Manny vs. Floyd: Public Perception and Shifting Leverage

By Ted Sares on January 3, 2012
Manny vs. Floyd: Public Perception and Shifting Leverage
A possible fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather now seems a very distant proposition

Public perception shifted once again in Pacquiao’s favor thanks to Floyd’s domestic violence case for which he was sentenced to 90 days…

“Perception is 90% reality.”—Anonymous

“God blessed me with a 22,000 square foot, 17 million dollar mansion.”—Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“I would only spend a week or two in the Philippines, most probably the week during my birthday because I am planning to give away Christmas gifts to the poor people of General Santos just like what I did last year.”—Manny Pacquiao

After Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2) had run roughshod over bigger and sometimes favored opponents, his claim to the number one P4P fighter was well grounded. Surprisingly destructive wins over De La Hoya, Hatton, and Cotto gave Manny leverage over Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0) vis-à-vis public perception

Mayweather’s camp then hinted that Manny Pacquiao was using performance enhancing drugs. The leverage quickly shifted in favor of Mayweather who dictated to Manny the kind of drug tests that would be required if a fight were to be made. Fueling this shift, the tattooed Pac Man’s answers were inconsistent, particularly the one about fear of needles.

But the shift in Mayweather’s favor didn’t last long as Pacquiao dominated Mosley and Margarito in easy fashion and once again claimed the top spot in public perception.

Mayweather came back with a strange but definitive KO over equally strange Vicious Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17, 2011, but in the eyes of some, it might have done his public perception more harm than good. Whatever the case, it was not enough to alter the leverage.

But then on Nov. 12, 2011, Manny’s leverage all but evaporated as Juan Manuel Marquez gave Pac Man all he could handle and then some. Pacquiao’s invincibility was shattered by the same fighter Mayweather totally dominated over 12 rounds. Mayweather was once again firmly on top and this time it appeared he might stay there.

But lo and behold, public perception shifted once again in Pacquiao’s favor thanks to Floyd’s domestic violence case for which he was sentenced to 90 days in the county jail for battery upon his ex-girlfriend in Sept. 2010. He also pled no contest to two counts of misdemeanor harassment which stemmed from his threatening to beat his kids. In addition to the 90-day sentence, Mayweather was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, attend a 12-month domestic violence program, and pay a less than challenging fine of $2500.

Thus, what finally could have been a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather now seems a very distant proposition. Look for Manny to consider fighting Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley, or dark horse Lamont Peterson. Even the winner of Berto-Ortiz is in the mix. In the meantime, since Manny has regained the leverage, he and Freddie Roach will let Mayweather stew in his own juices in his lonely cell in county jail in Nevada as he contemplates fights with the winner of Berto-Ortiz II or even Amir Khan.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. the thresher 04:47pm, 01/06/2012

    Well, it shifted a bit today as Floyd got an extension on his jail date and now the onus is on Manny.

  2. the thresher 05:17pm, 01/05/2012

    Stephen A. Smith—hmm. Not impressed

  3. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:32pm, 01/05/2012

    The Thresher—Stephen A. Smith is an ESPN radio guy on the West Coast. (A former NY Daily News writer too). He is in the video above.

  4. the thresher 06:27am, 01/05/2012

    Who is Stephen A. Smith?

  5. amayseng 06:13pm, 01/04/2012

    Stephen A. Smith is a disgrace of an individual.  I have been unfortunate to hear his racist rants and bias for years.  May he go away forever.

  6. Iron Beach 10:32am, 01/04/2012

    Nice job Bull…btw the comment below is mine also…forgot to identify myself.

  7. Iron Beach 10:17am, 01/04/2012

    I know I don’t have the same interest I did two years ago or even 1 yr. ago and I would place the blame 60/40 on both guys. I don’t really believe that May thought Pac was using, it was a temporary dodge that took on a life of its own after all the press, fans, promoters logged in. Now a fight I was super excited about is prolly never happening and I’m OK with that.

