Kevin Seccia is the author of the new book, Punching Tom Hanks: How to beat up anything. He was recently interviewed by Jason and Randy Sklar; Seccia commented offhandedly that as a boxing fan he didn't think Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. would ever fight because Mayweather Jr. was scared. The Sklars, comedians, and fill in hosts for the Jim Rome Show agreed. There was no real debate or doubt, it's just their take.
Opinions on whether there will be a mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are legion.
Teddy Atlas is a staunch believer in Mayweather's holy mission to make boxing safe and fair using Olympic Style Drug testing.
Other boxing commentators have labeled Mayweather a coward.
The Ring magazine like many others have settled on believing it was both parties fault and that when everyone really wants it, its going to happen.
Whatever the experts think, I am curious about how the general public has decided to read things. Well, specifically, I think the tide has turned, and the general public blames Floyd. When I say the general public I mean those that wouldn't call themselves boxing fans, and those that probably only hear about boxing when a story is picked up by a television news program like the TODAY show or 60 MINUTES.
I have a sort of passive theory as to why most people think Mayweather is in the wrong. It goes like this: Manny is a nice guy. He takes all his tests as mandated by the commission and he answered the accusations of his cheating with a defamation lawsuit. Meanwhile, Floyd has doubt. This doubt is enough for Mayweather's fans, certainly, and it also plays on the general distaste for steroids the general public has.
The keys, I think, are the smell test and simplicity test.
Smell wise, Manny seems like a pretty honest guy, almost childlike in his lack of guile.
Simplicity wise, if you don't hungrily follow boxing what parts of the story really reach you? Did you hear about that mega fight? Yeah, Mayweather said he wants Olympic Style Drug testing. Oh, they don't get tested for drugs in boxing? Yeah, they do, but Mayweather wants Manny to be tested more thoroughly that is mandated by the commission or sanctioning bodies.
I think the subtleties of whether or not someone agreed to a testing period by what cut off date, and who said they were negotiating with whom is generally lost on the public. Combine this with Pacquiao's steady calendar of fights with Mayweather's steady calendar of criminal charges and the general public isn't very sympathetic to Mayweather's claims.
Maybe the answer if very different by region. Maybe this answer is very different by socio-economic group. Maybe the answer is very different whether you watch ESPN or read newspapers. But, am I wrong in thinking that the general public believes Manny is right and Floyd is ducking. Even if this isn't the truth?