It was inevitable, wasn’t it? We really should have seen it coming sooner, but one disappointment after another broke our spirit. We just couldn’t believe it until it was official. We weren’t wrong for acting like a scorned ex that refused to believe that “this time it was going to be different” but how blind were we?
I find it fascinating how emotional the entire Mayweather/Pacquiao saga left us. It left an entire generation of fight fans emotionally guarded and unwilling to believe that anything good would ever happen to us. It’s all a little bit sad isn’t it?
Sure, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to think that we were acting a little silly. We would have been stupid to buy into the possibility of this fight happening after so many false starts but this time was different from the start, and we were blind to it. Let’s go over all of the positive signs we refused to accept so we can learn a little bit and maybe let the healing begin.
On December 13th, 2014 reports began to break that a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight was expected to gross $250 million. As soon as a number that insane came out, we should have all known this thing was going to happen. $250 million is $100 million more than the next closest fight in history.
Why in the world did we think that a guy that calls himself “Money” would pass on a number as incredible as that? This is history making stuff here, and many of us were convinced that ego would prevent the fight? Ego is exactly why this number would make the fight happen, and we just refused to see it.
On January 14th, 2015 it was reported that Pacquiao agreed to be the B-side of Mayweather’s 60/40 purse split demand, as well as his demands for mandatory drug testing. Were there ever any bigger obstacles than these? Sure there were still issues with HBO and Showtime but the main concern has always been whether Manny would agree to Floyd’s demands. As soon as Manny agreed, we should have known it was only a matter of time and yet, nope. Total denial.
On February 1st, 2015, many expected that if the fight were to happen it would be made official during the Super Bowl but the day came and went without an announcement. And with that, disappointed reigned, and we give up hope again.
Why did we expect Floyd to pay millions of dollars to the NFL to make this announcement? We should have known better… instead of giving the announcement away, 19 days later Floyd would make the fight official via a startup social media app that he happens to be an investor in. Of course he did…
On February 8th, 2015 Floyd Mayweather posted a short video clip of a private meeting he held with Manny Pacquiao on the night that they met ringside at a Heat game. It didn’t say much, but Floyd was finally talking to Manny face to face, and Arum was nowhere in sight. Arum taking a backseat was another obstacle negotiated.
This is probably the point where most of us began believing (again) that the fight was going to happen, which underscores how important this 13 second video was at the time. IN the face of mounting evidence and a huge amount of positive momentum, we remained skeptical.
On February 17th, 2015 the CEO of MGM Resorts confirmed that The MGM Grand Garden Arena was was reserved for a fight on May 2nd, 2015. It was obvious that this date was booked for Floyd Mayweather. Many still refused to believe… “Floyd can still fight Cotto” is what they said but some of us finally started to believe.
It was at this point that everything started to come together. We started to realize that Floyd was behaving differently than he had in the past. He wasn’t “blaming” anyone for anything. He wasn’t anticipating anything negative. He was diplomatic and complimenting Pacquiao. He was actually building up his competition which is something a fighter does when he wants to sell a fight.
We all started to regain some clarity for the first time in years. Now that Floyd committed to a fight a mere nine weeks away, Manny Pacquiao was his only option. The only thing Floyd was running out of time for was damage control. If the fight fell through and Floyd decided to fight Cotto, the backlash would have been too great. He would not have been able to counter that PR nightmare and promote the fight successfully in 9 weeks. An intention to fight Pacquiao was the only reason he could remain this patient.
Of course, as soon as we began to realize this, Floyd was already well on his way to announcing the fight. Always a step ahead, whether inside or outside of the ring.
We should have seen this coming, but we refused to believe. There were so many obstacles in the way over the years, and even as they began to fall one after another, we still refused to believe the fight was possible. We were hurt in the past. We wanted to believe, but we knew better. We wouldn’t be fooled again. I’ve never been so happy to have been so wrong. Now we can let the healing begin.