For all his flashing of money and inappropriate comments and avoidance of fighting the one boxer the public would like to see him take on—Manny Pacquiao—say this for Floyd Mayweather: He understands he has the power.
Nothing happens unless he wants it to happen. Promoters cannot induce him with money—he’s looted up like no one in the sport’s history. The boxing alphabet soup of jurisdictions can’t threaten him with taking his belts—they don’t mean anything when the people know who the true champion is.
And Pacquiao cannot “agree” to the terms of a fight that Mayweather does not approve, because it’s not a fight without Mayweather. And the champion wants to make a deal, but only if Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is out of it.
Mayweather has the power to call that shot.
“I’ve been saying this for a long time,” Mayweather said, speaking for the first time on an Internet hip-hop show called The Whoolywood Shuffle since Pacquiao announced he had agreed to Mayweather’s terms for a fight this year. “He has no say because he fights for Top Rank Promotions. He’s not in a position to call the shots right now. He’s not the A-side.
“I have Mayweather Promotions, it’s my company. He has a boss; it’s called Top Rank Promotions, not Pacquiao Promotions.”
Mayweather said he “absolutely” wants to make the fight…but with one stipulation. “We’re trying but it’s been extremely difficult. I don’t want to point the finger at Pacquiao, it’s not him, it’s his promoter.”
This goes back a ways. Until 2006, Arum promoted Mayweather’s fights. The boxer gave Arum $750,000 to get free of the contract and then, in 2008, filed a lawsuit that claimed Arum shortchanged him on his cut of the purse from two major fights.
Arum said he was withholding the payments until Mayweather paid Top Rank money he owed it.
Mayweather also alleged that Arum had deliberately held back his career, and refused to finalize a deal for Mayweather to fight Oscar De La Hoya — another former Arum client who had a bitter split with the promoter — in 2007. Mayweather and De La Hoya fought in one of the top-grossing fights ever, after Arum was out of the way.
Mayweather wants him to go away again, and that’s not such a bad idea. The fight game goes on without a long-time promoter. It does not meaningfully move on without Mayweather.