Many people tout a good, “I’ll remember who was there for me in the beginning” mission statement. But when there are potentially millions of dollars at stake, that mantra is fast forgotten. The Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, which could obviously turn out to be boxing’s richest, would reward “Pac-Man” handsomely. Many fighters would have opted to run out their contract with the intent of looking to land the mother lode payday as a free agent, especially if they were approaching the ends of their careers. But while Pacquiao is a modern-era fighter, the exciting Filipino icon is equally old-school in many ways. This includes his commitment to the long-serving team that has supported him. If he feels it isn’t broken, he doesn’t look to fix it.
The business side of boxing may view Pacquiao’s move as short-sighted. However, it does speak to his character as a person. That same character that has served him well in the ring. While he would like the challenge and payday of a Mayweather bout, Pacquiao has long maintained he is secure in his career accomplishments. He is also aware that he has a good working relationship with his promoter and feels he has been treated fairly in a mutually beneficial union throughout the course of his tenure with Bob Arum and company.
Like all of Pacquiao’s other fights, the Mayweather fight would be a piece of his career, not the defining achievement by which he feels he needs to be judged.
Pacquiao has never looked for excuses in any stage of his career. Sometimes fighters win and sometimes they lose. He understands that. So in the rare occasions he has come short in his 63-bout, 19-year career, he doesn’t look beyond himself. Pacquiao doesn’t look to replace longtime trainer Freddie Roach and he doesn’t look to blame or replace his promotional and management team. He lets them do their jobs while he continues doing his. While Pacquiao is riding a two-fight winning streak after dispatching Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley in a five-month span, he is only two fights removed from getting knocked ice-cold against (possible future, fifth go-round foe) Juan Manuel Marquez almost 18 months ago. The reaction to that loss was devastating to everyone except Pacquiao himself. He responded with a simple “These things happen in boxing.” He took a long rest period, resumed training and prepared for his next bout. There was never a question about needing to replace anyone in his camp. He was - and is - secure in the people he has guiding his Hall of Fame career.
With Pacquiao secured to Top Rank, whom Mayweather seems unwilling to work with, is that the end of Manny-Mayweather chatter? Not according to eternal optimist, Arum, who has stated that he “could still see the fight happening sometime in the future.” If not, Pacquiao is secure in his already strong legacy with more to come. While Mayweather seemingly has no interest in fighting Pacquiao, plenty of others do. There are some great fights out there for both “Pac-Man” and his rabid legion of supporters. When you think about all-action brawlers like Rios, Marcos Maidana and hot, young guns like Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman, you realize Manny has no shortage of dance partners. And who knows? Maybe Floyd will be willing to fight Manny one day after all. Let’s just hope it isn’t long past a time when anyone cares and the fight has lost the magic it still currently holds - even after all these years. Here’s hoping!
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