Originally written on Boxing Watchers  |  Last updated 9/3/14

LAS VEGAS - MAY 02: Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates with promoter Bob Arum after knocking down Ricky Hatton of England in the second round during their junior welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

It seems almost absurd to think that some fight other than the much-discussed, oft-wished for Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather mega-fight could be any more lucrative for anyone involved. The reason contemplating such an idea is almost ludicrous is pretty simple: Pacquiao-Mayweather would be the biggest bout boxing has seen in decades. It would bring in more revenue for the venue holding it, the network that broadcasts it and the fighters themselves than any other potential match-up.

Yet one person may have a financial interest in the fight not happening, at least for now. And since that person is Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum, who just happens to promote Pacquiao, one begins to see an understandable (if still unfortunate) reason why the event everyone wants to see stubbornly refuses to come together.

Especially in recent years, Pacquiao has been a cash cow for Arum. That's been even more true because he rarely fights outside the Top Rank family. The last five times he's stepped in the ring, he's faced three opponents from the same promotional stable (Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey and Miguel Cotto) and one guy who left Golden Boy just to fight Pac-Man (Shane Mosley). His most recent outing aganst Juan Manuel Marquez was the exception rather than the rule, and even he was essentially forced to cut some of his ties with Golden Boy to get his third crack at Pacquiao.

Even Team Mayweather acknowledges the business reasons why this is so lucrative for Arum and company. Floyd's manager and confidant Leonard Ellerbe told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports just yesterday that despite the massive scale of a Pacquiao-Mayweather tilt, Arum still makes out better when Pac-Man fights someone from the Top Rank family.

“He’s controlling both sides," Ellerbe told Iole. "He’s the one writing the checks. He’s the one controlling the checks and determining who gets paid what. He’s receiving the revenue and directing where the revenue goes. Arum is doing better in that situation, where he takes a cut out of each guy’s side, than he is if he puts his kid into a fight with Floyd.”

As Whodini and Terminator X told us almost 20 years ago, it all comes down to the money. If you're a believer in the idea that we always act in our own economic self-interest, then it follows that Arum should convince Manny to fight Timothy Bradley, Lamont Peterson, Cotto or Marquez. If you're less cynical and think that the promoter could take less (but still a hell of a lot of) money to do what's best for the sport, or that he could be swayed by what Pacquiao really wants, then there's still hope.

Either way, we should know fairly soon.


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