With no announcement as of yet on the most anticipated boxing fight of our generation in Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, speculation has been building that the fight again won’t be agreed to. The latest development came just recently with Floyd’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza telling reporters that Floyd will indeed be fighting on May 2nd, but not against Manny. His reasoning was Bob Arum, Manny’s promoter.
Floyd has been saying for years he doesn’t want to deal with Bob Arum or his promotional company Top Rank. Yet with negotiations having made it so far that even include CBS and HBO executives, one would think there’s a chance. While Ariza doesn’t speak for Floyd, Floyd did retweet the comments made by Ariza which leads us to wonder: is it over again? We’ve come so close this time, yet we’re still so far. When you couple these developments with those of Miguel Cotto refusing to agree to terms on a fight with Canelo Alvarez in hopes of landing Floyd Mayweather instead- Floyd’s only logical alternative- you begin to let the reality of the last five years sink in. The fight that hasn’t been made probably won’t ever be made.
So where does that leave Manny Pacquiao? Manny has expressed his desire to move back down in weight to 140lbs. While there’s big fights to be made in this division, Bob Arum would like to showcase his stable of fighters, as undeserving and unprepared as they might be. To prove this point you only have to look at Manny’s last fight against Chris Algieri. The inexperienced young kid was dropped more times than my wifi connection at the airport.
Fernando Vargas was fighting on Manny’s undercard and has been a Top Rank fighter for a couple of years. He hasn’t had any impressive wins to speak of but hasn’t lost either. He’s your typical Mexican boxer that’s ready to throw down at a moments notice, always looking for the big punch. While beating Vargas does nothing for Manny except give him a payday, he might get a KO. Everyone loves a KO and Manny hasn’t had one since 2009. Finally, the fight is easy to make. I mentioned he’s a Top Rank fighter and he’s already begun to call out Manny over social media. This is the most likely scenario for Manny this spring.
One other option is Amir Khan. Khan too has been relentless in vying for a shot at Floyd Mayweather. At this point Khan doesn’t have the credentials to compare to the Pacquiao’s, Bradley’s, and Cotto’s of the world to really deserve a shot. Is what Khan does bring is name recognition in the form of British boxing fans. Fighting in London has proved wildly popular as the Wembley Stadium was sold out last year to stage a fight involving two other British fighters.
Big money and big exposure can go hand in hand with fighting Amir Khan. His agility and skills have improved under trainer Virgil Hunter and his speed may be second to none in the welterweight division. A Pacquiao vs Khan card could deliver the PPV buys that Manny hasn’t been able to shore up with his mediocre or at times repetitive opponents. An added dimension was the fact Khan use to spar with Manny. Tales of heated sparring sessions that resulted in knockdowns still circulate the Wild Card Gym.
The biggest flaw in making this fight is that Amir Khan is advised by Al Haymon who also advises Floyd Mayweather. With Manny a staple on HBO, Haymon’s fighter’s have been exclusively fighting for Showtime like Khan and aren’t keen on doing business with HBO or vice versa. However, Khan is promoted by Golden Boy and their owner Oscar de la Hoya has been adamant about doing business with Top Rank lately and he’s on more than one occasion stated that Khan needs and should be in a big fight this year- even mentioning Manny by name. One other indication that the fight is possible is Pacquiao’s adviser recently stated that Khan would be the frontrunner for a match in the event that Mayweather negotiations break down.
As you can see there’s a lot of dynamics that go in to making a fight. With all the moving parts it can be hard to judge just what exactly will happen. No Sparring expects all fight’s happening this spring to be announced no later than mid-February, with the only exceptions coming to boxers who are scheduled to fight this month and next who may return to the ring should they win.