Pac-Man...Mayweather...and other fight updates
First, a great read on ESPN's Tim Keown explaining why when dealing with egos as big as Manny Pacquiao's and Floyd Mayweather's, gamesmanship gone wild is a given.
Still no word, by the way, on whether the two biggest names in boxing are any closer to an agreement on the fight of the century.
This week representatives from both fighters have been meeting with a mediator in Los Angeles, but because everyone involved agreed to a gag order before entering this latest round of closed-door wrangling, we won't know the status of any deal until they actually reach one.
The stalemate between these two camps continues even as authorities in Uganda postponed a heavyweight showdown between the aging Francois Botha and the aged Evander Holyfield. Anyone who hopes that postponement becomes permanent (hopefully all you of you) understands that sometimes the best fights are the ones that don't happen.
Mayweather-Pacquiao's not the one.
Jeopardizing this fight means jeopardizing all the progress boxing has made since Mayweather dethroned Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. And calling it off means making boxing what it once was and hopes never to become again -- a past-tense, purists-only sport in which fat-cat promoters keep top fighters from facing off.
If that happens there's plenty of blame to spread around.
By now Mayweather has accomplished what he intended by calling for Olympic-style drug testing. He looks like the good guy for appearing to stand up for fair play, while Pacquiao is angry, distracted and looking increasingly suspicious to some folks for refusing to consent to extra testing. The first round in the mental fight that is already on clearly belongs to Mayweather. His point proved, he can adjust his drug testing demands without losing face, and creep a little closer to making a deal.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has emphatically proved his own point -- that he abhors the assumption of guilt regarding performance enhancing drugs.
Great, but he could provide a much more resounding counterpoint to drug allegations by simply signing for the fight, passing the random drug tests and taking out his frustration on Mayweather March 13.
To team Mayweather: How about cutting off testing three weeks before fight night, with a final post fight test in the dressing room, as per usual.
To team Pacquiao: How about just signing off and getting into the ring.
And to everyone involved: How about making this deal and sparing us from the alternatives.
Pacquiao against Yuri Foreman?
Mayweather against Paulie Malignaggi?
I'd almost rather watch heavyweights.