Some of us told you this would happen. Sure, we were humbled when he took apart Shane Mosley and did so with the relative ease of a kid microwaving ants with a magnifying glass. And then, and here I admit to something, he fooled me. He made me believe that this was what he wanted. He wanted Pacquiao. And we wanted him to. And now, sadly, the fight has fallen apart. Depending on who you believe either Floyd deliberately submarined the negotiations and then sent Leonard Ellerbee out to say they never even happened, or they never even happened.
Bottom line: this fight won’t happen. Floyd fought 2 fights and is retiring again if you believe him. Taking a 2 year break from the sport. Meanwhile, Pacquiao is fighting Antonio Margarito in a Bob Arum-promoted sham. This is what none of us who are real boxing fans want. But we’re gonna get it.
This is about more than Floyd Mayweather Jr. I have realized something. It took me 18 years to realize it. And listen very carefully. To everyone involved, from athletes to management, this is a business. Nothing more. Nothing less. And worse everyone involved quite clearly holds fans in either naked contempt or grudging tolerance. It’s true. We all know it. And on a certain level we understand it.
But because no one wants to admit it, because no one wants to say that being the best takes a back seat to being able to claim that you’re being the best, we get “just enough”. We get Floyd Mayweather fighting Shane Mosley so he can hold on to his P4P trophy in the eyes of some. We get Pacquiao fighting Clottey because “no other fight could be made.” We get LeBron telling us that he’s “taking his talents to South Beach”. Instead of greatness stretching itself to its limits, we get “just enough”. Just enough to tantalize, to tease, to make us wonder what they could be.
Look to the young kids who might read TSF, and might still be wondering if sports is a life for you: Do not do “just enough”. Strive. Be better. Spend more time in the gym, and with your teammates. But be a citizen of your sport as well. Realize you have peers. Treat them with the respect they deserve.