There's only one fight that every boxing fan wants to see, and it's not Floyd Mayweather Jr. against fill-in-the-blank. It's Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao, a bout that would pit the world's two top pound-for-pound boxers.
Unfortunately, the Mayweather camp's recent announcement of a date for his next fight merely intimated that Pacquiao would be the opponent. "We're looking to make the biggest fight possible, and everyone knows what that fight is: the little fella," Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com.
Yes, everyone knows what that fight is. But not everyone believes that Mayweather really wants to make that fight. A few days before the announcement, Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said that the fight will never happen because Mayweather knows he'd be knocked out. Arum made the comment during media day for Pacquiao's Nov. 12 bout against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Now Arum theorizes that Mayweather was trying to steal some spotlight from Pacquiao, categorizing the announcement as a "joke." That's the view held by 59 percent of voters who chose "Of course not, just more Mayweather blather" in a USA Today survey that asked if the fight was really going to happen.
Mayweather takes exception to anyone who suggests he's ducking "Pac-Man" because he fears a blemish on his 42-0 record. He called in to a satellite radio show Thursday and engaged in an expletive-filled exchange with the host, who had questioned Mayweather's desire to fight Pacquiao.
It doesn't matter that the host, and plenty of other fans, think Mayweather would prevail against Pacquiao. There's a perception that Mayweather has been the holdup, and announcing a date and venue before finalizing a deal with the opponent doesn't change that perception.
Besides, there's no certainty that Mayweather will be available on May 5. He was acquitted last month of misdemeanor harassment charges involving security guards outside his Las Vegas home. But the potential for more trouble looms, including a case in which he faces four felony and four misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged domestic dispute with his former girlfriend, who is the mother of two of his children.
Until he clears up his legal matters — and definitely until negotiations with Pacquiao are complete — Mayweather is better off keeping quiet.
Otherwise, he's just making noise that no one wants to hear.