Floyd Mayweather Jr. is currently biting the hand that feeds himWritten by Joseph Herron
On Sunday, February 15, during the NBA All-Star game, the host network broadcasting the annual event, TNT, momentarily shifted focus away from the field of play and directed its attention to the pound for pound best fighter in boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
(Image courtesy of Showtime)
While many were hoping to hear a long overdue announcement of the much clamored “fight of the century” finally materializing, Mayweather once again disappointed anxious sports fans everywhere by shooting down rampant reports that a fight was indeed imminent.
“I haven’t signed yet, and he (Pacquiao) hasn’t signed yet,” Floyd Mayweather Jr. told veteran basketball analyst David Aldridge during Sunday night‘s NBA game. “It’s just been speculations and rumors, but hopefully we can make the fight happen.”
With another, almost predictable and highly publicized letdown, many casual and mainstream sports fans are starting to adopt an understandably apathetic attitude regarding the belabored super fight.
On Monday morning, longtime Mayweather supporter and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, vented his respective frustrations on the air, and admitted to losing confidence in the probability of the most lucrative fight in boxing ever taking place.
“I’m less confident, believe it or not, because NBA All-Star weekend has passed,” stated the ESPN “First Take” broadcast journalist.
“Usually when you’re going to have a fight, particularly one in the ballpark of this magnitude, you really capitalize on marketing something during Super Bowl week, or NBA All-Star weekend.”
“The fact that both of those dates have passed, with no deal being signed, I’m becoming more and more apprehensive that the fight will happen.”
“Floyd Mayweather has told me that he is trying his best to make the fight happen. Obviously, he believes that Bob Arum continues to be in the way, and there are others that agree with him. I have contacts at both networks, folks within the boxing community, who say the same thing because Bob Arum is not just going to step aside.”
“But it is undeniable that ultimately if Floyd is hell-bent on getting this deal done, it can get done.”
“Me personally. I’m tired of talking about it…I know I have to though. Not just for the purposes of this show, but because I love the sport of boxing. And to me, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is what the sport of boxing deserves.”
"As a boxing fan, I’m not interested in seeing either one of them fight anybody else until they fight each other."
"I know the Pacman wants it bad, and with all of the junk that Manny Pacquiao and his people have been talking recently, Floyd should want this fight just as badly."
“And since Floyd Mayweather consistently tells us that he wants to give us the fights that we want to see, this is the one that we want. We deserve to see the fight we want to see…we want Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. And anybody who is getting in the way of this fight materializing, a pox on their house!”
While Smith doesn’t proclaim to be a boxing insider, and probably isn’t as ring savvy as most die-hard fight fans, the ESPN analyst’s opinion does hold mainstream significance, and seems to mirror the sentiment of the casual sports fan at the present time.
Rest assured, the fight will inevitably happen this year, and boxing’s prima donna will announce the fight when he’s finally ready.
Because the highly touted Mayweather/Pacquiao fight is currently being mandated by the real bosses of boxing, the always passionate fight fans, neither fighter has a justifiable or acceptable alternative at this stage in their respective careers. The unforgiving benefactors of boxing have issued an ultimatum to the two camps:
“Either face each other now, or inevitably suffer the consequences.”
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao are completely aware of what their marching orders entail.
The real problem now lies with the ostensibly depleting level of interest from sports fans everywhere. Each day the fight isn’t publicly announced, the overall fascination, attraction, and significance of the event seems to diminish.
From what most boxing insiders are saying, a “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao” deal is all but done.
If that is indeed the case, Floyd would be wise to offer a more reassuring message to those who have made him the highest paid athlete in the world.
Instead of denying reports of any contracts being signed in the presence of millions of interested sports fans, an encouraging response would have ultimately been much more advantageous.
Any veteran entertainer knows never to take their public for granted…for they might not be there when he or she needs them the most.
Although pugilism is a sport, boxing is entertainment first and foremost.