While the outlook for the Floyd Mayweather, Jr., vs. Manny Pacquiao mega-fight, the one possible fight in boxing that truly seems to matter outside the sport’s hardcore fandom, happening in 2015 appears bleak — with the president of one major boxing sanctioning body warning that the fight may never happen — many fans blame Mayweather for obstructing the fight.
Those fans include even Mayweather’s own former friend, the rapper and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who declared earlier this week that Mayweather is avoiding the Pacquiao fight simply because the undefeated 12-time title-holder is “scared to death” to confront the hard-punching Filipino icon in the ring.
But on Tuesday, the president of Showtime Sports — the cable TV network that holds an exclusive contract for Mayweather’s next two fights — denied that the 37-year-old Grand Rapids, Michigan, native was the culprit.
— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) February 10, 2015
While Pacquiao, 36, has repeatedly stated that he has agreed to all of Mayweather’s terms for the fight, apparently there are still some details that have yet to be agreed upon. But what are they?
No one involved with the negotiations is saying. But last week, Bob Arum — the 83-year-old kingpin of Top Rank Inc., which promotes Manny Pacquiao — said that there were only two “outstanding issues” dividing the sides in the talks.
“Now we’re working on resolving the other two. Unless something else comes up at the last minute, that’s what my take is,” Arum told the Associated Press at the time. But would he reveal what those two issues were? Apparently not.
Mayweather and his camp have blamed Arum for standing in the way of the allowing the fight to happen. A long standing feud between Mayweather and Arum, who promoted Mayweather’s fights for the first decade of the 1996 Olympic bronze medalist’s career, continues to boil — and has since 2006, when the pair split acrimoniously in a volley of accusations and counter-accusations of stolen money.
Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, appeared on Thursday to remain optimistic about a fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., happening soon. He posted a picture to his official Instagram account, and caption saying he was “training hard” for his “upcoming fight.”
Of course, Pacquiao did not specify in the Instagram post which opponent he would face in that “upcoming fight.” Arum has said that Pacquiao will fight in the spring whether against Mayweather or someone else.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., also is reported — again, by Showtime executive Espinoza — to have a backup fight already in place for his May 2 date on the network’s pay per view service if the Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao bout falls through completely.
[Images: Bryan Steffy/David Becker/Getty Images]