Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mayweather-Mosely and Pacquiao-Clottey: My Take

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Something lost in punditry is the difficulty of contract negotiations in boxing. It’s very easy to apportion blame. But you have to remember that a fight deal is generally 4 huge egos trying to get the better of each other.
The four egos being Mayweather, Arum, Schaefer, Pacquiao.
I understand that Manny is a nice guy outside of the ring (Mayweather actually is as well), but in the business of pro boxing you don’t get to the top without having extreme self confidence in both your ability, and your value.
Both fighters, and promoters would have been pushing an extremely hard bargain. And you tend to get posturing.
Top Rank pushed hard on things they thought would hurt Mayweather—weight restrictions, glove weight, ring size.
Golden Boy didn’t like Top Rank throwing their weight around, so decided to play the same game, and make the drug testing as complicated as possible.
The issue is that both promoters generally believe that they have “the man.” The problem being, they are both probably right. So expect posturing, and one promoter trying to exert it’s dominance over the other.
When it comes to the crunch, a bout of this size comes along maybe once an era, and both promoters need it, financially. So don’t write off the bout. But at the same time, it could well take a while to get it in the ring.
You may well find that Arum will be the driving force, in trying to force the fight through in the next 12 months.
Bob and Manny’s relationship isn’t as solid as he tries to make out. Manny loses a lot of money fighting for Top Rank. Something he and his advisors are well aware of.
In 2006 he signed a seven-fight deal with Golden Boy, on the principle that their package offered significantly more money to Pacquiao. Arum only held on to Pacquiao through the threat of legal action.
Manny was so disillusioned with Top Rank at the time, that he even kept the negotiations secret, as he was fearful that Arum would fix his upcoming bout with Morales in revenge. Something De la Hoya (and the FBI) accused Arum of doing in 2003 (the Mosely rematch), after their were rumours Oscar was about to jump ship. Turning on your own guy.
In short, Manny’s contract only runs until the end of this year. If Bob Arum is the only thing stopping a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout, Pacquiao may take Bob Arum out of the equation.
Mayweather left Arum as it was the only way he could set up the De la Hoya bout.
If the only way to make the fight is it for it to be Golden Boy vs. Golden Boy bout, expect Top Rank to be taken out of the equation.
It’s just business.
As for the bouts that come out of it, you have to accept that making last minute deals is going to get you a last minute opponent.
Manny won’t get any Golden Boy opponent while his legal action against them remains. In suing Golden Boy, he is also suing Mosely and Marquez (they are both partners now), so expect it to be quietly dropped.
Arum probably had little choice to go in-house. And Joshua Clottey is about the best he could have wished for. It’s a good opponent. You are never going to create headlines by beating a guy that has lost every meaningful fight he has ever had, but he’s no push over.
I just hope that Pac doesn’t go the catch weight route. He doesn’t need it to beat him. As number 1 Welterweight, he shouldn’t request it. Catch weights of course have their purpose in boxing. But defending a divisional position isn’t one of them.
A source I have with FOX was telling me yesterday, that the Mayweather/Mosely deal has been on the cards for a while.
It really wasn’t a case of boxing in March anyway. Not only did they not have the date (Top Rank owned it), but Mayweather doesn’t even like keeping busy.
Floyd aims to fight once a year. At a real push, if the fight is right, twice. Floyd’s fitness regime (in full training 350 days a year) is just a by product of his general health.
He has bad shoulders, hands, and back. So much so that he’s not even allowed to lift weights, or do any heavy gym work, or impact work.
I’ve watched a Mayweather gym session, four weeks before a fight. It’s bizarre. It’s incredibly light on impact. The guy will just do 500 push ups, 500 pull ups, 30 minutes intense skipping, and then spend the next two hours working on reflex drills.
That’s it. Go to any other gym in the world and the pugilist will be killing himself. Puking in a bucket somewhere as he’s just done 18 rounds of sparring, against a guy 50 pounds heavier than him.
So, waiting three months for a better fight was always the plan. Floyd’s a 32-year-old in a 42-year-old's body. Think B-Hop levels of activity from now on.
I’m sceptical on the Berto issue. Not that I think that he wanted out. But I think if he was offered $5 million, and told that he can have a similar fight (say the winner) at a better time for him, he’d take it. And he’d be wise to do so.
Fighters are warriors. If it’s a choice between walking away and losing the shot, and taking the fight at 50 percent (mentally), they take the latter, and get destroyed.
You also have to remember that a bout the size of Mosely vs. Mayweather is going to take at least 3-4 months to even build up the hype. That’s a six month bout.
Mosey fighting at the end of January, having a month off to recover, and then fighting again in May, with months of promotional work in between?
Much smarter for them to just pool their resources to a May date, and then just giving Berto a shot down the line. I’m certain the kid will get his shot against one of them later in the year.
It’s a canny promotional move either way. Roach and Arum were negotiating to take the winner of Berto/Mosely late in 2010. In an attempt to cut Mayweather out of the 147 action, and weaken him in the negotiation re-match.
Sadly, I have to say, yet again, Arum, let his mouth override his brains.
When you realise that the Mayweather bout isn’t going to work out, or at the bare minimum is going to be hard to make, and you are relying on Marquez, Mosely, or even Berto as an opponent, I’d say the last thing you should do is:
1: Sue Mosely and Marquez (they are financial partners in the company)
2: Insult their company (oh yeah, they are financial partners in the company)
You also have to remember that Lou Dibella, Berto’s promoter, is incredibly close to the Golden Boy group. Much of DiBella’s future fights are tied into this relationship.
If he’s forced to make a choice between showing loyalty to Oscar or Arum, there is only one winner.
Not that Arum didn’t have some valid complaints, but the amount of super fights and fighters he has lost by running his mouth, I’d have thought he would have learned to just stay away from interviewers by now.
You know, scream at your wife. Kick the dog. Don’t kill off about three fights.
Has this all played into Oscar’s hands? Well, I wouldn’t go that far. As long as Pac is PFP 1, he can get any fight he wants, but he’s in a better position now, than he was two months ago.
Mayweather vs. Mosely is a big fight in it’s own respect. But if Mayweather beats the PFP 3, and one of the divisions very best, the momentum and leverage has to swing a bit more towards him.
What’s more, if Pacquiao isn’t fighting Mayweather in the fall of 2010, it almost certainly won’t be Marquez or Mayweather either. Bearing in mind Berto may also have a deal to face the winner, it’s going to be hard to get a fight.
He could find himself in a scenario, where he has a choice between Mayweather and moving weight.
The crux of the issue is the simple fact that there really isn’t much money in Welterweight boxing at the minute. As in, super fights
Mosely vs. Mayweather
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Mosely vs. Pacquiao
Pacquiao vs. Marquez (somewhere between 135 and 147)
That’s it. I think you’ll probably find these two coming back to the table again later in the year, or early 2011.
They really do need each other.
Big winners. Mosely, Clottey
Big losers. Mayweather, Pacquiao. In the long term it may could well be Arum unless he can get this fight made.
Arguments between promoters won't stop this fight. One of the promoters will just find themselves taken out of the equation.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails