Last week Manny Pacquiao rocked the boxing world when he called Floyd Mayweather a coward, insecure and jealous of his accomplishments.
The uncharacteristic verbal attack by Pacquiao on his elusive rival had an interesting effect. First, it was embraced by the world's boxing fans and media as it provoked excitement and buzz, as well as inspiring hopes that maybe Mayweather would be forced to defend himself and retaliate.
But Mayweather has retreated from this recent Pacquiao attack, hiding in his shell, waiting and hoping for the storm to pass. So he can just handpick Amir Khan and his manager Al Haymon will take care of everything else.
We know that Mayweather hates pressure of any kind. Mayweather hates to deal with relentless pressure fighters who don't respect him, who want to bash his head in. That's why he wouldn't fight Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Sergio Martinez, Kostya Tszyu or Pacquiao. Floyd wants fighters to stand there, wait and waite, and throw pot shots at him, not attack him and brutalize him where he could lose his health or end up like Ali.
Floyd's distate for pressure transfers out of the ring too. Mayweather hates pressure from fans and media to face Pacquiao, he hates all questions and comments from the media about forcing him to just fight Manny Pacquiao to give the sport the fight it wants most of all.
This is why Mayweather will not accept the invitation to be a guest on Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith's ESPN TV show. Floyd knows he will unravel and fall apart when the inevitable Manny Pacquiao questions from Bayless are hurled at him. Floyd does not want to talk about Paquiao in a public, neutral forum, he only talks about Pacquiao to a suck-up like Ben Thompson or on Twitter.
Manny Pacquiao has to understand and know his enemy. And he has to realize that publicly calling Mayweather an insecure, jealous coward was the best action that he has ever taken so far to force Mayweather to fight.
Manny Pacquiao has to increase the pressure and keep Floyd Mayweather on the defensive and uncomfortable. He needs to keep saying the truth over and over and over until Mayweather finally cracks under the pressure. Showtime Network is trying to protect Mayweather from Pacquiao but the more public pressure Pacquiao puts on Mayweather, the more interest and demand there will be by fans to see the fight - and consequently less interest by fans to pay to watch Mayweather spar with Amir Khan. If Showtime knows Mayweather vs. Khan is going to lose millions upon millions of dollars it's more than possible the network will pull the plug on protecting their house coward.
Manny Pacquiao can follow the blueprint of Jack Johnson, who was ducked and avoided for years by the world heavyweight champion Tommy Burns. So Jackson took matters into his own hands and launched a campaign to force Burns to give him his title shot. Johnson followed Burns around the world and wrote newspaper and magazine letters which were published. Even though the public wasn't necessarily on his side, according to history books, Johnson overcame his lack of leverage and was able to obtain the opportunity to box and beat Burns to capture the world title in Australia.
Manny Pacquiao is in a better position than Jack Johnson - he has the full support of worldwide boxing fans and media who clamor to see him compete with Mayweather. But so far Pacquiao has not capitalized and maximized his support and position of leveage, apparently because it's not in his nature to hurt Floyd's feelings or speak badly about anyone. Pacquiao has, thus far, failed to take advantage of his position and popularity.
But there is still some time left. This is not personal, it's business. And business must be taken care of. Manny has to tell the truth. And keep saying it over and over, by whatever platform he can, for however long it takes. It's his only hope to get Mayweather in the ring.
Pacquiao can say it in a nice, diplomatic way, such as this:
Dear Boxing Fans and Sports Media Around The World;
"I am very sorry to speak badly about any pro boxer but I have to say the truth about Floyd Mayweather to try to give the boxing fans around the world the biggest fight they want to see. Floyd Mayweather is a coward and is terrified to fight me in the ring. I have done everything possible to try to make the fight for four years but he just makes more excuses and demands to block the fight from happening. Floyd Mayweather is a shame on the history of the sport for how he has cheated the fans, the media, and boxing history itself out of the fight of the century which I'm eager and ready to participate in this spring summer or fall."
"I call upon the sports media around the world to print this statement challenging Mayweather to a boxing match. I challenge boxing fans to boycott Golden Boy Promotions, Showtime Network and all Al Haymon boxers until Floyd Mayweather signs a contract to fight me next with an automatic rematch clause."
"This fight must be made NOW. No excuses or duck moves. Floyd Mayweather stop being a coward and let's get in the ring and give the sport, the fans and boxing history the fight it wants more than any other.
8-Time World Champion"