You’ll have to excuse the collective groan that emanated from a sizeable portion of the boxing public last week. Frazzled from the Canelo-Golovkin fight and subsequent arguments over the validity of the winner and the margin of victory, fans instantly had something else to complain about. This time they might have a genuine point.
Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquaio are talking about a rematch. Yes, a rematch of the biggest fight in boxing that everybody wanted to see; before they actually saw it and then decided that they never wanted to see anything like that again. Great hype, great expectation, great letdown. Was that the fault of the two boxers? Not necessarily. Both were diminished but Pacquaio to a greater extent at the time. The fight should’ve happened five years before it did – we all knew that. It happened eventually so why not just leave it at that?
We will still be intrigued the rematch, however, despite our universal grumblings. December 1 or December 8 are the two mooted dates. Las Vegas will no doubt be the location, and unless Floyd is severely diminished, he will do a similar job as before. Manny will play along; the two will dance, touch gloves and effectively spar for 12 rounds. Mayweather is helping Manny to pay off his huge American tax bill while also filling his own coffers one last time. They don’t hate each other you know. In fact, Mayweather is supposedly quite keen on his generational rival and may seek to hand his buddy a financial favour while enhancing his own legacy.
A second bout would see Pacquiao settle his issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — who handle America’s tax-related affairs — and both he and Floyd waltz away happy. Maybe the fans will not be as joyous if the action is as lacking as their first offering, but the money men will be appeased. Pacquiao still has room to box the likes of Amir Khan or Keith Thurman to make yet more cash and can do it all off the back of a return clash with the sport’s biggest draw.
Some bizarre headlines surfaced suggesting that Mayweather was looking to shake the rust off with a fight in Tokyo, Japan. Imagine Floyd returning to the scene of one of Mike Tyson’s most infamous nights and losing his 0? It would melt the internet. There was no social media around when “Iron” Mike was spectacularly dethroned by James “Buster” Douglas in 1990 as a deferential Japanese audience gently applauded their way through one of the biggest upsets in sporting history.
I doubt Floyd will be boxing in Japan anytime soon. He might be ringside watching a big event, possibly even promoting one himself, but not risking his fragile hands against an Andre Berto mark two. They said he wouldn’t box Conor McGregor, but he did. They said he wouldn’t enter the MMA arena and…he didn’t. That’s the thing about Mayweather; he only takes extremely calculated risks. Always has done, throughout his long and undoubtedly esteemed career.
Taking on Manny Pacquiao for the second time would not fall into the huge gamble category, so expect it come to fruition.