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Does HBO really want to make Mayweather vs Pacquiao happen in 2015?

Is HBO trying to make Mayweather-Pacquiao happen with Showtime, or are they trying to wait until next year when they might be able to put it together on their own?

Chris Hyde/Getty Images

With the Super Bowl come and gone, as well as Team Pacquiao's previous "deadline" date of January 31 to announce a long awaited Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight, the question may now be when, not if, the fight once again "falls apart," leaving us without boxing's biggest possible event for yet another year.

David Mayo of, who has covered Mayweather over the fighter's entire career, says there may be one entity to blame if the fight does fail, and it's not specifically either fighter or their team. It would be HBO and its parent company, Time Warner. Without the same motivation to get this fight done as Showtime and CBS have, is HBO dragging its heels and looking to wait another year?

One major sticking point remains: That Time Warner/HBO, for now, still seems to want to make the fight that is best for boxing, but in 2016, when Mayweather could be a television free agent and the two subscription networks might not have to work together on the fight.

The real motivations of the networks, and the major boxing entities whose events they televise, have come to conflict in this negotiation. ... What we know this week is precisely what we knew last week, that the two networks are not equally motivated, that CBS/Showtime is working earnestly at Mayweather's behest and in its own contractual interest to find an agreement, and that plenty of people have come to question whether Time Warner/HBO is doing the same.

The subscription networks don't typically knuckle under to that kind of public pressure in these negotiations, but the fact remains that Time Warner/HBO has responsibilities to both shareholders and the Pacquiao camp to satisfy, and making Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2016, solely under its television banner, would be its ideal.

Mayweather turns 38 in three weeks, and still intends to fight on May 2 despite Golden Boy putting together an HBO card for that night, headlined by Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland. Pacquiao, who just turned 36 in December, has an alternate date of May 30 set, possibly for a fight with Amir Khan on HBO pay-per-view.

Now, Mayo's belief is that Pacquiao may not really want the fight at all. Of course, tons of people believe the rhetoric that Mayweather is "chicken" and doesn't want the fight, and never has. My personal belief is that it's probably somewhere in the middle, and that all the different stops to go through -- fighter, promoter, TV networks, etc. -- probably play more of a role this time than ever before, particularly on the TV side.

I have no idea if HBO wants to do this fight with Showtime. I have no idea if Showtime wants to do it with HBO, though it obviously would be more pressing on their end, with two fights left on Mayweather's contract. I have no idea if Floyd wants it or Manny wants it. I have no idea if Bob Arum truly wants it.

But as the days wear on, the whole thing has become familiar. Whereas a couple of weeks ago there seemed to be genuine hope of this fight finally happening on May 2, it now feels like we're headed right for another red light, with substitute fights like Mayweather-Cotto II and Pacquiao-Khan in its place. Those are good fights, but it's kind of like getting a pizza when you're jonesing for prime rib.

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