Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/15/11
By James Carr Stepping into the boxing ring comes with the inherent risk of injury. Even death on rare occasion. This polarizing element both attracts and repels people from the sport. Despite deluded claims that boxing itself is dead, more than 1.2 million people purchased Floyd Mayweather Jr.s last fight and estimates of 1.5 million buys have been suggested for Manny Pacquiaos latest adventure with rival Juan Manuel Marquez. A meeting between Pacquiao and Mayweather would likely, if not easily, surpass those numbers combined. These two cash cows of boxing have been destined to meet for years. With two negotiations for a mega fight between the fighters already broken down, the time has finally come when there arent any viable options remaining for either fighter. At least, thats the prevailing sentiment among everyone except Top Ranks Bob Arum, Pacquiaos promoter. According to an ESPN.com report, Arum has informed Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions that he is not interested in making a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather and will instead be pursuing a fourth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. Quite frankly, this decision stinks much like the majority decision in last Saturdays fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. Like all great trilogies, the bouts between Pacquiao and Marquez are loaded with experts and fans who try to make a case that either fighter won each fight. Theyve fought at three different weight classes. Their fights have been years apart, allowing each fighter to grow, change and adapt. Still, their fights remain the same. Neither fighter can best the other. So why does Arum want to make a fourth fight between the two right away? Weve seen this movie before. Even if there were a decisive end to the fourth fight, it could ruin the lore, mystery and debate over the epic trilogy that will keep the stories being told for years. Maybe Arum doesnt care about that legacy. After all, his is well set in stone after his decades in the boxing game. Right now, he can make another incestuous fight between two Top Rank promoted fighters and keep all the gold for himself. Why would he split the pot as massive as it would be with Mayweather, whom he severely dislikes? Because if he doesnt, the sport could see something more tragic than a death in the ring: it could see a death of the ring. If you anger fans too much they wont come back. Pacquiao and Mayweather have let this fight brew long enough. Mayweather has finally pushed aside all illusion that he doesnt want to fight Pacquiao by coming out, stating he wants to fight Pacquiao and even setting a date, May 5. Freddie Roach, Pacquiaos trainer, said he wants Mayweather next. He said Pacquiao wants Mayweather next. Its now or never for Pacquiao-Mayweather. And perhaps for boxing as well.
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