Boxing

Why Pacquiao-Spence Drives Mayweather Crazy

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You know some big boxing event is hitting a nerve with Floyd Mayweather when the 5-division undefeated former world champ feels the need to interject himself into the fight narrative.

With the heaping amount of praise put on Mayweather arch-rival Manny Pacquiao for taking on a mega-risky bout against 2-belt welterweight champ Errol Spence, it was predictable that “Money” would be shoving his name into the mix.

“I wish both guys nothing but the best, but Errol Spence, I wanna see him win,” Mayweather told FightHype.com. “I’m pushing for Errol Spence to win. Absolutely, that’s my people– I’m gonna always push for my people first. Just like the Philippines are gonna stand by their man, Pacquiao. I’m an American, and I’m going to stand by my people first…Actually, I’m going to call him and give him some pointers.”

This quote, of course, made headlines and found its way into the first Pacquiao-Spence press conference, provoking a playful Manny Pacquiao into a bit of uncharacteristic snarkiness.

“Errol don’t need to have advice from Mayweather,” Pacquiao interjected with a smile. “I believe Errol is better than Mayweather. He’s a [better] fighter than Mayweather…He could teach Mayweather how to fight toe-to-toe.”

As of that press conference, Mayweather had not yet reached out to Spence. But an educated hunch tells you that an offer of help to a fellow American and his “people” was not the real intention behind that headline-friendly soundbite.

The 44-year-old Mayweather has a pathological need to be the center of attention. That’s hardly unusual among fighters/athletes/artists/performers who all need a healthy amount of ego to get to the top of their chosen professions. In Mayweather’s case, though, that ego is especially fragile when it comes to all things Pacquiao.

For the longest time, Mayweather and Pacquiao were neck and neck when it came to who was the bigger star and who deserved the greater regard as a competitor. The Pacquiao vs. Mayweather dynamic became especially ugly when efforts to match them against one another failed and stalled over the course of several contentious years.

When the two finally did meet in 2015, Mayweather cruised to a decisive unanimous decision victory. However, the glory of that moment would be diminished by Pacquiao’s claims of an injured shoulder as well as criticism that the two faced each other well past their physical primes.

So, the animosity and rivalry continued. And, for Mayweather, the need to diminish, deride, and one up the Filipino icon turned into a bit of an obsession.

This upcoming Pacquiao blockbuster with Errol Spence on August 21 is the perfect storm for Mayweather’s insecurities.

While Mayweather’s last three ring appearances have been against a UFC fighter, a Japanese kickboxer, and a YouTuber, Pacquiao has been facing real boxers– and Spence is as real as they come.

Media and fans have been gushing over the 42-year-old’s decision to take on the very best in the welterweight division– and rightfully so. The 31-year-old Spence is regarded by most as the top 147-pounder in the world and, by many, as someone who could do some serious harm to the multi-division former world champ.

Mayweather has definitely reaped the rewards of some lucrative exhibition bouts in recent years, but he’s obviously not getting the type of respect Pacquiao is getting for taking on tough challenges in real, active ring duty.

And that clearly irks Mayweather, no matter how many “look how rich I am” and “I am TBE” videos he posts on social media.

Expect more of this grandstanding and desperate grasping at the spotlight as Pacquiao-Spence fight night approaches and as buzz increases over the legitimately outstanding matchup.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

14 comments

  • Levi says:

    Expect Mayweather to insinuate or challenge Pacquiao for a rematch, which he don’t have any real intention to do so just to inject his name in the coming Pacquiao fight. His jealousy and hatred is obviously bordering insanity. I pity him.

  • john says:

    Mayweather is done,money cant buy the glory he wants,and he cant get any glory from spence or pa man,he says hes for his people first,really,hes for his self..

  • Jocelyn Uy Bumaat says:

    You are exactly right! Lets just forget Mayweather….
    Go pacquiao.. Goodluck Spence….

  • Tommy says:

    If Mayweather had fought Pacquiao in his prime. He would have gotten knocked out.

  • Leroy Floyd says:

    Mayweather is obssessed with Manny Pacquiao.In a lot of ways Pacquiao is a better man and person than Mayweather.
    A person secure in life does not have to flaunt
    their wealth or constantly crave for attention.
    Unless they are under 6 feet tall ;have less than
    a 6 inch weeny and a functional illerate.
    Let HISTORY and the PEOPLE decide who is the true CHAMPION !!!!!!!!

  • rochel felicierta says:

    Well said

  • Congratulate don't hate says:

    The writer is definitely bias. Numbers don’t lie. Pac man lost. That’s all of that matters Wins and losses. Social media belts don’t count. And yes Mayweather backs up what he does. I believe he did it for over 20 years. Peace

  • Kelly Powell says:

    Floyd can say what ever wants about boxing he earned it

  • David Thomas Martin says:

    Hello Pacquiao , I am one of many Australian’s who Admire your ( PACMANS ) toughness and guttsy Wins from the past. Great to see you are back taking on the the best ( Boxers ) of today. Your next fight against ( Errol Spence ) will ignite and excite fans from around the world. Take him out first then ( Mayweather ) and your comback is complete. And your ( GOAT ) status is restored

  • Adeyemi says:

    It’s obvious that the author of this article is “Anti-Mayweather” as much of what is written is just digs at Floyd. From the Pacquiao fight FAKE torn rotator cuff excuse to the fight being put off for many years as Pacquiao refused to be tested for PEDs. Besides that, the claim that Mayweather waited until Pacquiao aged is absurd. Pacquiao is 2 years younger than Mayweather. Even the claim of Pacquiao being the naturally smaller man. Of course he was a smaller weight class starting out as a child, naturally? Floyd wasn’t born at 147 lbs. The official weigh in placed them both in the same weight class for the fight. Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson as well as Floyd Mayweather, and many others who dominated their weight class were much smaller fighters than their opposition. No one ever mentioned natural weight disparities. The jealousy of Mayweather defeating Mexico’s best (Canelo), phillipeans best, (Pacquiao) and all of the other bests gets old. Now that Floyd has been retired for several years, the jealous and envious want to see him in the ring with these STILL ACTIVE great fighters in Hope’s he’ll be destroyed. That has become an obsession with many. No one is to blame for Mayweather’s success except those who spent their life savings on Mayweather fights in Hope’s of witnessing 1st hand, a Mayweather defeat. Obviously there are many who have not given up hope. Get over it. Floyd is one of TBE and even with a Canelo and/or Pacquiao massacre of a Mayweather who has been retired for several years, being one of boxing’s TBE fighters will never change as the cement of his legacy has already cured.

  • Obs says:

    Mayweather has become irrelevant in view of Pacquiao-Spence upcoming match.

  • Kevin Gee says:

    So Mayweather can’t have an opinion? If no one wants to hear what he thinks, don’t ask him, it’s that simple!!!

  • Curtis Frierson says:

    This article was written at the request of Mayweather to promote his fight with the winner…lol

    IMO

  • Jay says:

    Don’t forget the fact the Mayweather kept making all the excuses in the world dragging the fight on for 5 years too late…from doping to blood test requirements, etc…

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