The Top 5 Winners & Losers From The Pacquiao-Mayweather Fiasco

January 16, 2010

Now that the richest fight in boxing history has been put on ice, we can sit back and reflect on the tumultuous few weeks of negotiations and saber-rattling between the camps of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

As with any standoff, there are winners and losers, and this stalemate proved to be no exception.

So, with Pacquiao preparing for his March 13th fight against Joshua Clottey, and with Mayweather selecting his opponent for that same date, it is time to evaluate just who came out ahead from the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiating quagmire.


#5 The Fans

Although boxing fans missed out on the megafight of the decade, there was a strong possibility that the Pacquiao-Mayweather winner would have simply retired from the sport content with his legacy. Now each man has locked himself into at least another fight or two before they come back to the bargaining table again.

For fight fans, it will be a treat if Pacquiao and Mayweather attempt to clean out the remaining welterweights in the division before fighting each other. Assuming neither star is upset along the way, the fans could end up benefiting by watching a few good matchups with these two stars prior to their inevitable clash.

#4 Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys owner just elevated the prestige of his new stadium by landing a Pay-Per-View boxing card with the current Pound-For-Pound King, Manny Pacquiao. The event is expected to draw an estimated 40,000 fans, and if successful, could lead to Cowboys stadium hosting other big fights.

Considering that Texas has favorable tax laws much like Nevada, Jones' palace has genuine long term potential as a Mecca for future fights. Oh, and that 60-yard, high definition screen certainly does not hurt.

#3 Bob Arum & Top Rank

It is tough to be considered a winner when you miss out on the fight of this century, but at least there is a perception that Bob Arum was not the one fumbling his way through the negotiations.

Arum was the promoter professional enough to personally view the Cowboys stadium, while Golden Boy canceled their meeting with little advance notice.

Moreover, when Mayweather demanded blood tests above and beyond the Nevada regulations, Arum showed flexibility and reasonableness by acquiescing to three blood draws for Pacquiao. One of those draws was to occur within 24 hours after the fight.

When Mayweather later disagreed with the proposed blood draw dates, Arum then changed course and broke off the negotiations by looking for other matchups. In other words, Top Rank looked like the shotcaller in the process, with Arum demonstrating that Pacquiao had other fish in the sea.

It was also a smart move, as Arum knew Pacquiao would be far more willing than Mayweather to take on risky fights.

So, while Top Rank was already putting together a Clottey fight, Golden Boy was desperately scrambling to put the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight back together. At this point, Arum had all the leverage and was in control.

Now Arum has a decent alternative PPV fight in Pacquiao-Clottey, which truly will be an "event" for the sport because it will be the first major bout held at the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. Moreover, that fight will involve two of his guys, as Clottey also is a Top Rank fighter.

More importantly, Arum knows that he has an ace in the hole, as he is dictating to the television networks which fight they should broadcast on March 13. In other words, Arum has the sport's number one drawing card, and is daring the networks to broadcast something other than Clottey-Pacquiao.

#2 The Other Contenders: Joshua Clottey, Nate Campbell, Paulie Malignaggi, & Shane Mosley

About two weeks ago, not one of these four fighters had any hope of fighting either Pacquiao or Mayweather. Now all four could be in line for a huge payday.

Joshua Clottey

An earlier decision loss to Miguel Cotto all but eliminated the tough Clottey from any thoughts of landing a big fight. Simply put, Clottey was too tough, too risky, and not a large enough draw to attract either a Pacquiao or a Mayweather.

Now Clottey's career gets a new lease on life thanks to the collapse of the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations, as Clottey will take on the Pac Man in what should be an exciting matchup of sluggers with good chins.

Shane Mosley

After his devastating knockout of Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley openly called out both Pacquiao and Mayweather, only to be rejected by both because he is such a tremendous threat. The collapse of negotiations, however, has made both superstars eager to show the public that they are not afraid to fight the best, much to the benefit of perhaps the best man out there - current welterweight champ Mosley.

Not only has Freddie Roach stated that the winner of Mosley-Berto could be a future opponent for Pacquiao, but Golden Boy Promotions' Richard Schaefer has surprisingly stated the same for Mayweather as well.

Although Mosley must first dispatch of talented Andre Berto, he finally has some hope of seeing that one additional big payday.

