It seems that not a week goes by in boxing at the moment where Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao are not linked to a money-spinning rematch. Whether Floyd (who ultimately holds the card on whether it happens or not) is actually sincere about making Part II, the Las Vegas resident is a master at keeping his name relevant. Just when there’s the slightest chance of people forgetting about the fighter who defined a generation, he pops back up in the news, ensuring the massaging of his sizeable ego remains constant.
Floyd’s latest teaser spawned off of a video he posted on social media announcing a trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss a possible Pacquiao rematch. Saudi is the flavour of the day, as ongoing negotiations appear to be placing the Andy Ruiz Jnr vs. Anthony Joshua rematch in the same location.
Whether that actually happens remains to be seen. Given the fact that the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final, plus the recent Amir Khan-Billy Dib fight, as well as other high-profile sporting events, it would make sense for Mayweather to chase down the dollar while it’s on offer.
Floyd will get a hefty slice of revenue from just turning up for a meeting, so he’s on a win-win financially. Boxing Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in 2017 (winning by 10th-round TKO), and beating up Japan’s Tenshin Nasukawa at a turn of the year exhibition shows he still rakes in the cash, and is not afraid to take on a novelty challenge or two.
Pacquaio’s own recent form (beating the likes of Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman) displays the levels “Pacman” is still operating at. Floyd, meanwhile, has been grossly inactive in the ring, even for his standards. Would he risk his unbeaten record to return against a dangerous foe? Probably, because money rules his very existence.
The pair have of course met before. About five years too late, but it did still happen, in 2015. Despite bringing in mind boggling amounts of revenue, in the way of Pay-Per-View sales and gate returns for both men, it did not ignite as a contest. Many casual fans were turned off – they felt cheated by the supposed greatest clash of an era. It did not deliver what was promised.
Floyd still turns up ringside for shows, often wearing outrageously expensive clothes, and generally busying himself in retirement. His natural foray into promotional endeavours has garnered mixed success. Badou Jack, Ronald Gavril and J’Leon Love have all suffered damaging losses, while Gervonta Davis is extremely effective inside the ring, if somewhat erratic and unpredictable outside of it.
If the second bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao is to happen then they would need to get a move on. Especially if they expect to touch the same type of revenue created in the first fight. Pacquiao is still looking good, has a large tax bill with the American IRS to settle, and can spin the yarn that his damaged shoulder hampered progress in the first fight. This all has to happen before fans become even more cynical, spying two former legends trying to cash in big, one final time, before their stars truly burn out.