By Charlie Knoxville
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People keep wondering if the Pacquiao-Mayweather feud is all staged hype to build up the fight. I say “NO”, for people who’ve been following this sport closely know that the Mayweather-Golden Boy camp do not get along with the Pacquiao-Top Rank camp.
Firstly, I would like to say Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s right hand man and CEO of Mayweather Promotions has handled himself professionally during the negotiations impasse for the scheduled March 13, 2010 showdown between the two best boxers of the decade Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
Even though both sides have gone back and forth with insults, Leonard Ellerbe has remained rational and very cool under fire during these negotiations for the Pacquiao – Mayweather mega bout and he gets my utmost respect.
Both camps, the Mayweather side and the Pacquiao side have traded strong words through the media during this negotiation process. They remind me of the famous feuding American families the Hatfield and McCoys.
I will try and break down the history of beef between all the parties involved for you casual fans who are interested.
Bob Arum the man who made Oscar De La Hoya the biggest box office draw in the sport and the man Oscar considered a father figure would later be one of Oscar’s biggest rivals.
Arum and Oscar split up when Oscar was starting up his own promotional suit. Oscar would name his promotional company after his nickname “Golden Boy”.
When Oscar signed Marco Antonio Barrera to his promotional company in 2004, Marco’s first fight with them was against an unknown southpaw from the Philippines his name was Manny Pacquiao…this is the fight that made Pacquiao an overnight sensation in the boxing world. Pacquiao a then one dimensional fighter would dominate the Mexican legend in every single round with a non stop barrage of punches and stop the lineal featherweight champion in round 11. Some say Oscar’s dislike for Pacquiao began at this time when Pacquiao spoiled Oscar’s plans for Barrera and upset the Mexican legend.
Bob Arum also started the career of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and promoted him for many years until the two parted several years ago, Mayweather Jr. has said Arum never pushed him enough to make him a star and forced him to live in Oscar De La Hoya’s shadow. Arum has made comments in the media saying Floyd Mayweather Jr. is scared to lose and that he is an ignorant kid who only cares about money.
The bad blood with Freddie Roach and the Mayweather family started when Floyd Mayweather Sr. hurled insults at Freddie Roach after Roach replaced Mayweather Sr. as Oscar De La Hoya’s head trainer and worked his corner for the 2007 fight versus Floyd Mayweather Jr.
During this time Floyd Sr. would refer to Freddie Roach as “The Joke Coach Roach” and even wrote a poem about Roach that he shared during the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. press conference.
Roger Mayweather the uncle and trainer to Mayweather Jr. also had harsh words for Pacquiao’s head trainer saying Roach was scared to spar with Roger Mayweather when they were younger and other insults to try and get under Roach’s skin but it didn’t work.
Roger would go a step further and insult the deceased legendary trainer and Roach mentor Eddie Futch. Roach has stated many times that he would gladly fight Roger Mayweather in the street for those disrespectful remarks on Eddie Futch a man who passed away years ago and cannot defend himself.
Manny Pacquiao had gotten out of two promotional contracts with his first promoter Murad Muhammad and after that Gary Shaw before getting with Bob Arum and his Top Rank boxing promotions in 2006.
A few weeks before Manny Pacquiao was going to face Erik Morales in a rubbermatch, Oscar De La Hoya picked up Manny Pacquiao and his crew straight from the airport and drove directly to a steak house in Beverly Hills, this is when Oscar De La Hoya presented a suitcase filled with $250,000 in cash to Manny and a contract, Pacquiao who was still jet lagged and tired signed the contract and became a Golden Boy fighter.
Immediately after Oscar acquried Manny Pacquiao to his stable of fighters, he made a fatal mistake while everyone involved with the signing remained silent and hush to the media including Pacquiao himself, Oscar De La Hoya opened his big mouth and announced on various media outlets that he signed Manny Pacquiao and how it felt so good that he was able to get one up on Bob Arum his former promoter and current rival.
Bob Arum got news of this incident and was furious. Right before the fight with Morales, Bob Arum was able talk with Manny Pacquiao privately and offered Manny Pacquiao a $1 million dollar signing bonus to sign a long term contract with Top Rank. On the day of the fight in the dressing room a few minutes before Pacquiao faced Morales it was announced that he was giving back his signing bonus to Golden Boy promotions and that he signed long term contract with Top Rank.
Golden Boy and Top Rank would both threaten to sue each other over Pacquiao.
The feud would end in 2007 when both sides were able to come to an agreement and settled a deal out of court.
Golden Boy would get certain promotional rights with Pacquiao but Top Rank would be the main promoter of the Pacman.
The feud seemed to be over and everyone was copacetic until Oscar De La Hoya would challenge the smaller Pacquiao to a fight at welterweight in 2008, Pacquiao was a replacement option when negotiations for a De La hoya-Mayweather rematch fell through and Mayweather retired.
Oscar stated that part of him wanted to teach Pacquiao a lesson for not honoring his word to Oscar De La Hoya when he signed the contract with Golden Boy back in 2006.
During this time a new feud would erupt and it was between Manny Pacquiao and Golden Boy CEO Richard Shaeffer. During the press tour and negotiations Shaeffer would call Pacquiao a spoiled brat and even in the dressing room leading up to the fight Shaeffer would become defensive with Freddie Roach as he watched Oscar De La Hoya have his hands wrapped.
Shaeffer would take subtle shots at Pacquiao even during the Ricky Hatton vs. Pacquiao negotiations. Pacquiao who rarely dislikes anyone has made it known that doesn’t get along with the Golden Boy CEO.
During the build up for the Ricky Hatton – Manny Pacquiao fight, Mayweather Sr. and Freddie Roach would go back and forth trading insults during press conferences and the HBO 24/7 series leading up to the fight.
On May 2, 2009 Manny Pacquiao destroyed Ricky Hatton by a devastating second round knockout.
A few months after the fight Floyd Mayweather Sr. who trained Hatton started to accuse Pacquiao of using steroid or performance enhancing drugs, Pacquiao would ignore these allegations because he was getting ready to take on welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in November of 2009.
After Manny Pacquiao became a 7 division world champion and dominated Miguel Cotto for 12 rounds en route to a 12 round TKO, the steroid accusations became more prevalent.
The Mayweather family mainly Floyd Mayweather Sr. insisted that Pacquiao was on something, that no man coming from 106 pounds could come up look ripped and muscular, get stronger and faster as they go up in weight and take the punches of a bigger man the way Pacquiao did against Miguel Cotto.
Everything is real, the feud is real, the lawsuit filed by Pacquiao is real, this is no joke, there is real beef and bad blood between both camps.
Three questions need to be answered on March 13, 2010.
Are both fighters clean and drug free?
Who is the better trainer Roger Mayweather or Freddie Roach?
Who is the best fighter of the decade Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao?
Now all they have to do is make the fight happen and settle it in the ring once and for all.
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