Earlier today, HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg confirmed that he was indeed acting as a mediator for representatives of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao as both sides attempted to negotiate a November 13 clash. "Fights like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters' ability to connect with sports fans around the world. It's unfortunate that it won't happen in 2010. I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2nd, carefully trying to put the fight together. Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it," he stated in a prepared statement. The timing of his comments are intriguing considering that, just last week, while Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe was denying that any negotiations ever took place, Greenburg had no comment on the subject.
Ironically, also earlier today, Oscar De La Hoya sided with Leonard Ellerbe, completely denying that any negotiations ever took place. "Obviously, negotiations weren't going on. Nothing was going on. Like I said, Mayweather has the key to making that fight happen," De La Hoya would tell Robert Morales of BoxingScene.com while attending an open workout at the Fortune Gym in Hollywood, California to help promote this weekend's showdown between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz.
Obviously, somebody doesn't have their story straight and there appears to be much more than meets the eye as far as this second round of "negotiations" are concerned. Considering that Greenburg was the middle man in the equation, one would have to take his word as being true when it comes to the statement he released. Still, it seems hard to believe that both sides would rapidly enter into negotiations again just one day after Floyd Mayweather won a lopsided unanimous decision against Shane Mosley. To what extent were both sides really negotiating? Was Greenburg actually relaying demands back and forth between both sides or was he simply having conversations to see where both sides stood regarding their terms?
Ultimately, I guess it doesn't really matter as Pacquiao is now set to face Antonio Margarito on November 13. Exactly what may have been said or agreed to during any conversations will remain a mystery, but it's clear that, for now, Greenburg is siding with the man who currently has a fight lined up for 2010. In the future, however, perhaps Greenburg should stick to his role as president of HBO Sports because, quite frankly, his attempt to "negotiate" was an epic fail.
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