Larry Merchant: Who to blame Mayweather or Pacquiao?


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    Some people blame Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. for the fight with Manny Pacquiao never coming to fruition, others blame Pacquiao. Everyone should agree that they both share the blame to a certain degree, but which camp deserves more of the blame is debatable.

    I have always felt that Pacquiao was responsible for the first letdown after declining the drug testing provision that Mayweather insisted upon. However, I admit that even if Pacquiao did agree there is no telling whether Floyd would have followed through with the fight or if he would have found another term to discourage it from happening.

    Since that first round of negotiations, it is my belief that Mayweather Jr. is mostly responsible for not at least exploring the Pacquiao fight ever since the initial disappointment.

    Again, it is debatable but things are becoming clearer. Now the intentional sabotaging falls squarely on Floyd. I’m not saying he is the only reason that the fight won’t happen, but it is Floyd and Floyd alone that is responsible for the collateral damage associated with the Pacquiao fight not happening (if it indeed doesn’t).

    Not coming to terms is one thing, but now Mayweather Jr. has presumably taken the second biggest fight in boxing out of the mix as rumors of a potential rematch with Miguel Cotto appear to be more and more likely, thus taking Cotto out of the proposed Canelo Alvarez fight.

    If Floyd wants to continue the trend of fighting opponents with a weaker demand than that of Pacquiao, that is his prerogative. Floyd can pass on Pacquiao in favor of Amir Khan but he shouldn’t use his immense power as boxing’s reigning cash cow to sabotage Cotto-Canelo.

    Former HBO commentator Larry Merchant spoke with about the two mega fights and their potential success, as well as the disappointment fans would feel if they don’t get either of them.

    For Merchant it boils down to one simple form of reasoning; he doesn’t think it is as enticing to see the same fight for the second time when we could get two new match-ups with unknown outcomes.

    “Some people have told me he can make just as much money fighting Canelo as he presumably could fighting Mayweather, and have a better chance to win. We’ve seen [Mayweather-Cotto] fight, we haven’t seen Cotto-Canelo and just as a fight fan that’s a fight I would prefer to see. What the dollar and cents of it is, I don’t know? Cotto must think he’s got a better shot elsewhere, but I can’t be inside his head,” Merchant told Nestor Gibbs of

    Merchant makes a lot of sense. Even if Cotto doesn’t make as much money fighting Canelo as he would with Mayweather it would still be a significant payday. Plus, you can’t put a price on being a live dog in a fight. and Cotto knows he stands a much better chance at defeating Canelo than he does Mayweather Jr., regardless of the revamped corner this time around.

    Mayweather Jr. is being deliberate and it is obviously due to the fact that he doesn’t want to lose the Cinco de Mayo date that Canelo was/is chasing. In his attempt to secure the May 2nd date, Mayweather Jr. has stuck it to fans in an abrupt and unrelenting manner. As Merchant points out, it may end up being a practice in futility as Canelo and Golden Boy plan on moving forward with the May 2nd date in mind.

    “What I heard was that Golden Boy said [Canelo] is still going to fight on that date, presumably in San Antonio where he’s already drawing 40,000 people, and there are guys out there that he could fight. What if he fought Timothy Bradley at the Alamodome, they might have 50 or 60 thousand people.”

    Once upon a time, Merchant suggested Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya fighting. Most assumed that the matchup was a fantasy fight but it came to fruition. Perhaps the semi-retired broadcaster has given us another unrealized matchup with real potential.