In contemporary society, the mainstream media’s engine runs almost entirely from the fuel of the PR pump, which spins stories and set agendas to suit the capitalist desires of the political and corporate elite.
Unfortunately, this culture of spin has long since pervaded the sporting arena and is particularly prevalent in boxing.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr is one athlete who understands exactly how to use the intricate mechanism of the modern PR machine to send out dominant messages in the media. Given his intimate knowledge of the methods of the modern media and public relations business, it is no surprise that he is the highest paid sportsman on the planet.
In his latest classic piece of spin, Mayweather was able to both propose that Pacquaio could be his next opponent, whilst simultaneously saying just enough to subtly suggest that he will definitely not be.
As part of this public relation master class he also managed to make it look like it was entirely Manny Pacquaio’s shortcomings that were responsible for denying the world the fight we need to see.
“I’ve got nothing bad to say to Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather said to Hustleboss.com.
“The guy is 1-2 in his last 3 fights. I wish him only the best. I don’t know which company he’s with. I’m only focused on Mayweather Promotions. My focus is on May 3rd. I don’t know who my opponent is. If it’s Pacquiao, it’s Pacquiao. If it’s Amir Khan, it’s Amir Khan.”
The fact that Mayweather even has the gall to suggest that Pacquaio’s recent record renders him unworthy of being his next opponent is totally embarrasing. It is pure pretence.
Any intelligent, impartial boxing fan should be insulted that he expects the boxing public to buy such blatant posturing as a legitimate excuse not to fight Pacquaio in the near future.
In the very same breath he fell through the trap door of contempt when he mentioned Amir Khan as his next potential opponent. For a boxer like Mayweather, who seemingly has such unshakeable principles with regards to his opponents and their recent records, how could he possibly begin to justify Amir Khan as his next challenger?
The Bolton boxer has lost two of his last four fights and both of his recent, unconvincing, comeback performances have been against anything but elite level fighters in the virtually unknown Carlos Molina and age ravaged Julio Diaz.
In stark contrast the legendary Filipino, and ‘Fighter of the Decade’, was knocked out by an expertly executed counter punch by Juan Manuel Marquez- a future Hall of Fame certainty.
And as everyone knows, despite getting the decision against Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley barely won a round and was comprehensively out boxed in his decision ‘victory’, which gifted him Pac-Mans WBO Welterweight world title.
But, in the interests of objectivity, Pacquiao was due a dubious decision against him as he was outclassed by Marquez in their 3rd fight, prior to the Bradley contest, yet still got the decision.
However, in his recent comeback the Filipinos flame burned as brightly as it has in years as he battered Brandan Rios in an utterly dominating, if not destructive, performance. Yet, many quickly tried to extinguish his fire by pouring cold water on claims that the old Pac Man has returned after his commanding victory.
They insist that Rios' relentless pressure fighting style was made to order for him, a point to which I totally agree with. Moreover, the Manny Pacquaio of old is gone and will never return.
Like the immortal saying in Rocky III, Pacquaio lost his edge when he became too ‘civilised’.
The way he let Rios of the hook in round 12 proves conclusively that the once ruthlessly violent streak that possessed him has now been replaced by a statesmanlike compassion and remorse.
But what the nature of his performance also proved beyond doubt is that despite losing his malice, the ferocious power, frightening hand speed and spell binding ability to ring off blistering combinations remain intact.
So yes, the old Manny Pacquiao is dead. But the current incarnation of the Filipino congressman still has enough to crush Floyd Mayweather Jnr’s unbeaten boxing credentials.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr knows this, and this why he will not fight Manny Pacquaio in the near future.
No amount of salacious spin should convince anyone in the boxing world otherwise.
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