Greatest ever? Not yet, Mayweather
The excuses are all gone; it’s time to step up, get in the ring with Pacquiao
LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. lives in what he calls his Big Boy house, a $9.5 million golf course mansion he likes to show off whenever HBO trots out its “24/7” show to promote his fights.
If you’ve ever spent $59.95 for one of those fights, you helped pay for the house. Nothing wrong with that, though it’s not likely to get you an invitation to the pool parties out back that always seem to get the neighbors talking.
But now it’s time for Mayweather to leave the pool and head for the gym. Time to drop all the excuses and stop all the procrastinating. Time to finally fight Manny Pacquiao. The date is already set; the money already there. The issues that stopped them from fighting in March no longer seem to be such big issues. Yet Mayweather remains a reluctant warrior at best. And nobody can seem to figure out why.
“I’m as baffled as anyone,” promoter Bob Arum said.
Mayweather hasn’t offered much insight himself, telling The Associated Press on Sunday that he was enjoying being on vacation and enjoying hanging out with his family and friends. Making another $40 million or so, he said, would have to wait. “I’m not interested in rushing to do anything,” he said.
Maybe he ought to be. Because it’s beginning to look to a lot of boxing fans like Mayweather just doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao.
He certainly didn’t want to fight in March, but at least then he had an excuse. Mayweather wanted Olympic-style blood testing and refused all efforts to compromise on the issue.
That excuse doesn’t work anymore. Arum, who is Pacquiao’s promoter, says his fighter will accept any blood testing Mayweather wants done.
Still, the new congressman from the Philippines can’t get a commitment. So now he’s looking for a new dance partner for Nov. 13.
And for that, the blame rests directly on Money Mayweather.
While he plays poolside, Pacquiao will be in the gym. While Mayweather contemplates his future, boxing fans may begin contemplating why they should keep caring about what he does.
It’s certainly Mayweather’s right to dictate his own terms and not follow Arum’s timetables. But fighting big fights is what great fighters do. And there’s no bigger fight than Mayweather and Pacquiao. The bottom line is if Mayweather wants to claim to be the greatest boxer ever, he needs to fight Pacquiao. And he needs to do it now, when both fighters are in their prime.
There will be plenty of time to play in the pool later. Now, it’s time to step up and start acting like a Big Boy.
TIM DAHLBERG | AssocIATED pREss Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, connecting with Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico during their non-title welterweight boxing match in Las Vegas in September. Fans would much rather see Mayweather prove his claim of ‘greatest boxer ever’ by fighting Manny Pacquiao.