Much was made earlier this month about Floyd Mayweather Jr‘s reserving of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 5th of 2012. In September of 2011, Floyd took out Victor Ortiz, first by dazzling him with skill in the opening rounds, then by cutting his throat when he got the chance. Despite a 16 month layoff, Floyd was still dominant, and really is at the point that the public only wants to see him fight one other guy, and that is Manny Pacquiao. The MGM reservation was heralded as a sign that Mayweather was going to take on Pacquiao. The best time for this fight would have been in 2010 or 2011, and that window is gone. This fight already has diminished a bit which is why many thought Mayweather wanted the May 5th date for a showdown with ‘PacMan’. And then the wheels fell off.
Earlier this month news hit that some of Mayweather’s legal problems were coming to a head, and that he would be facing 90 days in jail at the beginning of 2012. If the jail time starts on January 5th, then 90 days means he will be released April 5th. It is likely he won’t do the full 90 days, but it is almost certain that whenever he is released, his preparation time for a May 5th date would not be enough. So May 5th is off.
Pacquiao too, is unlikely to help the situation. Mayweather is coming off a 16 month layoff, however Pacquiao is unlikely to want to take the 10 or so months off to wait for Mayweather. Despite being the biggest draw in the world for several years, Pacquiao’s huge entourage and lifestyle choices have given way to reports that he is in need of money. So Pacquiao will probably book himself to fight another opponent in the April or May time frame.
Part of the reason the matchup is not as appealing as it was a year ago is that Pacquiao managed to look fallible against Juan Manuel Marquez in his last outing. He will likely have one or two more fights before he meets Mayweather now. So what if he slips and loses one of those bouts? No matter who he fights, Pacquiao will have a bullseye on his back – a loss by Pacquiao means we will never see the superfight that has been talked about for years.
Floyd was recently rumored to be betting a cool million dollars on a single game at one of the Vegas casinos, so the specter of jail has not dampened his lifestyle or need for attention. If he doesn’t change just a little, you also have to factor in the possibility that ‘Money’ may get in trouble again. He may also want a tune up bout, or whatever other demands pop into his head.
The bottom line is the BIG FIGHT everyone wants to see is no longer what it was, and there are too many factors still working against it. And this is just on the fighter level, looking at the problems on both ends. This doesnt even include all that could go wrong in the negotiations between Top Rank and Mayweather’s people. All this makes me think we won’t see it at all, and that will be another black eye on boxing.