By Ben Thompson | January 24, 2012

After last week's news of Floyd Mayweather's brief phone conversation with Manny Pacquiao, many were under the impression that negotiations for a potential May 5 showdown had resumed. Unfortunately, contrary to that belief, there has yet to be any real discussions between the principals of both camps. When reports surfaced of Floyd's reluctance to agree to an even 50/50 split of the revenue, focus quickly shifted to Mayweather as the reason why a deal would not be reached. However, the truth of the matter is that talk of the split is irrelevant so long as the main shot caller for Pacquiao, promoter Bob Arum, refuses to negotiate with Mayweather or any of his designated representatives. Instead, Arum continues to give excuse after excuse after excuse as to why the fight will not be taking place on May 5.  In fact, below, you can find 99 of those excuses.

  1. "The question with a Mayweather fight is at what weight? That's the big question. At 140, I don't think there's any problem making that fight." - 4/17/09

  2. "If Floyd wants to come in at a higher weight, I don't know. A catch-weight is a possibility also." - 4/17/09

  3. "You can tell Floyd Mayweather that Bob Arum says he's delusional. Floyd is not the attraction. Manny is the attraction." - 06/02/09

  4. "Even a 50/50 split with Mayweather is nonsense." - 5/31/09

  5. "He's just a problem and a head case and it'd be very, very difficult to put a match together." - 09/10/09

  6. "People don't want to spend money watching a defensive fighter. That's the problem." - 09/10/09

  7. "Mayweather will not engage his opponent and that makes a stinkin' fight." - 09/10/09

  8. "People know Mayweather now. They know the son of a gun doesn't fight. He fights scared." - 09/10/09

  9. "The fight that should be made is Mayweather and Shane Mosley, but Mayweather won't take that fight." - 10/7/09

  10. "Cotto probably beats Mayweather. I think Manny probably beats Mayweather and I think Mosley beats Mayweather." - 10/7/09

  11. "Money is secondary with him. He will not take a chance like a normal fighter." - 10/7/09

  12. "He cares more about his legacy and being able to retire undefeated, so he could say that he never lost a fight." - 10/7/09

  13. "It has to be March 13...because he is running for office, Manny can't fight on May 1st." - 12/04/09

  14. "Schaefer sent me a new draft of the contract and he says to me that it has to be at the MGM Grand and nowhere else. Why?" - 12/10/09

  15. "Doctors will tell you that blood-testing is not even sure anymore and urinalysis is the state-of-the-art testing for drugs." - 12/22/09

  16. "Their [NSAC] drug testing is the best in the world and its an insult to them." - 12/22/09

  17. "Who is this ignorant, illiterate kid demanding this. Who is he? This has never ever happened in  professional boxing." - 12/22/09

  18. "[Mayweather] had no intention of coming in at 147." - 12/22/09

  19. "I'm not going to bully this kid and Freddie [Roach] is adamant about that point." - 12/22/09

  20. "Mayweather knows Manny's phobia for giving blood, and he's using that to get out of the fight." - 12/23/09

  21. "Every major doctor will tell you that blood testing shows absolutely nothing." - 12/23/09

  22. "He [Pacquiao] doesn't want to do it [give blood] when he's in training, but he'll do it prior to going into training, and after the fight." - 12/23/09

  23. "I'm not going to let Manny be compromised, and Manny is not going to let himself be compromised." - 12/23/09

  24. "Nothing can possibly [be] done in the interim period that wouldn't be detected and shown by urinalysis." - 12/23/09

  25. "Floyd never really wanted the fight and this is just harassment of Pacquiao." - 12/23/09

  26. "He knew that Manny gets freaked out when his blood gets taken, and feels that it weakens him." - 12/23/09

  27. "Floyd, to me, is a coward and he's always been a coward...he's afraid to face somebody who could beat him." - 12/23/09

  28. "Manny has told me he doesn't want to be harassed." - 12/23/09

  29. "We're not using an amateur organization [USADA] for amateur athletes."  - 12/23/09

  30. "It's about who does the testing and the scheduling of the procedures." - 12/23/09

  31. "He will subject himself to three tests; one given in January during the week the fight is formally announced, one thirty days from the fight, no later than February 13, and the final one immediately following the fight, in Manny's locker room." - 12/23/09

  32. "The United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) cannot do it because they will not amend its procedures to accommodate the blood testing schedule we have outlined." - 12/23/09

  33. "This fight is absolutely off. That's our position, period, is that we're moving on to Malignaggi." - 12/25/09

  34. "If Mayweather loses this fight, and all of this money, then he has only one guy to blame, and that's Richard Schaefer. This is not Mayweather. This is Richard Schaefer." - 12/25/09

  35. "I'm not going to deal with Richard Schaefer on instructions from my client. He's demeaned and libeled my client for no damn reason." - 12/25/09

