Comparing negotiations for what could possibly become the biggest boxing event in 21st century, much anticipated showdown between pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao and self proclaimed king Floyd Mayweather Jr. to playing high stakes poker is not too far off the mark. Just when everything seemed to have been in place for turning over the cards, Mayweather raised (asking to change the rules with unreasonable demands for Olympic style blood tests). Just like in poker, this move was designed to gain a mental advantage, get into your opponents head. Pacquiao called his bluff and left the table.
Pacquiao promptly agreed to battle dangerous African welterweight Joshua Clottey. Taking place in Dallas at the Cowboys Stadium on March 13th, 2010, this fight is good for boxing and for the fans.
His hand forced, Mayweather had to make a move. Fighting a welterweight champion, Sugar Shane Mosley seemed like the right one. Only this time Mosley did not care about mental advantages or unreasonable demands; he would have probably agreed to fight Mayweather with his right hand tied behind his back. Mosley goes all in and signs a contract with all terms agreed by team Mayweather. Six days later the boxing world is holding its breath for Mayweather to call. “He is not going to fight Mosley,” said Freddie Roach, a famous trainer of Manny Pacquiao while waiting for his star student to show up for a sparring session at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood:” This is all just a ploy to make his fight with Manny even bigger.”
How about Manny? How does he feel about this situation?“Mayweather Senior, a convicted drug offender, makes allegations about steroid use,” continued Roach:” And some of the fans choose to believe him. Manny is very upset. He wants to fight Mayweather in the worst way.”
What if the fight with Mosley does take place and Mosley beats Mayweather?“Then Manny will fight Mosley,” stated Roach:” It will be the only fight and would be the right thing to do.”
What about the current opponent, who many experts consider a dangerous test, former world champion, Joshua Clottey? “I don’t see any problems with Clottey,” said Roach:” His defensive style is amateur. There should be no problems getting past that. I just don’t want Manny to prove his manhood and stay on the ropes like he did with Cotto.”
How about all the distractions, including Manny’s political bid?“Manny lives with a lot of distractions,” continued Roach:” That’s the way he likes it. He lives and fights with a lot of distractions. But when he enters the gym, it’s like he leaves everything outside, it’s like he is in church.”
Then the wait is over and Manny comes in to his church, Wild Card Boxing Gym. He smiles and shakes hands with every one of his constituents and gets right to work. A light sparring session is scheduled for today. Behind the ring a sign catches my eye, a quote by famous Johnny Tocco:” You gotta have balls to conquer the world.” Manny Pacquiao’s picture wearing Giants uniform is placed right below it. Watching Manny in sparring, you realize that you are witnessing something special; he is great, but that is the subject for another story.
While I was writing this story the announcement was made that Mayweather did sign the contract to fight Sugar Shane Mosley on May1st, 2010 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. As my dad, a true intrigue monger would say;” As the plot thickens,” both Mayweather and Mosley have agreed to Olympic style, random drug testing. So Mayweather goes all in and seems happy with his move. “This one is definitely for the fans as I wasn’t going to waste anyone’s time with a meaningless tune-up bout and asked to fight Shane immediately,” said Mayweather. “I have said ever since I came back to the sport that I only wanted to fight the best. I think Shane is one of the best, but come May 1, he still won’t be great enough to beat me.”
His opponent is also very happy and relieved that Floyd has finally signed the contract.”I have always wanted to fight Floyd and now it is finally coming true,” said Mosley, who signed his side of the deal last Friday in Las Vegas. “I am already in great shape and ready to show everyone on May 1 that I am stronger, faster and better than he is. I will have no problem beating him.”
So the negotiations for the biggest fistic event of the twenty first century have created two incredible fights, both tremendous battles all on their own, Pacquiao versus Clottey and Mosley Mayweather. But at the end of the day fans only want to see Pacquiao to fight Mayweather. Would these two battles be the prelude to their unavoidable showdown latter on this year?