Paulie Malignaggi

Paulie Malignaggi's career looked dead in the water after a controversial TKO defeat to Ricky Hatton and a disputed hometown decision loss to "Baby Bull" Juan Diaz. But Malignaggi got things together by switching trainers and avenging the Diaz loss, and now finds himself as a possible opponent for Money May in March.

Nate Campbell

Campbell's career had taken a downward turn recently, as he had struggled making weight at 135, and was having difficulty adjusting to the 140-pound division. In his last fight with Timothy Bradley, Campbell was getting blitzed by his younger foe, and was fortunate to have it ruled a no decision due to an inadvertent head butt.

The Pacquiao-Mayweather collapse could give his career one more big payday, as Mayweather is strongly considering a fight with Campbell. Undoubtedly, it's a fight the public does not want to see - a very good small man taking on a great bigger man - but for Mayweather, Campbell is the type of "safe" opponent he prefers.

#1 Manny Pacquiao

Quite simply, Pacquiao established his place at the top of boxing's pecking order.

When Mayweather began playing hardball during the negotiations, he probably thought that from a monetary standpoint, he was Pacquiao's equal.

In truth, Pacquiao's status goes far beyond mere PPV numbers.

Pacquiao is the sport's most exciting fighter, whose knockout power, speed, punch volume, and willingness to fight the best all provide him with mass appeal. He also has a likable personality, which generates a large amount of goodwill with the public.

Not to mention that he owns an entire country.

All of the above factors gave Manny the leverage during the negotiations. In other words, Manny did not need the fight as much as Floyd, as his legacy is already secure with far more victories on his resume over elite fighters.

He knew he could walk away from the table, fight another quality opponent, and earn another large purse. After all, Manny was not the one with IRS problems.

Some might claim that Manny's image became somewhat tarnished due to his refusal to follow Mayweather's drug test plan. However, the reality is that Manny will flawlessly weather any perceptions of being a drug cheat.

First, Manny vehemently denied Mayweather's claims and then took action by filing a defamation lawsuit. Just by bringing that lawsuit, Pacquiao has shown that he is sincerely angry and genuinely cares about his reputation. Moreover, the fact that Manny denied the claims also has meaning, because when he says something, one tends to trust him.

Second, Manny has always possessed abnormally high power due to his hand speed and dedication to training. After all, if punching power was simply about muscles, then the sport would be filled with weightlifters.

Mayweather well knows, however, that it is those quick punches your opponent does not see which are the most devastating. From Ali's "phantom punch" against Liston to Mayweather's "check hook" against Hatton, Pacquiao gets to his opponents in a similar manner - hitting them with fast, solid shots they did not see coming.

The fact that Pacquiao agreed to three blood tests which he had no obligation to complete indicates that he was not hiding anything, and that perhaps, he did have a legitimate mental fear of the tests. Furthermore, because he agreed to be tested the day after the bout, anything illegal in his system presumably could have been found.

Finally, there is the issue of whether Pacquiao ran from the fight. Well, by taking on a tough customer in Clottey without a catch weight, it is safe to say that Manny's heart cannot be questioned.

Should the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations begin anew, Manny will be the one dictating the terms.


#5 The Fans

Boxing fans missed out on a megafight for the ages, and worse yet, it might not happen in the future.

Because both Mayweather and Pacquiao are eager to show the public that neither one is afraid to take on the best, they presumably will be taking more high risk fights against the likes of Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, and perhaps Paul Williams.

The danger of that plan, of course, is that they could lose.

Should either man endure a loss, then a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout would not hold the same captivating drawing power. What made the fight so intriguing was the invincibility of each man - the best defensive fighter of the era versus an offensive tornado.

However, a future loss, or even a controversial, close win, certainly would erode the mystique of Pacquiao or Mayweather.

Worse yet, the fight might not ever happen.

Suppose Pacquiao wins his spring political campaign and gets elected in the Phillipines? Would he be able to govern and train for a megafight at the same time?

Suppose a year from now, both men still have bad blood, and the negotiations again fail to yield a fight?

Hopefully this matchup will not become another of history's "what ifs."

#4 HBO

Instead of televising the richest Pay-Per-View fight in history, HBO now has two fights occurring on March 13th. Worse yet, whichever fight they choose to broadcast could impact the network's business relations in the long term.

Bob Arum has told reporters that should HBO elect to televise Mayweather's March 13th bout, they can essentially waive any hope of broadcasting a future fight of Pacquiao.

Meanwhile, Golden Boy Promotions has not stated a similar ultimatum, but certainly it would be displeased if Mayweather's fight was not televised.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, expect HBO to side with Pacquiao. He seems more willing to take on big name fighters, and is the slightly younger man.

