With Bob Arum’s ‘deadline’ having expired with no word from Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s camp, it looks like the ‘fight of the (admittedly very young) century’ with Manny Pacquiao ain’t gonna happen. To make matters worse, Mayweather hasn’t even publicly expressed a legitimate reason why he won’t sign off on the fight. One can certainly understand why an undefeated boxer nearing the twilight of his career would be reluctant to relinquish his capacity to retire undefeated (a distinct possibility against the punishing Pacquiao), but given that Floyd loves basking in the glow of boxing’s tastemakers having dubbed him the “pound for pound” champion, it begs the question – can a champion (even the unofficial kind) truly be considered a champion if they refuse to defend their title against the best competition?
When people at the top administrative levels of boxing ponder why their sport has lost favor with the general public over the past few decades, they need only look to the fact that they seem unable to provide the public with the fights they want to see. And Floyd needs to realize that being regarded as a champion is a lot like treading water – it’s tiring, and keeping it up doesn’t put you any further ahead than you already are, but you can always quit anytime you choose, so long as you’re prepared to accept the consequences. Read more.