  36. "We'd only do it [testing] with the Nevada Athletic Commission. But for now, Manny has asked me to move on to Malignaggi." - 12/25/09

  37. "Manny will do a blood test, as required, to get his new boxing license in January...Manny will also do another blood test after the fight. End of story." - 12/26/09

  38. "If they do not agree to this, then that's the end for Mayweather as far as Pacquiao is concerned. Then Mayweather will never, never fight Manny."  - 12/26/09

  39. "If they go to the commission and they ask for blood tests and the commission says yes, we will do whatever the commission says." - 12/27/09

  40. "Blood testing we think is unnecessary, but fine, we'll do it. But let the commission set the parameters." - 12/27/09

  41. "It's a very good point to point out that Manny was tested so close to the [Hatton] fight...What will Manny do? I assume he will listen to me, but I can't promise anything." - 12/30/09

  42. "They made the 14 day offer and Todd sent a text message to (Pacquiao's agent) Michael Koncz in the Philippines. Five minutes later, Koncz replied and said Manny rejected that." - 01/08/10

  43. "The fight can be made later but Mayweather should go out a get a real, professional promoter. He should get someone like Don King." - 01/08/10

  44. "Pacquiao considered Mayweather's demand to be bullying. He is one tough Filipino and nobody is bullying Manny Pacquiao." - 01/17/10

  45. "If a man is in training for the fight and you take blood from him, it weakens him for a period." - 01/21/10

  46. "The nurses sometimes can't find the vein. They keep poking and poking and poking and by the time they get the blood out, you can't move your arm for 3 days or 4 days." - 01/21/10

  47. "This whole idea of blood testing was, in my opinion, Floyd's way to get into Manny head and screw up Manny's concentration on the fight." - 01/21/10

  48. "If you want blood testing after the fight, then you subject the fighter to the risk of infection. If you've ever been in a dressing room after a fight you know that it's not sanitized." - 01/21/10

  49. "All I'm saying, right now we are holding to our position [24-day cutoff]." - 05/04/10

  50. "The more we go public the more each side gets put into a corner and less likely the fight is to happen." - 05/07/10

  51. "Once you start negotiating through the media, it becomes ego driven." - 05/13/10

  52. "If you want your product seen by the most people, you have to put it in the biggest venue." - 05/13/10

  53. "Mayweather asked for a number so high that he indicated he didnt' want the fight. Take a guess what number he asked for himself...100 million...for himself." - 03/22/11

  54. "Recently, as recent as this week, legitimate people from Singapore offered Mayweather $65 million dollars to fight Manny Pacquiao and he turned it down." - 06/03/11

  55. "Mayweather can be popular and bring in the people and so forth, but he doesn't bring in the people who are really the big punters, the people who bet $100,000 or $250,000 on a hand of baccarat." - 06/04/10

  56. "Floyd says a lot of things and I chose to believe differently...Mayweather says a lot of things that he does not believe." - 06/06/10

  57. "There's no longer any issues. The question is whether Mayweather is willing to fight this year." - 06/30/10

  58. "The venue issue is about where it's most remunerate, and because of Manny's popularity with Asian gamblers, it would be at the MGM or Thomas & Mack." - 06/30/10

  59. "The question is whether Mayweather is willing to go into the ring this year. It's up to him. His people would love him to do it. He may not want to do it." - 06/30/10

  60. "The only issue is whether he wants to fight in November." - 06/30/10

  61. "We don't care who's doing the test. They stopped taking blood 18 days before [Mayweather-Mosley], so that shows they can do it and be fine." - 07/06/10

  62. "I'm just saying that I would think that a lot of the problem is Roger's status. I don't know for sure, and nobody's told me this, but I would believe that he's concerned about Roger's availability and what Roger's status would be." - 07/06/10

  63. "In my opinion, there are reasonable grounds for him not to want to fight this year. And those grounds essentially relate to Roger." - 07/15/10

  64. "We're ready to go on with the Mayweather fight, but we have to make contingency plans just in case." - 07/17/10

  65. "Even though Mayweather hasn't responded by the deadline my answer is a simple one -- it's dead when we conclude a deal with an opponent for Manny to fight." - 07/17/10

  66. "Floyd, for whatever reason, and I'm sure he had some valid reason, didn't want to commit." - 07/17/10

  67. "But, why should it be done by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) when you have a Philippine fighter and an American fighter?" - 07/07/11

  68. "Wouldn't it be better if it would be done by the Olympic drug-testing organization?" - 07/07/11

  69. "We can arrange for the Olympic Organization to handle the test under the supervision of the Athletic commission respective of the state where the fight is going to be held." - 07/07/11

  70. "We have an organization that has no authority (USADA) and even does it (blood-testing) without reporting to an organization that is responsible for the conduct of the fight." - 07/07/11