#3 The Sport of Boxing

The sport came across as amateurish and disorganized by failing to complete fight negotiations between the top two Pound-For-Pound fighters in a fight the public wanted to see. For once, money was not the be all end all, as pride seemingly got in the way of a true mega-event.

Although a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout is still possible in the future, the momentum and opportunity to pit boxing's two best in the same ring was wasted.

Instead of having a March 13th fight that would have been front page news on every daily in the country, there will be two lesser fights on that date with significantly less exposure.

Editors, short on staff, will be forced to choose whether to send their reporters to one fight, both, or none at all. Due to the economy, many media outlets unfortunately will bypass direct coverage of the fights - something that is never good for the sport.

#2 Golden Boy Promotions

When Bob Arum states that Don King would have been a more reasonable negotiator, it makes Golden Boy Promotions look astonishingly inept.

Golden Boy's fatal flaw was miscalculating the star power of Floyd Mayweather. It is almost as if they looked at his high PPV numbers, and with an abacus, came to a simple dollar-and-cents conclusion that Floyd had all the leverage.

They should have looked beyond the balance sheet.

The truth is that Arum and Pacquiao held the cards. Pacquiao is the one with the crowd-pleasing style, and an international, adoring fanbase. More importantly, Pacquiao, unlike Mayweather, is willing to take on more difficult, and therefore, more marketable fights.

So, when Golden Boy started making demands and acting as if they were on equal footing, Top Rank pulled the rug out from under them and found an alternative fight. Golden Boy ended up looking like complete fools, as they still have yet to find a replacement fight for Mayweather. When they do, expect a "safe" matchup which will generate little interest.

Should Mayweather insist on a March 13th fight date, Golden Boy will be in an even worse position, as Top Rank is putting an ultimatum on HBO as to which fight they should broadcast. Most likely HBO will side with Top Rank, further deteriorating the stature of Golden Boy.

#1 Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Ultimately, Mayweather's ego and his attempt at psychological warfare got the best of him, as he has now placed himself in a position subordinate to Pacquiao.

To this day, Mayweather's resume and boxing legacy are very debatable. Hence, he needed a fight with Pacquiao to cement his career. Throw in his IRS problems, and that need for a megafight escalates even more.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, already has secured his place in history, and seemingly is financially stable, with many post-career income opportunities in his native Phillipines.

So, when Floyd started dictating blood test terms and insinuating that Manny was cheating, he put himself in the risky position of annoying Manny to the point of losing the fight.

Perhaps Floyd had learned that Manny feared blood tests, and assumed he could gain a psychological edge over his opponent prior to the fight. Perhaps the counter-punching Mayweather thought that if he angered Manny enough, he could make him reckless and more vulnerable in the ring.

If that was his objective, then what a colossal mistake.

Now Floyd is in the precarious position of being taken out of his comfort zone. Never one to take risky fights, Mayweather's promoter is making statements about him fighting the dangerous winner of the Mosley-Berto bout.

Some might claim that Mayweather did a noble thing in trying to elevate the sport's drug testing standards. The obvious reply to that notion is: how sincere was his effort?

Mayweather has never made testing a big issue in the past. When he fought Juan Manuel Marquez he did not ask for blood tests, despite Marquez recently moving up in weight and knocking out Juan Diaz and Joel Casamayor.

If he was so concerned about fighters who could move up in weight and maintain their power, why not demand tests for Marquez?

Even more revealing, why Pacquiao?

If we eliminate gamesmanship and psychological warfare, then we must assume Mayweather was genuine. And if he was genuine, then he must have seen something in Pacquiao that made him concerned.

In other words, Pacquiao's string of knockouts put second thoughts into Mayweather about just what he would be facing in the ring. If Manny were truly no threat, then Mayweather would have never asked for so many tests. Instead, the mere fact that he demanded tests indicates Mayweather thought he had a genuine threat on his hands.

Hence, Mayweather inadvertently revealed that he did have some trepidation about getting in the ring with Pacquiao, and because of that, it appears, rightly or wrongly, that he was the one trying to get out of the fight.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor of


  1. Very nice article. I do like it, not because I am a Pacquiao fan but because I think there are more truths to this article. Keep writing.

  2. Anonymous,

    Thanks for the support! We appreciate your comments.

  3. for once maybe we can get floyd to fight some real competition. he was scared of manny


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