Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao wanting a 50-50 split explains the generation’s best boxers not fighting. Manny Pacquiao responds that free remains his asking price for a fight with Money.
“Mayweather can get the amount he wants,” Pacquiao announced on his blog. “As early as January this year, I challenged him to a charity fight. Until now, he has not agreed to it. So, money is not the issue in our fight. This fight is about legacy, this is about making the fans happy and, above all, this is for the good of boxing.”
.@FloydMayweather, don’t be a boxing humbug. Let’s give the fans the fight they want. They have waited long enough.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) December 16, 2014
As Pacquiao says on that Twitter account, “#Floyd rhymes with avoid.”
But after years of avoiding a fight with Pacquiao due to monetary disagreements, a beef with Bob Arum, requirements for stringent drug testing, and the difficulty of the Showtime boxer contractually landing a fight with an HBO boxer, Mayweather appears finally ready to fight. Three of his last four fights failed to reach the one-million mark on pay-per-view buys, which, given his six-fight $200 million deal, plays as a disappointment for Showtime.
Timothy Bradley, Shawn Porter, and even Amir Khan won’t generate the buys Mayweather needs to justify his contract, and win a lucrative new one should he opt to fight on when it expires after two more fights. He needed Manny Pacquiao for his legacy five years ago. It’s only now that he needs him for his wallet, too, that he displays enthusiasm for the matchup.
Pacquiao certainly interprets it as a man in check. “He has reached a dead end,” he tells the Detroit Free Press. “He has nowhere to run but to fight me. I will try my best to make this a thrilling and entertaining fight. But I doubt if he’s gonna engage me in a slugfest. You all know his fighting style. Most of his previous fights, if not all, induced us to sleep.”
The Pac Man may want to rewatch Mayweather’s recent matches with Marcos Maidana and Miguel Cotto. They didn’t exactly look like Henry Bruseles against him. Mayweather, perhaps as a function of lost quickness due to age, occasionally now trades where he once boxed. He’s hittable. Unfortunately for Pacquiao, the Filipino’s hits no longer put opponents to sleep. Whereas a decline in athleticism makes Mayweather a worse boxer, an increase in experience, and a decline in power, makes Pacquiao a better boxer than the headhunter who knocked Juan Manuel Marquez down three times in round one of their first fight only to come away with a draw because of his opponent’s sweet-science superiority. Both men do their signature style worse but do better at the style that made their opponent.
“We are ready,” Mayweather told Showtime over the weekend. “Let’s make it happen. May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let’s do it.”