The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. was undeniably one of the greatest and most decorated in the history of boxing. Both Manny and Mayweather are welterweight boxers who had both risen through the ranks to be the second and first welterweight boxers, respectively, according to the Ring Magazine Pound-for-Pound rankings. Manny Pacquiao grew up from a humble background in the Philippines with no family background of boxing. Due to his exceptional hand speed and his risk-taking nature, Manny was able to gradually learn the art of boxing and become a sensational boxer in the Philippines after defeating his well-known and recognized opponents (Arnaldo Jr, 2016). While Manny was a great sensation in the Philippines, he was not as highly regarded in the USA at the time. As such, he traveled to the USA for a boxing club and connected with the legendary coach Freddie Roach. Under Freddie's guidance, Pacquiao became a champion in various boxing categories.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., on the other hand, grew up in a boxing background, with his father Mayweather Sr. and his uncle being exceptional boxers of their times. As such, Mayweather Jr. was able to quickly learn and nature his boxing art with the help of his father and uncle and was eventually able to knock out his opponents and rise through the ranks (Boren, 2012). Since both fighters were in the same boxing category and were equally capable but had never been in the ring together, there was a massive pressure from both their fans and promoters for them to fight. Manny Pacquiao had knocked out some of the most legendary boxers such as Oscar Dela Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and Rick Hatton, who Mayweather had previously defeated. Thus, it was evident that Manny was equal to the task (Bonhomme, Seanor, Schinke, & Stambulova, 2018). The pressure eventually necessitated for the negotiations to begin in 2008 officially.
Way before the official negotiations on the fight, the tension between the two boxers and their promoters were high. Bob Arum and Top Rank had for ten years signed Mayweather as his promoters, but he later fell out with them in 2006, sighting under promotion and exploitation (Bonhomme et al., 2018). At the time, Pacquiao had just signed a seven-fight deal with the Golden Boy promoters but fell out with them after a short while after his third match under the contract. He, later on, he was signed to Top Rank and Bob Arum as his promoters. Manny's breach of agreement with the Golden Boy promoters and his immediate signing with Top Rank created a series of court cases and heightened tension between all the parties involved, including Mayweather and Pacquiao.
The First Negotiation Attempt
While Mayweather had defeated De La Hoya in 2007, his victory was controversial, with some claiming that the match was unfair to De La Hoya and that De La Hoya was more aggressive in his fight compared to Mayweather and therefore deserved the victory (Bonhomme et al., 2018). The controversy then created doubts in the ability of Mayweather, which then necessitated a rematch between the two fighters. However, Mayweather announced his retirement in boxing before the rematch could happen, and this automatically made Manny be the top pound-for-pound fighter, who had previously been second after Mayweather. Later on, Pacquiao undisputedly knocked out De La Hoya, which further affirmed his high position.
Shortly after his retirement announcement in 2008, Mayweather announced his return in 2009 and consequently arranged for a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, who was then the second pound-for-pound boxer after Pacquiao. On the same day of Mayweather and Juan's match, Pacquiao and Rick Hatton were facing each other on the ring. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao emerged as the victors, which then rekindled the negotiations for their fight. Pacquiao's coach Freddie Roach was confident that he would beat Mayweather and take the victory. In the same way, Mayweather was optimistic that he would beat Pacquiao following his recent win against Juan, and this then created the first formal negotiations for the fight.
The negotiations for the fight between the two legendary boxers were bearing fruit, and the dates were set to be in March 2010. It was agreed that both fighters would take home a 50-50 purse split of the 50 million dollars at stake (Poole, 2011). The fighters and their promoters had even agreed on the order in which the fighters would enter the ring and how the billing on the promotional materials would be done, but the deal did not materialize. Shortly before the formalization of the fight, Floyd Mayweather insisted on a drug test, which Manny Pacquiao disagreed with. Mayweather demanded that Pacquiao should be subjected to an Olympic-style blood test to be carried out by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Bonhomme et al., 2018). He further suggested that the test should be carried out randomly just before the fight began.
Pacquiao and his promoters vehemently declined to bow to the demands of Mayweather. They instead suggested that the anti-doping tests should be done in a scheduled manner and not randomly. He also suggested that there ought to have been a cutoff date of seven days before the match and that the blood and urine samples for the anti-doping tests should only be taken before the seven days. According to Pacquiao's promoters, Mayweather was aware that Pacquiao is prone to panicking following anti-doping drug tests, especially near the match dates, and that was the reason behind his outrageous demands. They claimed that Mayweather was aiming at frustrating and weakening Pacquiao by such demands, and they, therefore, could not agree to his demands.
