If Manny Pacquiao wins his fight with Chris Algieri in Macao this Saturday, the masses will once again be clamoring for a showdown with Floyd Mayweather. In the ever he said she said drama that is Mayweather-Pacquiao, Arum told the media last week that there are no ongoing negotations and we should possibly move on from that fight. This is only a few months after Arum told ThaBoxingVoice.com that there were on going negoations between HBO and Showtime for a possible shared pay-per-view option similar Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson when Lewis was an HBO fighter and Tyson a Showtime fighter. Pacquiao in this case is the HBO fighter and Mayweather the Showtime fighter.
Showtime Sports head honcho Stephen Espinoza took to twitter last week stating that there were negoations for a possible Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and even disclosed financial details stating that Arum and Pacquiao were offered 40 million plus 35% upside. Whether that’s true or not is another thing.
Arum told the media yesterday in Macao that the possible front runners to land a Pacquiao fight are Jessie Vargas, Danny Garcia, and Diego Chaves.
This morning, Arum spoke a different tune and told the same media in Macao in a report by GMANetwork.com that Mayweather-Pacquiao will happen next year.
“The networks are now already talking,” said Arum less than a week before Pacquiao climbs into the ring against the up-and-coming Chris Algieri at Cotai Arena inside the sprawling The Venetian Macau here.
“I am now more optimistic that the fight is going to happen than I was three or four years ago. I am talking to responsible people who are in touch with the Mayweather guys. All of these people have the ability to move it ahead and make it happen.”
Maybe its to garner more attention to Pacquiao-Algieri or maybe Arum just feels more optimistic but you can’t ever have a Mayweather or Pacquiao fight week without the other fighter being mentioned. But realistically the names Diego Chaves, Jessie Vargas, and even Danny Garcia are more likely than Floyd Mayweather for Pacquiao.
Then there’s the curious case of Jessie “Vegas” Vargas. The issue with Vargas is that his best wins were too close to call against competition that is not near the elite level of Manny Pacquiao. Some pundits had him losing to Josesito Lopez and Khabib Allakhverdiev and many thought his bout with Wale Omotoso was close to call. He’s fighting on the Pacquiao-Algieri undercard against Antonio Demarco and a win or loss should not validate a Pacquiao fight especially with Pacquiao only fighting twice a year.
While Danny Garcia is a legit name, his 2014 was lackluster. He arguably lost to Mauricio Herrera and blew out an overmatched lightweight in Rod Salka. Then there’s also the Al Haymon factor. It’s been a while since a Top Rank fighter fought an Al Haymon fighter that wasn’t a forced mandatory, so Garcia’s name is more than a smokescreen than anything else.
What this all means is that the “Cold War,” the network war is limiting the opposition for the two biggest stars in boxing. If Pacquiao and Mayweather fought 4 times a year instead of 2, names like Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas, Robert Guerrero, and Amir Khan would be acceptable. But since they don’t, fights with 8 to 1 odds or higher are criminal for consumers to pay 70 dollars or more for. While names like Terence Crawford and Mikey Garcia linger for Pacquiao, both names are still a weight class or two away from where Pacquiao might be. Even then, either guy might be a huge underdog.
As the two head into the twilight of their careers, it seems that a fight between the two may never happen and in the interim, it seems like competitive fights are also hard to come by for the two.