Mayweather Pacquiao 2: A Rematch No One is Demanding
Talk of a potential Floyd Mayweather Manny Pacquiao rematch doesn’t elicit excitement or curiosity in my mind the way many fights do.
It doesn’t represent two individuals trying to prove their skills or their ability to be remain significant in the welterweight division.
I get it. It’s for the money, and I don’t blame either Pacquiao or Mayweather.
It really shouldn’t shock anyone. Both fighters are out to make big paychecks before father time takes away that luxury. Despite their lackluster first encounter in 2015, the rematch will still sell, thanks to the marketing power, personality and boxing skill of Mayweather. There is also an opportunity for Pacquiao and his many fans to get vindication for what was a disappointing loss in an otherwise remarkable career.
Every Mayweather fight has been fueled by a 'what if' factor. What if he loses? What does the landscape of boxing look like then? The lack of a what if factor in a rematch with Pacquiao couldn’t be any more apparent if one even exists at all.
There is nothing from a competitive aspect that makes this fight appealing. While both fighters may still have the skills necessary to compete at a high level, are there any lingering questions that leads anyone to say, ‘yes, they need to fight again?’
Sorry, I just don’t see it.
Pacquiao’s most recent fight — a stoppage of hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse — was impressive because he looked like his old self. His use of angles and a relentless attack aided him in securing an impressive victory. However, before definitively saying, ‘he’s back’ one must consider his opponent. While always carrying knockout power, Matthysse is a straight-forward fighter who utilizes little movement. At this point in his career, Pacquiao still hasn’t shown he can effectively slow down fighters with good footwork and lateral movement.
Those are big questions to be answered against Mayweather. Perhaps Pacquiao does indeed have the ability to cut the ring off and land punches. However, given Mayweather’s defensive skills and ring generalship it’s equally as likely that he could leave Pacquiao swinging at air and the viewing audience largely dissatisfied.
Mayweather and Pacquiao may still have a place in the welterweight division. Pacquiao may be able to do well against fast-moving fighters. However, fans would be well-served to see that question answered in a super-fight against Terrence Crawford or in a rematch with Jeff Horn. Likewise, a Mayweather versus Crawford matchup, a fight against Errol Spence, or a catchweight rematch with Canelo Alvarez would certainly be significant in today’s boxing landscape.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao have certainly done enough to secure their place in the Hall-of-Fame. Admiration for each man’s skills is partially what fueled my deep interest in boxing. They’ve each provided fans with many memorable moments, and when they retire they will have each left their mark in boxing’s history books.
Do either of them really have anything left to prove?
Maybe they’re no longer interested in proving themselves against today’s best. That’s certainly their prerogative, and more power to them if they can each make large secure another large pay-day fighting one another.
Will I watch if the rematch is made? Probably. I’m a boxing fan. There are undoubtedly many more will grudgingly hit the “buy” button. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao know this. However, if the fight turns out to be a dud or vastly one-sided, fans should save the “boxing is dead” or the “I got ripped off” comments.
We’ve all been warned in more ways than one.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao highlights