Quick Jabs: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. And Manny Pacquiao Reverse Roles: Al Haymon Expands His Sphere Of Influence; More

How many months have gone by since Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has said anything dickish or run afoul of the law? Like, months? It feels like forever, especially in contrast with how often these days arch-rival Manny Pacquiao is facing allegations of this or that, the latest such thing being his charity being sued (followed by recent allegations of wrongdoing with his taxes and harboring a fugitive). As with Mayweather, Pacquiao is innocent until proven guilty, and Pacquiao hasn’t been convicted of stuff in his past the way Mayweather has, so the Pacman deserves a little more benefit of the doubt than Floyd.

But it’s clear what’s happening here. Mayweather is going “face,” as they say in wrestling, and Pacquiao is making a “heel turn.” Why, Mayweather is so vanilla these days that he hardly says anything at all that keeps me awake — you find a single angering or funny or otherwise non-bland moment in the above promo. Suddenly, the failure of these two men to fight one another looks like an elaborate ruse, one engineered based on decades and decades of proven interest from combat sports fans in seeing role reversals. Good job, Mayweather, Pacquiao and affiliated collaborators! Now I’ve been hooked anew on this welterweight megafight that I’d lost enthusiasm for, and am willing to pay double for it when it finally happens!

In this short, bullet-point edition of Quick Jabs, we explore the other subject in the headline, plus boxing advisor Al Haymon shoring up his team, plus a couple other modest developments in the wide world of boxing.

  • Andre Ward is getting silly, continuing a trend of fighters I’ve championed (along with featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa) flaking out. He now says he wanted Lucian Bute in a super middleweight bout, but that’s very different from what Ward said after defeating Carl Froch. Ward’s upset that Bute is fighting Froch, but Ward also said that Bute needed to beat someone worth a damn before he’d consider taking him on, and Froch sure qualifies as someone worth a damn. Even if what Ward is really objecting to is the two-fight deal, it’s still goofy. Ward also said his team reached out to Bute to make a fight, but Bute’s team says that’s not true. And he said no networks would be interested in Ward fighting Anthony Dirrell. If not him, then who would qualify? Gah.
  • It took forever, but someone finally got around to reporting why Juan Manuel Marquez wasn’t considered for Pacquiao’s next fight. There was some talk that Marquez was asking for too much money, but it seems Pacquiao and his promoter, Bob Arum, just never were interested in an immediate rematch. There’s a chance it goes down in the fall, if Marquez doesn’t end up facing Brandon Rios at junior welter instead.
  • Oscar De La Hoya didn’t do those sex things that woman who takes her clothes off for a living said he did, according to a court. He’s battin’ .500 on that kind of thing.
  • Welterweight Devon Alexander signs with Haymon and his next fight is on Showtime, although not necessarily in that order. Junior middleweight Austin Trout signs with Haymon, and a planned fight on HBO turns into a planned fight on Showtime. This Haymon/Showtime alliance trend gets more trendy all the time. In Trout’s case, at least his potential opponent, Delvin Rodriguez, would make for a super-fun fight, but overall the alliance hasn’t served the new leadership at Showtime well yet. (On the positive side of the ledger for Showtime: There seems to be a trend toward multi-multi-fight cards over there, and that equals more bang for our buck.)
  • Meanwhile, super middleweight Andre Dirrell leaves Haymon and then is rumored to be signing with Mayweather Promotions, which is weird what with Mayweather and Haymon being so close. Rumors be rumors, though, so maybe it’s not true — this one has not been reliably sourced to anyone.
  • And while HBO’s alleged favoritism toward Haymon clients over the past couple years has been vastly overstated, some of the early returns on the new leadership at HBO’s treatment of his boxers aren’t especially encouraging, either. Were a vaguely-sourced possibility of Haymon junior lightweight Adrien Broner facing Monty Meza Clay to actually come to fruition, it would be one of the worst mismatches in HBO history. I like me some “Mighty Mouse,” but dude can’t beat the Edner Cherrys or Fernando Beltrans of the world over, say, the past six years, let alone the Broners of the world.
  • A member of bantamweight Vic Darchinyan’s team has been circulating this all over Twitter to show there were some irregularities in his last loss. I haven’t been able to track down footage myself; so I pass it along without judgment.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.