About a week ago, UFC boss Dana White ran into Floyd Mayweather at the Hard Rock in Vegas.
“When’s this fight gonna happen?” asked White referring to the prospect of Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao.
“What do you care?” said Mayweather. “You got the UFC.”
“I’m a boxing fan,” said White, who is, in fact, a boxing fan, and from way back.
“Well, I’m not desperate,” sneered Mayweather.
Desperate? Who said anything about desperate?
The man who calls himself “Money” stood to gain between $45 and $60 million fighting Pacquiao, depending on whom you believe. Instead, Mayweather (undefeated in 41 fights) — whose camp has long argued his hypothetical superiority over the likes of such scrubs as Sugar Ray Robinson (with a mere 202 pro bouts) and Muhammad Ali — takes a pass on history and fortune, leaving Pacquiao to fight … Antonio Margarito.
I’m with Dana White here, a guy who’s had his public spats with both Mayweather and Arum. “It’s Floyd Mayweather’s fault,” he says. “You’re supposed to be a professional.”
Fighters are supposed to fight. What’s more, great fighters are obliged to fight other great ones. “You claim to be the best in the world,” says White. “You should take on the best until you retire, cement your place in history.”
That’s easy for White to say. After all, he controls his fighters. If that’s a subject for another day, it’s also the biggest single reason that mixed-martial arts has overtaken boxing in all but the most rarefied pay-per-view levels. Whatever combat aesthetic you fancy (I prefer boxing), the UFC guarantees that the best fight the best. In boxing, you hope and wait two years, and get what? Pacquiao-Margarito.
“For denying them this fight, boxing fans should never buy another Floyd Mayweather fight as long as they live,” says White.
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