According to various media sources, insiders from both camps and people with power are working seriously behind the scenes to finally put together the long-awaited Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao mega-bout.
Anonymous sources are indicating that the bout is closer to happening now than at any other time in the history of this entire fiasco.
If this has you high-fiving your buddies and pounding social media with your early predictions, please forward me your name and email address so I can sell it to any number of agencies that put together “dummy lists” of those likely to fall for phone or online scams.
Citing plenty of anonymous sources bound by alleged gag orders and generally unreachable CBS mega-exec Les Moonves, this story has been run by a series of allegedly reputable publications.
The story is similar to the one passed along in the media prior to Pacquiao-Margarito in 2010, when Arum was allegedly in secret negotiations with HBO execs to make the mega-fight. The aged promoter would even post a countdown clock on Top Rank’s website, letting Mayweather know how much time he has left to sign the contract or Pacquiao will simply sign to face Margarito.
Later, of course, Arum would admit that he had never actually had any personal talks with anyone from Team Mayweather and, as a result, there was no contract to actually sign, even if Mayweather had wanted to.
This time, the story is bigger and apparently involves more moving pieces, lending some more credibility to it. But could this just be that a more convincing hustle had to be constructed to help save an upcoming Pacquiao-Algieri PPV that looks like to be a real disaster.
It would not surprise me (nor should it surprise anyone else) one bit if the initial source for this story was Arum, himself.
Between the bursts of hyperbole, Arum is practically copping to the scam-factor in this– perhaps to spare himself the embarrassment of having to admit, like he did in the Mayweather Countdown fiasco, that he never really talked to anyone that mattered or pursued things at all.
“The guy carrying the ball is Moonves,” Arum told the Los Angeles Times. “He and I have talked on a number of occasions and he has suggested we see if we can reach an understanding. I assume, without knowing for a fact, that he’s talking to the Mayweather camp.”
According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, a high-ranking HBO executive has flat-out called this story “more Arum fantasy than reality.”
But, still, the media is conveniently abuzz.
But who knows? Maybe this time the hype is for real. A deal could certainly be ironed out if all involved parties were eager to work together. But nobody’s been eager to do anything but blame the other side for the last five years or so. Forget about Mayweather and Pacquiao and who “really” wants it, any reasonable human being with a working brain can look at the ample evidence over the years and see that neither side has really been pushing for this bout. The reasons for this reluctance are many and better left for another article.
The reality is that that Arum and Team Pacquiao desperately need for fans to see the Algieri fight as some sort of eliminator to Mayweather. They have to see it as something meaningful and not just a bout between a world class icon and a confident club fighter, slapped together because nothing better was immediately available.
It makes sense to dangle the Mayweather-Pacquiao carrot as a promotional tool, when Arum has been doing the same prior to every Pacquiao fight since early 2010. This time, though, he may really need that sales push. We’ll just have to see if people are still eager to buy into the fantasy at the expense of the facts.