Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, 56-5-2
(38), recently showed an admirable (and often rare to many) devotion
in business in his commitment to his longtime promoter Top Rank Promotions
when he recently signed a contract extension. The exciting, seven-time
world champion locked himself up with Top Rank until the end of 2016.
The pairing has been a
profitable one for both fighter and promoter as the two have shared great
success together during their association. It isn't too surprising to hear
about the Pacquiao signing, long claiming he is happy with the Las Vegas-based
promotional firm. However, it may surprise some in that it may
have hurt his chances to secure a bout with Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
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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