After being utterly underwhelmed by all the hubris surrounding Floyd Mayweather Jnrs decision to allow the fans to vote on his next opponent- either Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana- it got me thinking what sort of say do Showtime have in the decision about who he fights?
Surely when the powerbrokers at Showtime committed pen to paper on such a hugely lucrative, 200 million dollar contract, with the sports Pound for Pound star they did so with the prime intention of pairing him up with Manny Pacquaio. After all, for any fight fans- barring the notable exception of Floyds own followers- the Filipino icon has been the one and only fighter they have wanted to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. face in recent years.
This must be the case for the powers that be at Showtime, who would surely love to showcase the most anticipated, transcendental boxing match in decades, and so stealing it from under the noses of their noisier and more powerful neighbours HBO, who willed the fight to happen for years when both men campaigned on the Home Box Office network.
Did Showtime seek assurances from Mayweather and his management team that he would face Manny Pacquaio at least once throughout the duration of his 6 fight contract?
If they didn’t, then Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Executive Vice President, is guilty of gross negligence and dereliction of his duty to deliver the most financially prosperous fight for his paymasters.
Freddie Roach, in an interview with Radio Raheem, expressed his conviction that Showtime must force Floyd Mayweather into a fight with Manny Pacquaio. He stated, “Showtime/CBS is in the business to make money,”
“They want fights like Pacquiao-Mayweather to be profitable. I think they need to make that fight happen. I think they will make Mayweather make that fight. We’ve accepted everything with the drug testing, so I don’t think there’s any more excuses for him not to fight us.”
From a financial perspective, it would undoubtedly be the highest ever grossing boxing event in the history of the sport- easily eclipsing the reputed 2.2milllion P-P-V buyers for Mayweather’s previous bout against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Sure, Floyd Mayweather doesn’t need Manny Pacquaio to breaks P-P-V records, but there is no disputing the fact that a fight with Pacquaio would be his most financially rewarding 36 minutes ever. For a man who is so obsessed with money that he actually calls himself ‘Money’ he seems oddly reluctant to be the recipient of the unprecedented pay check he would earn by finally facing Manny Pacquaio.
But ‘Floyd is not the issue’, so says Stephen Epinoza, the man who commissioned Mayweather’s record breaking contract with Showtime. I found these comments when carrying out research for this piece. In the same article, which featured in the Daily Telegraph, dated 29th December, 2013, Espinoza also states that Floyd Mayweather “will fight Manny Pacquiao anywhere, anytime”
For a man of Epinoza’s obvious acumen and intellect, it seems strange he sides with the very small minority of people who actually believe the rhetoric that Floyd Mayweather actually would fight ‘Pacquaio anytime, anywhere’.
For instance, in an ongoing poll conducted by Boxing Insider about ‘Who do You blame for Pacquiao – Mayweather Not Happening? 81% of the 7343 votes cast blame Mayweather for the fight failing to materialise. So if this poll is representative of the boxing communities’ opinion as a whole then the vast majority of the boxing public subscribe to the consensus that Mayweather’s is indeed ducking Manny Pacquaio.
Furthermore, there is conclusive evidence which exists via the countless number of excuses Mayweather has invented in order to avoid facing Pacquaio, that the notion of ‘Floyd will fight Pacquaio anywhere, anytime’ is so far removed from reality it should really reside in Narnia.
So unless Jimmy Lennon Jnr. announces ‘It’s Showtime’ in the confines of a boxing ring which includes Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio in opposing corners then surely it must be go time for Stephen Epinoza, who will be guilty gross misconduct for failing to turn the dream fight into reality.
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