‘Money’ Mayweather is Paying Manny Pacquiao’s Sparring Partners to Stay Home and Watch TV
As you (and the rest of the galaxy) have heard, it’s finally happening. after six long years of back and forth politics and professional squabble, on May 2, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will once and for all face off in the boxing ring.
There’s no doubt that both fighters are getting their fair share of “road work” ( rising at ungodly hours to run for miles and miles) and raw egg smoothies. It’s part of the training process — we know because we saw “Rocky” — however, meddling with your opponent’s sparring partners is not exactly a traditional method of preppin’ for a fist fight.
But when it comes to protecting that “0” — as Floyd Mayweather Jr. commonly refers to his untarnished (47-0) record — there’s no playing around, even if it entails buying out potential sparring partners for Manny Pacquiao (57-2-5) .
At the pre-fight press conference, Mayweather admitted:
“One thing I do know about any sport: When you lose, it’s in your mind. If you lost once, it’s in your mind. If you lost twice, it’s in your mind. From day one, I was always taught to be a winner, no matter what.”
Winning is one thing; cheating is another, though. If Mayweather’s team is really responsible for the lack of partners for Pacquiao, this could go down as the Watergate of Boxing. According to the veteran promoter and matchmaker Rick Glaser, Team Mayweather’s antics (if legitimate) really push the envelope:
“When you are interfering with another fighter’s training camp, you are crossing the line, by leaps and bounds (…) I think it’s a very slimy move, but I expect no less from Haymon.”
Al Haymon, who manages his own slew of fighters and serves as an advisor for Team Mayweather, has long been known for flirting with the darker side of boxing, mingling with Don King-types and others.
According to CBS Sports, an irate Freddie Roach has been told by potential sparring partners who fight like Mayweather that Al Haymon has bought them out.
Roach claims that Haymon’s staff is paying the fighters more to stay home and watch TV than they would earn “grueling it out” in Pacquiao’s training camp. If true, it’s certainly scandalous. But Pacquiao’s team is handling it as well as they can; despite the shortage of partners, Roach doesn’t want anybody getting distracted with pre-game warfare with recent history’s biggest fight on the line.
“I’m not worried about those guys. We got four really good sparring partners for Manny for this fight. Mayweather look-alikes.”
They may look like Mayweather, but for Pacquiao’s sake, let’s hope they fight like Floyd Mayweather too. Don’t forget to ask for May 2 off.