MANILA, Philippines – Boxing commentator Larry Merchant thinks Floyd Mayweather Jr. has reasons for holding off the Manny Pacquiao fight.
One of them, according to the HBO color commentator, is that Mayweather considers Pacquiao a high-risk fight.
The other is the financial reward that comes with the risks.
“I think he thinks that Pacquiao is the greatest threat to him,” said Merchant in an interview with ESPN’s First Take.
“I take in the risk-rewards equation, if I can make $40 million a fight to fight some guy, I've only gotta give him $3 million to take the fight, why am I gonna do that (fight Pacquiao)?”
Pundits expect the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight to eclipse the Oscar de la Hoya-Mayweather fight in 2007 which generated over $120 million in revenue.
But since Mayweather earns millions even without fighting Pacquiao, there’s no strong urge to pursue the mega bout.
“There's a disincentive financially. They're both making up to $40 million to $50 million a year. Pacquiao fights twice, Mayweather fights once, so there's no urgency... its business as well as sport,” said Merchant, adding that Mayweather’s interest is that he earns big money without putting his health to excessive risks.
“What Mayweather is afraid of more than anything else is his health,” said Merchant.
The ring side commentator said it will be very hard for Pacquiao to beat the defense-conscious Mayweather.
But that said, Merchant believes that if there’s anyone who can beat the undefeated American, it would probably be Pacquiao.
“There’s a pitcher who said that a good pitcher beats good hitter, and vice versa. It's the good hitter that beats the good pitcher,” he said.