Even though Pacquiao and his promoters agreed to a blood test way in advance before the match and immediately after the match, Mayweather and his promoters were adamant, and this eventually halted the fight. Their refusal by Pacquiao to take a random drug test created a heated exchange between his supporters and of Mayweather. Mayweather Sr. even accused Pacquiao of using steroids and claimed that he could not knock out Mayweather Jr. with or without the steroids. The allegations forced Pacquiao and his team to file a lawsuit against Mayweather and his promoters for defamation on doping, even though he had never tested positive for drugs before (Poole, 2011). The doping accusations could negatively impact his boxing career, and he, therefore, filed a lawsuit to protect his name and brand as well as his career. The case was, however, settled out of court with Mayweather and his promoters having to apologize for the allegations they had earlier made. Mayweather's statement, which affirmed that Pacquiao had never used drugs and was not currently using drugs to enhance his abilities, reinstated Pacquiao's position and cleared his name.
The Second Negotiation Attempt
Following the failed first attempt on negotiations for the fight between the two heroic fighters in 2010, there were talks that further negotiations were ongoing. Bob Arum, who is Pacquiao's manager, claimed that negotiations were happening and that the contentious issue on doping tests and purse splits were resolved. Mayweather's team, to the contrary, denied being aware of any negotiations. Even though Mayweather and his team denied being aware of any negotiations happening, he went ahead to insult Pacquiao, which portrayed him as a racist and eventually tainted his name. Following outrage from the fans, he was forced to apologize.
In a bid to redeem his image, Mayweather offered Pacquiao 40 million dollars to a fight in 2012 (Boren, 2012). This marked the second negotiation attempt towards making the fight between the two boxers happen. Mayweather directly contacted Pacquiao in a bid to negotiate for the terms of the match. He offered Manny a flat fee of 40 dollars pounds with no additions, with the claim that Manny would make more money fighting him than he had ever made in his whole career. While Pacquiao was willing to fight with Mayweather, he insisted that the terms must be revised for him to engage in the fight. One of Pacquiao's complaints was that 40 million dollars was way too little, considering that it was a flat fee. Instead, he suggested that the deal should be on a 50-50 basis (Boren, 2012). He later revised his 50-50 deal to a 55-45 deal, but Mayweather declined and insisted on the 40 million dollars flat fee.
According to Bob Arum, Mayweather was unfair in his offer since he left all the pay-per-view earnings to himself and was estimated to be more than 160 million dollars (Fight, 2019). The Manny Pacquiao fight against Mayweather was projected to generate a lot of money from fans all over the world and from the pay-per-view earnings and as such, it was almost impossible for Pacquiao to accept Mayweather's offer. Since both teams failed to have a consensus agreement, the second attempt to negotiate for the fight was once again halted, and Pacquiao eventually retaliated from his earlier statement agreeing to drug testing as per Mayweather's terms.
Mayweather and Pacquiao went their separate ways after the failed negotiation attempt, where each engaged in various fights. In 2012, Pacquiao lost to Timothy Bradley in a highly controversial match, with some claiming that he had won against Timothy, but the judges had been unfair. In an attempt to recover from the lost match, a match between Pacquiao and Juan Marquez was organized in which Pacquiao lost to Juan. The outcome of these two matches negatively impacted Pacquiao's boxing career and saw him lose huge amounts of money. Mayweather's career was also under threat following his imprisonment over domestic violence. He was detained for two months, and during that period and a few months after serving his jail term, he did not engage in any fights.
The Third Negotiation Attempt
In 2013, even before the third attempt negotiations began, Mayweather made it clear that he was not willing to work with Bob Arum, who is Pacquiao's promoter again, due to the exploitation allegations that he had sighted. The negotiations were further halted following by Mayweather's claim that Pacquiao was desperate for money and that the only reason that Pacquiao would want to fight with him was to solve his financial reasons. As such, Mayweather declined to participate in the fight. Pacquiao was accused of evading taxes worth 18 million dollars and 50 million dollars by the Internal Revenue Service and the Filipino government, respectively (Arnaldo Jr, 2016). Following the tax issues and considering that Pacquiao had lost a lot of money in the two major fights that he had been knocked out, Mayweather felt that Pacquiao had the intention of using him to regain his financial stability. Pacquiao and his team, however, dismissed the claims of tax evasion, claiming that the reports were accurate.
To counter Mayweather's accusations that he was desperate for money, Pacquiao offered to fight for charity. He challenged Mayweather to sign a fighting contract that would demand that everything earned in the fight, including the guaranteed revenue, the pay-per-view revenue, money collected from the gate pass, and every other revenue that could be collected to be donated for charity programs all over the world. Pacquiao claimed that the primary intention and motivation of the fight would be the love of boxing and to satisfy the desire of their fans to see them fight and not for money or personal gains. Mayweather declined the offer, and for the third time, the negotiations for the fight came to a standstill.
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Essay Sample on Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Fight of the Century. (2023, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/pacquiao-vs-mayweather-fight-of-the-century
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