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Floyd Mayweather JR – Manny Pacquiao: The Don King Factor

By Geno McGahee

Over the years, charismatic Promoter, Don King, has gotten a lot of negative press. He has been sued countless times, been the subject of criminal investigations, but always comes out smelling like a rose. You can argue his ethics but you cannot dispute his success and his ability to bring a fight together. Some of the biggest fights in history were promoted by King, and he is arguably the best in his game of all time.

The over the top, loud, flamboyant King is a magnet for many. The media loves to write about him, the fans love to hate him, boxers go against their own instincts to sign with him because he is larger than life. He can sell. He can also relate to just about anyone, and now, one of the biggest attractions in the game has gravitated towards him.

Floyd Mayweahter, JR., 41-0, 25 KO’s, has been getting a bad reputation lately for his apparent refusal to take on Manny Pacquiao. Rival promoter to King, Bob Arum, has made it public, sending out press releases to various news sites that Floyd missed the deadline for exclusive negotiations with Pacquiao. This missed opportunity opened up another door for Arum to bring in Antonio Margarito, the man found with Plaster of Paris in his hand wraps as the opponent. This is a fight that is wrong morally, bad for the sport, and is rewarding the bad behavior of Margarito. He is currently looking to be re-instated in the US and with all of the money behind his return, he should be back on American soil, in the ring soon enough…and may be fighting one of the biggest draws, Pacquiao, on a pay per view in November. Hopefully, the latest news in this soap opera will change that.

The Mayweather, JR. –King meeting has generated a lot of speculation. It is obvious that their dinner meeting was not one of pleasure but of business, and the hope that King can somehow make the Pacquiao fight on the terms that Mayweather is pushing for. There has been a big public backlash at Mayweather, with most putting the blame on him for the fight not materializing and perhaps that is unjust. Crazed Pacquiao fans and many large groupie journalists attacking not only Floyd, but his entire family because he has not signed the deal to take on Manny this November, and then there are those that may see more to the picture. Floyd is a smart businessman and he handles boxing as a business, taking the most profitable step, not always the most popular.

Bringing in King may be a very good decision. He knows how to rally the people and he knows how to push a cause. King has been looking for a cause and he does well when the cause is this big. He is at his best when he’s trying to put together something that others deem impossible or very difficult.

When King first came onto the scene, he quickly latched onto Muhammad Ali, promoted the “Rumble in the Jungle,” a fight that every promoter wanted, but the former criminal, King, got. He went on to promote Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Julian Jackson, Evander Holyfield, and many more. When Tyson was returning to the ring to take on no-hoper Peter McNeeley, King had the gleam in his eye. He made it one of the biggest grossing pay per view events of all time and it was a complete mismatch.

Now we have the biggest fight in years that has collapsed twice in negotiations. Manny Pacquiao, 51-3-2, 38 KO’s, has fought his way to becoming a huge pay per view attraction. His current streak of sending some big names packing has made him the number one contender to the pound for pound crown held by Mayweather. Pacquiao has stopped Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto. He has gotten the nod over Joshua Clottey and Juan Manuel Marquez. He is a power-punching, incredibly popular, and prime machine ready for the biggest fight of his life. The fans are eager to see Floyd tested and Manny is the only one out there that can do it, or at least that is the current belief.

Steroids allegations at Pacquiao, lawsuits against Mayweather, and more have made this an ugly fight from the start. The fight will generate so much money that everyone wants it to happen, but the roadblock has been the fighters. At this point, all indications seem to point to Floyd this time being the one that is not allowing it to proceed, but the meeting with King would imply that he just didn’t like what he was being sold.

Roger Mayweather, Floyd’s trainer and uncle, is in hot water with the law after beating up a woman and choking her out. He was also the guy that jumped into the ring when Zab Judah hit Floyd low and caused an all out brawl. Roger is a scumbag, but he is also a good trainer and the big reason for the Pacquiao fight not happening has been believed to be the upcoming October trial for Roger, where most believe that he will be sentenced to some time based on the evidence.

How do you get around Floyd’s trainer being locked up? It’s up to King to convince Floyd that he can find a suitable replacement and “Money” may not be totally opposed to this. Floyd has been trained from basically birth to box and he knows the ins and outs of the game. He took an extended time off from the sport and came back looking sharper than ever. The guy knows boxing and may not have much of an issue staying the course with another trainer.

If the trainer or lack thereof is no longer a problem, then there are no major barriers. Should King and Floyd come to an arrangement, expect a media frenzy, where Mayweather’s side of the story is told and then we will hopefully see the fight come together this time around. If anyone can save it, it’s Don King.

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