negotiations set to begin soon

The coming together of representatives for welterweight superstars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. was scheduled for today in order to begin negotiations for possibly the biggest boxing match ever from a revenue standpoint….this according to J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today. By contrast, the Los Angeles Times reported today that Golden Boy Promotions’ CEO Richard Schaefer has not yet begun any formal negotiations on Mayweather’s behalf.

Whether this highly anticipated meeting of the minds actually took place today or not, one thing is for sure. It will happen, and despite all the money to be made between the two combatants, don’t expect these talks to go smoothly. Although it would seem neither party is going to accept less than 50% of the total purse made available, each will angle for more than an even split.

From Mayweather’s perspective, everyone must come through him to earn a career-best payday, so that entitles him to the lion’s share of the money. This logic may have rung true a year ago, but times have changed since the widespread recognition of Manny Pacquiao as being the best and most exciting boxer in the world on a pound-for-pound basis. His most recent performance against Miguel Cotto sold the MGM Grand Garden out, and pay-per-view buys have been reported in the range of 1.6 to 2 million. In comparison, the recent Floyd Mayweather Jr. - Juan Manuel Marquez fight did not sell-out the same arena and sold a little over a million pay-per-view buys. That being said, Mayweather has been the prominent B side to record breaking promotions that included bouts with Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya.

The bottom line is both men have legitimate arguments that can be made about who deserves the most money, so expect them to stake their respective claims….this is prizefighting after all. The hope among fight fans and media alike is so much money will be at the table for these two men to face off right now in the prime of their careers that a compromise will be made.

Of course money is only one part of the equation. Weight will be another bone of many possible contentions, given Manny Pacquiao required Miguel Cotto to tip the scales at 145 pounds, two below the 147 pound limit. Don’t expect Floyd Mayweather to give much on this issue. Even if he does, he displayed in the fight with Juan Manuel Marquez that he is more than willing to pay a major fine in exchange for coming in at a higher weight.

Should negotiations fail to schedule a match for sometime during the first half of 2010, Mayweather and Pacquiao will go their separate ways, and there is no shortage of great fights that can be made as a welterweight these days. There is the winner of the Shane Mosley – Andre Berto welterweight title unification match that will take place in January. Joshua Clottey, an outstanding fighter who is promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is another possibility. A very intriguing fight for either man would be the tall, lanky and action-packed Paul Williams who has moved up in weight but claims he can still make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. Junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, a young, super fast and entertaining boxer, is another option.

So many good possibilities but only one super fight, and that is matching Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. right now while both men seem to still be at their physical and mental peaks. In the spirit of the holidays, let’s hope Golden Boy Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank can deliver this bout gift wrapped to boxing fans.

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