A psychological look into the fight of the century.
The upcoming boxing match featuring Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is one of the most highly anticipated events in the history of the sport. At $300 million dollars, this is also expected to be the highest grossing fight of all time. With constant setbacks and disagreements, it took about five years for this fight to be negotiated. From all that has been seen since the bouts announcement in April, we should be in for a show.
• Mayweather vs Pacquiao
• 5 years in the making
• The attitude of the fighters
Well known in US gambling news, the five-division world champion Mayweather and the eight-division world champion Pacquiao have been through much to make this fight happen. Perhaps if we look at their attitudes towards fighting and each other, we can learn a little more about these two stellar fighters.
The Beginnings of the Mental Commentary
In 2008, Mayweather fought and defeated Ricky Hatton by a technical knockout or TKO in the 10th round. Six months later, Mayweather announced his retirement. “This decision was not an easy on for me to make as boxing is all I have done since I was a child. However these years have been extremely difficult for me to find the desire and joy to continue in the sport. He was undefeated with 39 wins at the time.
It’s important to note that Maweather’s management was in the middle of negotiations for a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. Mayweather’s decision ended that. While Mayweather was retired, Manny Pacquiao began to turn heads. He quickly rose to the ranks of superstar status. This included at the time an eighth-round TKO over Oscar de la Hoya who had to move down from lightweight to welterweight for the bout.
Retirement can be challenging for anyone, especially someone who’s use to getting a lot of attention for his work. Mayweather’s world had to be a bit silent for a while. Is it possible that watching “Pac-man’s” boxing success spurred something in Mayweather? All legendary boxers had an arch rival. A fighter who could push them to greater heights and greater glory in the minds of the people.
Coincidence aside (maybe), on the day of Pacquiao fight against Ricky Hatton in 2009, Mayweather happened to announce his return to the ring. Did Mayweather intend to put a shadow on Pacquaio’s spotlight by this act? When commenting on the Pacquiao Hatton fight, Mayweather said “if he wins tonight, don’t be all shocked…cause guess what? I beat Hatton when he was undefeated. Pacquiao beat Oscar, it don’t matter.”
The Mental Attack Continues
The first negotiations for the Mayweather Pacquiao bout at the end of 2009 had Mayweather entering the ring second but Pacquiao’s management would be announced first on the billing. Mayweather had a choice of locker room and a higher amount of the purse. This was also the time when Mayweather started to mention having Olympic-style drug testing.
Knowing that Pacquiao was superstitious about having his blood taken, Mayweather might have used that in order to create suspicion towards Pacquiao. It finally became obvious when the Mayweather camp accused Pacquiao of using performance enhancing drugs. That accusation left Mayweather in the courtroom almost as long as the negotiation for their fight.
In 2010, Mayweather called Pacquiao a “little young chump”, but was misquoted as “a yellow chump.” He continued to say “Once I stomp the midget, I’ll make that queer make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice.” Mayweather quickly apologized and said “he was having fun.” Pacquiao never had a comment for that. The incident still didn’t affect the odds in Las Vegas according to US gambling laws.
Just before negotiation in January, Mayweather referred to Pacquiao as a “desperate dog” chasing a megabout due to his tax problems. Pacquiao finally responded by challenging Mayweather to fight for charity and said “Floyd, if youre a real man, fight me. Let’s do it for the love of boxing and for the fans. Let’s do it not for the sake of money. Let’s m
ake the boxing fans happy.” Mayweather used this entire quote when he announced the upcoming fight. “Let’s make this fight happen for the people and the fans.”
Since then the two have more or less played nice. There’s no doubt that Mayweather is about the money (hence is nickname “Money”). He is also an entertainer in the tradition of Mohammed Ali he talks in order to create more ticket sales. Mayweather has promoted his own branding and posted videos of his training. Pacquiao still remains largely reserved only answering direct questions with direct answers. We will see in the end who wins out silence or noise.