Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2: Be afraid...be very afraid
Love him or hate him, former five division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. is arguably the greatest prizefighter of his generation, and quite possibly the best defensive fighter of all time.
After breaking Rocky Marciano’s coveted unbeaten streak of 49 victories in 2017, the fighter formerly known as Pretty Boy Floyd officially retired from the sport of boxing with seemingly nothing left to prove to anyone...even his strongest critics or harshest detractors.
Money May’s amazing string of accomplishments aren’t just confined within the squared circle either.
The 42 year old Michigan native is the most lucrative prizefighter in boxing history, earning a whopping $1.67 billion in total revenue, as well as an incredible 23.8 million total PPV purchases throughout his 23 year professional career.
So when asked this past Saturday night, July 20th, 2019, whether or not he planned to make a comeback to the sport that has been so very good to him, Floyd Jr. gave an answer that should be shocking to most interested observers.
“I’m coming back in December,” stated Money Mayweather, while pointing to boxing’s only eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, in a video published on ESPN’s YouTube page and originally captured by veteran matchmaker and Pacquiao adviser Sean Gibbons.
“Easy work! Listen...easy work in December! I’m coming back in December!”
Really? Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Part Deux?
After earning a convincing and decisive unanimous decision victory over the esteemed Filipino Senator in May of 2015, has Money May decided to grant his longtime boxing counterpart a rematch?
Keep in mind, Floyd did indeed call Pacquiao a “sore loser” and “a coward” shortly after the long awaited showdown four years ago, stating that the now 40 year old Congressman didn’t deserve a return bout.
So is Floyd’s ostensive change of heart merely an act of fan amusement, or is the savvy businessman genuinely interested in making a return to the ring with his Welterweight nemesis?
We can start by examining why Manny Pacquiao elected to leave longtime promoter Top Rank Inc, and Bob Arum in October of 2018.
It’s no surprise that Manny has chased a rematch with Mayweather since losing the critically disappointing megafight four years ago. And because the 40 year old Filipino icon knew there was no chance of scoring another career high payday opposite Money May without signing an agreement with longtime Mayweather adviser Al Haymon, the Pacman chose to leave the 87 year old promoter.
It’s Haymon’s modus operandi, concerning all of his potential clients.
Although a prizefighter is never guaranteed a slot opposite Floyd Mayweather Jr. upon signing with the wiley boxing adviser, it is guaranteed that the potential client will never be granted a fight against Money May if he doesn’t acquire the services of Al Haymon.
That’s simply the way the longtime boxing tandem of Mayweather and Haymon has always conducted business.
It took Pacquiao six years to finally get Mayweather in the ring while fighting under the Top Rank promotional banner. At age 40, Manny doesn’t have that kind of time to waste.
And although there are several other fighters in and around the 147 pound weight division who are also clients of boxing adviser Al Haymon, like Errol Spence Jr, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, the legendary eight division world champion remains the only man who could potentially garner another nine-figure payday for Mayweather.
Because the biggest money making first bout between Pac and May was such a massive critical flop to most mainstream sports fans, would there be a genuine demand to see a return bout between Manny and Floyd? At least big enough to draw Mayweather out of retirement?
It’s difficult to say at this point.
One has to consider Mayweather’s perceived “risk versus reward” algorithm when calculating how much money it would take to pull the 42 year old Vegas resident back to the ring.
For instance, Floyd’s most recent stint in the ring was an exhibition that took place on New Year’s Eve of 2018 in Japan against a relatively “low risk” opponent for a cool $10 million. Considering the customarily defensive minded fighter knocked out his severely overmatched counterpart in just 90 seconds, it was a wise business decision for the money man of boxing...even if it was just a fraction of what Mayweather has grown accustomed to earning for one night’s work.
When you consider that the undefeated ring legend has not been in the squared circle with serious, world class opposition since facing Andre Berto in September of 2015, what kind of reward would it take to lure Floyd Jr. out of retirement against a relatively sharp, healthy and active Manny Pacquiao?
After almost four years removed from conducting a real training camp, does Floyd even care about risk factors of any kind when pondering a comeback for 2019 or 2020? Or is he merely concerned with earning potential?
It was often believed that Mayweather was so meticulous in selecting his opponents throughout his career due to a genuine fear of losing inside the ring and forever tarnishing his spotless resume.
Whether any of that fan speak has any validity, it’s safe to say that a single win or single loss at this juncture wouldn’t leave a stain on the future Hall of Famer’s legacy. His reputation and overall perception as one of the greatest fighters of all time is already cemented in Canastota, New York.
So is Floyd worried about coming out of retirement and losing to an active Manny Pacquiao, and should he be concerned?
Does Mayweather still have the hunger to put himself through one more grueling training camp several years removed from taking on an actual ring threat?
Because his success in the ring was largely contingent on possessing the best reflexes in the game, it remains to be seen if Floyd can still be “Floyd” against top level opposition at age 42. Keep in mind, if Mayweather decides to take on Manny Pacquiao in December of this year, he will be 2 months removed from turning 43.
In his two most recent outings, exhibition or otherwise, Money May has not looked like the real Money May...not even close.
Because he took on two virtual boxing novices in his last couple of shows, Mayweather didn’t even appear to be in proper fight shape, ostensibly showing the world his best imitation of Joe Frazier while methodically walking down his grossly overmatched foes.
If Mayweather does take on Manny Pacquiao later this year, there is a very good possibility that he will lose and lose convincingly...maybe even get stopped.
Does anyone remember the once great Sugar Ray Leonard unwisely taking on Hector “Macho” Camacho in March of 1997? Does anyone remember how that fight turned out?
Does anyone want to see Floyd suffer a similar fate?
Oh well...despite the age old adage that you can play all other sports, but you can’t “play” boxing, the sweet science is still just a game...and it has very little to do with actual pugilism at this stage of Floyd’s fight career.
Best of luck, Mr. Mayweather...you’ll need it if you choose to fight Senator Pacquiao later this year.