Pacquiao's going to fight Juan Manuel Marquez—yes, again. But every fight Pacquiao has taken for the last few years has something of "when are they going to get to the fireworks factory?" about it. When are we going to get the damn Mayweather fight already?
There have been two sticking points. In the first, Mayweather actually had something of the moral high ground, even if he was probably just being a dick about it. Mayweather wanted Pacquiao to undergo Olympic-style drug testing, including a blood sample drawn the day of the fight. Mayweather does this for all his matches, but Pacquiao demurred, preferring the less invasive Nevada SAC guidelines. There was no agreement; the fight, scheduled for March 2010, was called off. (In the wake of that, Mayweather accused Pacquiao of doping. Pacquiao brought a defamation lawsuit. Mayweather has been dodging his deposition, and has been ordered to pay $114,000 in legal fees.)
Last summer, Pacquiao said fine, he'll do the drug testing. Still no fight.
The other sticking point is the box office split. These are the two most famous fighters on earth, and since time immemorial, two marquee names have split the take right down the middle. But 50-50 apparently isn't good enough for Money. "He faces Floyd Mayweather, he's not getting 50-50," Mayweather said while promoting his Cotto fight. "Not at all. No one is getting 50-50."
Why does Mayweather need the cash? If his Twitter account is any indication, doesn't he win hundreds of thousands of dollars on sports bets, and has never had a losing wager? Presumably, it's all about pride. In Mayweather's mind, Pacquiao taking less than half the pot would be a tacit admission that he's not as "famous" or as "important" as Mayweather.
Well, Pacquiao said yesterday on First Take that he'll take 45 percent. It's time for Mayweather's camp to start getting things done, or admit he just doesn't want to risk his unbeaten record against a guy that's got a good shot at ending it.
Pacquiao will be 34 in December, Mayweather 36 in February—the time left to put on the most obvious and most important match in more than a decade, while the fighters are still near their peaks, is rapidly running out. I get that Mayweather has as much to lose as he does to gain, but 43-0 is just a number. If Mayweather wants to go down as the undisputed best, he needs to take the fight. If he doesn't? The "who's better" debate will continue to eternity, but I don't remember any best boxer of his generation being scared to fight.