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Is Mayweather/Pacquiao Finally About To Happen?

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For a while now, fight fans and pundits have been operating on the idea that if the pound-for-pound superfight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather were going to take place, it would have to be in 2010. The reason for that was clear: Floyd is fighting Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19th (rescheduled from the original date of July 18th) and Pacquiao was considered all but certain to fight Miguel Cotto on November 14th. ↵
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↵Not so fast. ↵
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↵Today in this piece from The Grand Rapids Press, Mayweather is quoted as saying, “If Manny Pacquiao really wanted the fight with me, all he's got to do is say it. We could pay Marquez some step-aside money. Pay him a million dollars, that's nothing. Step aside. Then, my man, me and you can make seven figures. Is you ready? Let me know." ↵
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↵So Manny, dah… is you ready? You certainly don’t seem ready to commit to the Cotto fight that we’ve been hearing about for months now. As far as Bob Arum is concerned (Arum promotes both Pacquiao and Cotto), that fight is a done deal, and it appears to have been cleared by the Cotto people, but the unsigned contract has been with Pacquiao’s team for going on two weeks and still the dotted line has not been signed. Quotes from Pac’s people have been cagey on the matter. They’re not sure about the money split (reported to be 65-35 in Pac’s favor). They’re not sure about the catch-weight (reported to be 145 pounds). ↵
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↵In short, it seems like they’re not sure about Cotto. Boxing Scene is reporting that Pacquiao will make a decision on the Cotto contract in the next two days. Meanwhile, the headlines from the boxing world this week (those not devoted to the death of Arturo Gatti) are dominated by a back and forth in the press between Mayweather and Pacquiao’s camp battling over the money split in their non-existent fight. Mayweather says that he won’t consider fighting Pac for a 50-50 deal because he’s the main draw, or to put it in his own words, “the biggest fight in boxing in Mayweather vs. Anybody.” Bob Arum replies that no, of course the fight will not happen at 50-50, because Pacquiao would never settle for that deal either, being that he is the bigger star and deserves a bigger slice of the pie. ↵
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↵On paper, it appears to be a negotiating impasse, and yet I ask you… why are they negotiating at all? Are they negotiating? It certainly sounds like it. Add to that the fact that Floyd is suddenly talking about paying Marquez to step aside from their September bout and Pacquiao is avoiding signing his Cotto contract, and one has to wonder if the biggest fight in boxing, Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, isn’t soon to become more than just a fight fan’s fantasy.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.