MANILA, DECEMBER 31, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - [PHOTO AT LEFT . Manny Pacquiao (right) vs Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The fight that never was]

MANILA, Philippines - Still boxing’s biggest news in 2010 is all about the biggest fight that never happened.

For so many reasons, from drug-testing, purse sharing, court cases and other legal disputes, boxing fans have been deprived of Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather.

It’s a fight that came close to happening twice. Only if it did, it would have broken all existing records in boxing, from fight revenues to pay-per-view sales.

Even bigger than Ali vs Frazier. Or Dela Hoya vs Mayweather.

But it may or may never happen at all. The world is waiting.

Pacquiao and Mayweather, the pound-for-pound champions depending on who’s side you’re on, stand to receive around $50 million each if the fight ever takes place.

One of Pacquiao’s advisers, former governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, said Pacquiao can make as much as $70 million (almost P3 billion) in a fight against Mayweather.

But certainly it won’t happen in the next couple of months because Pacquiao is already set to face Shane Mosley on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

If it would take place next year, then it comes in the latter part, in the last quarter.

After Pacquiao beat up Joshua Clottey last March and Mayweather crushed Mosley last May, talks for the superfight resumed between Top Rank, representing the Filipino icon, and Golden Boy, for the undefeated American.

Last June, Oscar dela Hoya openly said on video that the fight was very close to happening. A date, in fact, had been set, Nov. 13, as well as the venue, the MGM Grand.

But Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy’s CEO, stepped in, saying his boss was just misquoted.

Both parties just can’t put their act together, and on all issues they agreed to disagree.

Mayweather wanted an Olympic-style, random blood-testing. Pacquiao refused. Mayweather wanted a bigger share of the revenue. Pacquiao said no.

Pacquiao ended up facing Antonio Margarito last November, and Mayweather said he’s taking a leave from boxing, considering that he made a lot of money against Mosley.

Then all the troubles came. Mayweather was arrested by police last September due to domestic violence involving Josie Harris, the mother of his three children, leading to grand larceny and felony charges.

After Pacquiao beat Margarito to a pulp, Bob Arum said he’d work on the Mayweather fight soon, but even before the first phone call was made, the flamboyant American ran into trouble anew.

Mayweather allegedly tried to force another driver, who happens to be Quincey Williams, his former acquaintance, off the road somewhere in Las Vegas.

Williams is the same man whose BMW was shot at six times in 2009, also in Las Vegas, by a former Mayweather bodyguard, apparently because the former texted the American boxer that he hoped Mayweather would lose to Juan Manuel Marquez in their 2009 encounter.

Mayweather had also allegedly poked a security guard in the face outside his home, and more than a week ago came another incident as he tried to enter the subdivision he was staying at.

“It’s really too hard to explain why someone with that high visibility can do things like that. It’s almost like a bad movie,” Arum told The STAR.

Pacquiao, on the other side, is being hailed as a box-office hit. Sports Illustrated has chosen him as its top boxing story for 2010, and recently news icon CNN has hailed the fighting congressman for public service.

Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, said it’s too bad the fight that the whole world wants to see can’t be made.

“It’s a devastating blow,” Greenburg told USA Today.

“I feel like we’re up against the ropes and we’re being pounded in the corner, and it hurts. Where would the NFL be without the Super Bowl, or baseball without the World Series? It makes no sense. And in all of our years covering the sport, I can’t remember a time when a fight of that magnitude didn’t materialize.

“So I’m dumbfounded. And I think HBO Sports is dumbfounded as to why it’s not happening. It’s very frustrating, and something’s got to give,” he said.

Yes, it’s too bad that the biggest fight, ever, may never happen, at all.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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