Loose lips sink ships.
Suddenly, the quiet Filipino star, who has let trainer Freddie Roach assume the burden of being the flapping gums behind the Pacquiao phenomenon, can’t seem to shut up.
Every week, we see several direct quotes from Pacquiao, all disparaging Mayweather and the possibility of an upcoming mega-fight. It’s not Roach anymore. It’s not even Bob Arum; This is all Manny. Given the fact that he’s harder to reach than the President and has an entire army of press agents, representatives, and hangers-on, it’s a sure thing that Manny is actively pushing to get his verbiage into the public. There is no doubt that this is a public relations campaign, but the objective, at this point, remains to be seen.
Pacquiao’s latest, conducted in two separate interviews, is an affirmation of his belief that Mayweather is “afraid” to fight him and a breakdown of why a 60/40 revenue split in Mayweather’s favor will not be allowed.
In an effort to keep things fair, it should be noted that the rumor of Team Mayweather asking for a 60/40 split has only been brought up by Pacquiao and has not been substantiated by anyone else. It should also be noted that Team Mayweather’s last word on the issue was that there were no negotiations taking place. Golden Boy CEO, Richard Scahefer, also distanced himself from the idea that talks were on-going or that the fight was “close” to being made.
But, for the sake of this article, let’s assume that negotiations are secretly going on and everyone is obeying the alleged “gag order.”
This would mean that Manny Pacquiao is the one putting this fight in jeopardy. He’s the one leaking these quotes to the media and attempting to sway public opinion. And, in response, Mayweather’s only quote, taken from a Make-a-Wish Foundation video where he’s meeting with a cancer patient, is that boxing’s not on his mind right now and that he may take some time off.
Have the “bully” and the “humble superhero” suddenly switched roles?
Regardless of the way Pacquiao’s image has been carefully constructed by his team, there are no humble men living in mansions, riding on private jets and sitting atop their chosen professions. It takes a massive ego to summon the drive for greatness and to assume that both Mayweather and Pacquiao are not creatures of pure ego is pure denial.
Maybe Pacquiao’s ego has finally gotten the best of him. Maybe he’s truly frustrated at not being able to get the fight signed. Maybe he’s intentionally trying to sabotage the fight and establishing an alibi for when he finds another November opponent.
Whatever the case, Manny has been doing all the talking recently and, in doing so, is putting the sport’s biggest fight in jeopardy.
For more boxing debate and discussion, follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/boxingBTBC