After some primping and posturing by Floyd Mayweather in an attempt to entice Manny Pacquiao into what would likely be the richest fight in boxing history, the man known as “Money” announced that he will be facing Miguel Cotto on May 5th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Isn’t this the same Cotto that was pummeled and eventually stopped by Pacquiao back in 2009? Yeah, that’s him. Sure, Cotto looked excellent against Antonio Margarito this past December, but that shouldn’t have warranted him the right to fight Floyd Mayweather. That spot to dance was reserved for Pacquiao. The funny thing,is that Cotto was being courted and wooed by Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum to do Pacquiao-Cotto 2 in June. How ridiculous is that? Why would you want to fight someone whose ass you already kicked? It’s not like it was competitive, it was a one-sided drubbing. Now, Mayweather has won the rights to fight another man’s leftovers. This certainly shows how short the line is on the other side of the Pacquiao-Mayweather velvet rope. They are running out of participants to enter the “Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have kicked my ass” club.
Mayweather doesn’t totally shoulder the blame for this travesty though. Before his legal nightmare was taken to court and handed an 87-day sentence that he’ll serve in June, the undefeated fighter had already locked in a May 5 date to fight. This was announced right before Pacquiao struggled to get past Juan Manuel Marquez last November. Mayweather left the door open for Pacquiao to walk right in and take the fight. Well, not really. Mayweather only wanted Pacquiao to walk in but wouldn’t allow him to take home a significant piece of the money pie. That certainly didn’t sit right with Arum and company, who haven’t been too fond of Mayweather since his ugly breakup from Top Rank back in 2006. The two sides have been unwilling to relent on their callous negotiation tactics, which eventually push one fighter out of the door while the other takes pride in making a deal so ludicrous that no fighter with any sense would take it. The pissing contest between Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank has devolved into a messy fracas where only the fans are penalized with not seeing the fight they have been begging for since 2009.
Despite Mayweather calling Pacquiao out by name, the fact remained that Bob Arum felt that the financial upside wasn’t being maximized by the fight taking place inside of the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which seats about 17,000. Arum wanted to build a temporary arena on the Las Vegas strip that would seat up to 40,000 people and thus bring in more money from the gate. Unfortunately, May 5th wouldn’t give them enough time to construct a venue that swiftly and Pacquiao never signed on the dotted line. Maybe Arum is right about not maximizing the earning potential? We just want those two to finally step in the ring and prove exactly who the best fighter in the world is.
So, as Mayweather preps for Cotto and Pacquiao prepares to square off against Timothy Bradley on June 9th, we are forced to wait again for this dream fight to take place. Casual boxing fans have started to write this off, hardcore heads still hold out hope. Pacquiao and Mayweather act like this isn’t hurting their careers, but really, it’s affecting the sport of boxing.