Floyd Mayweather Jr has predictably dismissed the idea that he is set to rematch Manny Pacquiao in a Saudi Arabian showdown. Pacquiao’s team are not waiting around for the Michigan-native to make up his ever-changing mind, and the Filipino is moving on and looking elsewhere for challenges.
‘Money’ Mayweather was last seen in the ring in a competitive capacity in 2017 when he knocked out Ireland’s controversial star Conor McGregor in round 10 of a cross-sport attraction that captured the attention of the sporting world. That was nearly two years after he had bowed out of the sport with a drab points win over Andre Berto – a fight itself taking place just months after Floyd had bettered Manny Pacquiao. Last week Mayweather roused the excitement of any boxing fans still intrigued by the prospect of a repeat clash, while not necessarily stimulating the senses of any casual boxing fans who forked out the cash for their lacklustre first fight.
The interest stemmed from a video where Floyd teased the news that a Mayweather-Pacquiao II contest was all set and heading for Saudi. It turns out that the video was actually filmed some nine months ago when Mayweather was visiting the Kingdom. The superstar got paid an eye-watering $2.2million for his appearance, which was probably more to do with “sportswashing” the Saudi brand image rather than having any discernible truth attached. The reason it came out now? A “leak” apparently. A complete accident no doubt, for someone so continuously intent with placing his name and face in the public eye. Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr, was also talking up the possibility of a rematch. Floyd Jr will probably still be dangling this withering carrot when he is Senior’s current age.
Despite ring legends like ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard calling for the pair to come to terms and arrange the second installment, the more likely truth is that it will never happen. Pacquiao adviser Sean Gibbons is waiting for the next piece of the puzzle to present itself. Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter meet in a Pay-Per-View showdown on September 28 in Los Angeles, and Manny showed in his win over Keith Thurman that he is a viable option and very much a live challenge for the winner of that 147-pound contest.
For now, the only rematch set to take place in Saudi Arabia is the Andy Ruiz Jr-Anthony Joshua return bout. Even that high-profile heavyweight dust-up is beset with problems, despite promoter Eddie Hearn appearing at a London press conference to announce it was a wrap. Either way, it does not appear that Floyd Mayweather, now 42 years of age, is genuine when he says he is ready to return to the ring against his own generational rival.
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