  71. "We don't believe USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) is a neutral organization." - 07/09/11

  72. "Who knows if Mayweather is going to be around next year to fight? I mean, he has real problems...what is Mayweather's criminal situation and will he be around in 2012 to fight Pacquiao or anybody else?" - 09/23/11

  73. "What Mayweather hates is Manny's right hand. Mayweather has no chin and Manny will knock him out." - 10/27/11

  74. "Pacquiao and Mayweather is a three or four-round fight. Period. And who knows that best? Mayweather." - 10/27/11 

  75. "He understands boxing and Mayweather can not compete with Manny." - 10/27/11

  76. "They've already said that it's May 5. They already said that it's at the MGM. How dare them...And who are they to say what date that the fight would be held? What kind of of negotiation is that?" - 11/03/11

  77. "The way they are going about it seems like a bizarre way to go about it. If you want to put it together, you meet, you talk." - 11/04/11

  78. "When they want to do some serious negotiating somebody will call me or Todd [duBoef] and we will sit down and talk." - 11/04/11

  79. "You know who the little fellow that they already approached? It's Erik Morales, and Erik will confirm it – absolutely. Erik has been approached to make the fight." - 11/06/11

  80. "They bullshitted the MGM to get the date, to get May 5. So they cut us out of getting May 5." - 11/06/11

  81. "That fight [Mayweather] can still be there for us in November [2012]...[Pacquiao] did not have the finish he wanted [vs. Marquez]." - 11/14/11

  82. "If we decide we want to do a rematch with Marquez, there is no reason to sit down with Mayweather." - 11/14/11

  83. "We've been fielding proposals and we're talking to people. I'm sure that Floyd's doing the same...Mayweather is going solo." - 11/27/11

  84. "Richard [Schaefer] is on the outside looking in. Who knows and who cares what Richard says? They have no contract with Floyd, that's fact." - 11/29/11

  85. "Manny needs time for that eye cut [from the Nov. 12 Marquez III bout] to heal properly." - 11/29/11

  86. "Nobody has a date for anything. That's nonsense...It doesn't necessarily have to be on May 5. I mean, if Floyd wants to fight Pacquiao, maybe another date is preferrable, given the fact that Pacquiao had a serious cut in the last fight, so there's no magic in May 5 as far as we're concerned." - 12/04/11

  87. "Mayweather really can't commit anything now, because next week, he's before the courts. So if the trial is going to happen, he can't do the fight." - 12/10/11

  88. "May 5 is out for us, it can't happen, because we want to explore the idea of getting a [temporary] stadium/arena up on the streets of Las Vegas that can seat 40,000." - 01/06/12

  89. "I don't know that he's on schedule to start sparring until the beginning of April." - 01/06/12

  90. "I don't even know if Mayweather will be licensed [by the Nevada State Athletic Commission] before he serves his time." - 01/07/12

  91. "[Mayweather] is apparently going to fight Robert Guerrero. Can you believe that. They won't do any business at all." - 01/07/12

  92. "I always believed that Mayweather would pick a Hispanic fighter for May 5 and we were good with that and didn't want to interfere with his business." - 01/10/12

  93. "If Mayweather wants to fight Manny he has to say I want to fight Manny and I'm willing to fight at the end of May because in good conscience I'm not going to leave $40 million on the table." - 01/10/12

  94. "Knowing Floyd the way I know Floyd, Floyd is probably looking for an ordinary kind of opponent in May." - 01/10/12

  95. "November is the optimum date to promote a fight." - 01/10/12

  96. "Until we hear from Mayweather that he wants to fight Manny in May, you really can't pin Manny down." - 01/11/12

  97. "In order to maximize revenues from the fight, you have to have a stadium larger than the MGM Grand which holds 16,500." - 01/11/12

  98. "The problem remains the same in that no one from Mayweather's side would guarantee his purse." - 01/13/12

  99. "We don't want to sit down with somebody who may not be authorized...I'm not going to sit down with anybody unless that person is authorized." - 01/16/12
For years, the subject of the split has come up time and time again, yet every time, that's the one issue that both sides have always been quick to agree on. Although Mayweather has now decided to remind Pacquiao that he recently offered to take a smaller percentage in order to make the fight, it's highly unlikely that Floyd won't ultimately agree to a 50/50 split should both sides actually begin negotiating. The fact remains, however, that there has yet to be any real negotiations, and this fight is no closer to being made than it was in December of 2009. Truth be told, over the past 3 years, Bob Arum has come up with well over 100 excuses as to why we may never, ever see this fight. Mayweather requesting the bigger share of the split, however, is not one of them. If Arum would actually put forth some effort into making this fight, I'm quite sure that an even 50/50 split would again be the fastest issue agreed upon.

[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]

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