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Negotiations to begin for Mayweather-Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. must meet in the ring next. (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. must meet in the ring next. (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

There's no doubt anymore, and everyone knows it's true. The only fight for either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao is Mayweather-Pacquiao.

FightHype is reporting that Floyd gave Golden Boy Promotions to negotiate on his behalf for the fight, which is an encouraging sign. Mayweather apparently got in touch with Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer less than two hours after the fight, who then put in a call to HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg to tell him he'd gotten the go-ahead from Floyd.

Now, that doesn't mean anything will happen here. Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times has a great quote from Greenburg about it:

"It's a simple negotiation. There's so much money to be made. If it doesn't happen, there'll be a revolt. Nothing else is acceptable, and I'm speaking on behalf of the American public and the sport itself."

Schaefer is confident that he and Top Rank's Bob Arum can work it out, but also makes it clear he believes Floyd is the alpha at the negotiationg table:

"Bob and me -- how often have we failed to make a big fight? ... How did Pacquiao-Marquez do versus Mayweather-Marquez? How did Pacquiao-Oscar do versus Floyd-Oscar? ... Getting them together is a mega-fight that has to be made. We'd all have to be morons to not let this happen."

A quote from Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler does give me the idea that Top Rank isn't so confident that this fight can (or perhaps should) happen:

[Trampler] said it's naive to believe intangibles like "the good of boxing" will influence the deal.

"This has nothing to do with that," Trampler said. "These are two businessmen who are going to do what's best for themselves."

Here's what I'm going to say about that, and keep in mind I understand what he means.

This is not about the mythical "good of boxing." This is about making the ONLY fight in the sport that the public at large has interest in seeing anymore. It's been built. Floyd came back and won big in a huge money fight. Pacquiao topped that in terms of entertainment and challenge two months later. We'll see if he topped it on the business side, but many people have sounded confident that they could have done just that, which would make for an amazing fight overall.

This is not about fans being naive and living in a fairytale world. This is without even a close peer the biggest money fight in boxing. If everyone's such a businessman, including the fighters, they understand that. What else is "best for" these two men if not this fight? What, the Mosley-Berto winner? The backlash that comes from either of them fighting someone else?

There's nothing else. It's the mega-fight to end the mega-fights. What fight has been bigger and more relevant than this one could be? Two amazing fighters, the undisputed 1-2 pound-for-pound in the world. What's the last time that happened?

So, OK, fine. It doesn't have to be about the good of boxing, though it is about that. Make them each a graph and show them the potential money for this fight compared to literally anything else they could do. It can be about everyone's wallets if that's what you want it to be. However it has to be to make the fight happen.

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