Count on Floyd Mayweather to make a significant announcement on the very day the sport that made him famous in the first place was slated to feature a contest fans had been waiting for. Other living legends would have waited until the bout was done and chatter related to it had already abated, but not him. Instead, he did what he had hitherto been doing without fail and went about upstaging the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez tiff by announcing one of his own. He knew all eyes would then be on him and his decision to come out of retirement and fight.
Certainly, Mayweather’s stunt was all about the publicity he sought to generate for the encounter, but mostly for himself. Considering that he would be going up against no less than Manny Pacquiao, and considering that their meeting in the ring was a good three months away, he could have tweeted the news at any other time and still garnered significant media mileage. Then again, he has always been about I, Me, Myself, and Mayweather, so the development came as no surprise to all and sundry.
Neither, sadly, was the acquiescence of Mayweather’s opponent. For him and for Pacquiao, the upcoming battle is a clear and present cash grab that provides no clear and present danger to them. They’ll hem and haw and dip, duck, dodge, and dance to the tune of nine-figure paydays, and when the battlesmoke clears, they’ll have made the sport the real loser. Money himself made it clear in his social media posting, repeatedly using the word “easy” in reference to the check he’s expecting. Manny, meanwhile, needs whatever remains from the pot to support his lifestyle and sideline as a supposed senator of the masses.
Because of their names alone, Mayweather and Pacquiao will get backsides in seats and pay-per-view buys that — while destined to be nowhere near the record 4.6 million their first routine in the ring managed to entice — look to be healthy all the same. So, from their vantage point, the development is win-win for them. Too bad for boxing and its faithful, not to mention an entire country that deserves a truly committed public servant, can’t say the same.
Anthony L. Cuaycong has been writing Courtside since BusinessWorld introduced a Sports section in 1994.