  8. the thresher 07:59am, 01/04/2012

    Say what you will (and I personally no longer have any great interest in this one), but if they did fight even after Manny lost a 4th to JMM, they would still break all PPV records.

    What fans will watch and the quality of what fans will watch are two very distinct things.

  9. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:07am, 01/04/2012

    Don—“Expiration date reached and passed.” PERFECTLY said!

  10. Don from Prov 06:05am, 01/04/2012

    This horse is long past beaten to death—

    While both fighters will make some all-time lists in their weight classes (which are?), fifty years from now neither will be spoken of as being among the VERY elite: No pulse quickening of true greatness here.  And I doubt that, beside filling some space on boxing sites or in magazines, anyone will be much debating which one of them would have prevailed if they’d fought. Personally, I’d rather watch the cliche-filled but effective movie “Warrior” than pay to see these two square off in the Cherry Blossom special. Expiration date reached and passed.

     

  11. "Old Yank" Schneider 04:59am, 01/04/2012

    sthomas—You nailed it! This fight is no longer the mega bout it could have been (at least at this juncture). Interest is less than it was in 2009-2010. It will take a mega hyping job to get this bout back up to the excitement potential it once had. There was a time when $99 bucks for the PPV would not have put a dent in total sales. Now that both fighters are entering the sunset of their careers (and Pacquiao’s disappointing performance against Marquez), I sense interest is waning fast.

  12. TEX HASSLER 09:33pm, 01/03/2012

    The Mayweather vs Pacquiao is one of the greatest fights that will probably never happen. Mayweather can blame no one but himself. He has a character defect and that has put him in jail. Pacquiao would have been mentally and physically up for Mayweather like no other fighter he has ever faced and now all that energy might as well go down the drain. My guess is that 50 years from now people will still be speculating on who would have won. My personal pick is Pacquiao because I feel he would bring overwhelming firepower and nonstop punching to Mayweather that would be hard to counter. Pacquiao was not up or on for Marquez like he would have been for Mayweather. If Mayweather is the best of the last decade or so, he would have had the chance to prove it against Pacquiao. Now that will probably never happen.

  13. Nopporn 06:52pm, 01/03/2012

    It’s good for boxing fans that Floyd vs. Pacman won’t happen because it’s gonna be boring as hell. The latter will be frustrated for 12 rounds because he can’t find where the target is and eat counter punches all night. Manny should fight JMM again next IMO but it’s gonna be a great risk for the former to get beaten again since he’s got beaten by this guy 3 times already.

  14. sthomas 05:45pm, 01/03/2012

    I think they both have a lot less leverage than they had a year ago.  IMO Pay per view #‘s now would be substantially less than in mid-2009 unless Arum can make some magic happen by promoting this fight as a bigger than life event. But with Arum and Floyd involved with each other I’m not even confident that this bout will ever happen.

  15. sthomas 05:38pm, 01/03/2012

    I’m a pretty patient person when it comes to big fights being made, but I’m just not as interested as I once was.  I might feel different if Paq. had smoked JMM as I had predicted.  I know styles make fights and still think Pac vs. May could possibly be great,  but JMM is a barometer for the two that cannot be ignored.

  16. Boxing Training Fitness 04:22pm, 01/03/2012

    I’ve been hearing a lot of speculation that after serving his jail sentence, the negative perception it will generate for him might make Floyd feel more pressure to fight Manny to regain popularity.

  17. "Old Yank" Schneider 02:59pm, 01/03/2012

    BTW—Great photo of an “isolation cell” at Clark County Jail in Las Vegas—the photo should be enough to deter some folks from following in Mayweather’s foolish footsteps. Mayweather will more likely be in the “open dorm” area of the facility, but his liberty is gone for a minimum of 2/3rds of his 90 day term no matter what bunk he sleeps in.

  18. "Old Yank" Schneider 02:42pm, 01/03/2012

    I’m not sure who has the upper hand here. In a sport with a “gangsta” element, Mayweather might still have the upper hand in public perception with the younger, gangsta-appeal set. With some of these folks, doing time adds “creds” to a “resume”.

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