Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch: How it can it be salvaged, a littleWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Days after defeating Manny Pacquiao in the highest-grossing fight in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather insists he'll give PacMan a rematch.
But given the public's bitter distaste for their first bout, its disdain for Manny opting to fight injured, and Floyd's unappealing style, would Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2 sell?
Yes and no.
A rematch, under no circumstances, could compare to Saturday's bout from a revenue and interest level standpoint.
However, a return bout may eclipse Mayweather vs Canelo and De La Hoya vs Mayweather and become the second highest-grossing fight in history but several things must happen to give Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2 a fighting chance.
1. Injury: Manny must make a full recovery, or at least 90 percent.
2. Coverage: Both fighters must continue to stay in the news. And given the lawsuits, it's likely both fighters will receive mass coverage for quite some time.
3. Smack/Rivalry: It appears there's no love-loss between the fighters after Saturday's bout. As a matter of fact, they may be even greater enemies today. The camps must continue to publicly defame the other and keep the rivalry hot.
4. Big win: It wouldn't hurt for Pacquiao to orchestrate an impressive knockout in the interim and post-surgery. Given there's so much buzz surrounding Saturday, the fighters' next respective bouts will get tremendous coverage because both men have been in the news so much.
Those fights won't sell but will be widely covered should they take place in the U.S.
5. Clever Promotion: Think outside the box. For example, consider showcasing Manny on free TV in the U.S. as a means of making amends with the public. And if Manny looked sensational, some would be curious enough to pay for a rematch.
Going forward, the mainstream (or non-fan of boxing), will be unforgiving and the sport must accept that.
But boxing history tells us rematches perform very well after controversial first bouts, and there's nothing but craziness and controversy, inside and outside the ring, left from Mayweather vs Pacquiao.
Carl Froch vs George Groves anyone? Their rematch was much bigger thanks to the controversial ending of their first bout. Tyson vs Ruddock? But in all fairness, those rematches were made off the heels of compelling, very exciting first encounters; fights far more dramatic than last week's affair.
Nevertheless, evidence proves Manny Pacquiao entered the fight severely compromised so a lot of casual and hardcore fight fans will want to see what would happen should the pair fight again and both men are healthy, especially if Manny looks spectacular in a tune-up.
How many times have people promised to never again pay to watch a certain fighter, or boxing in general, and kept their word? Some do, most probably don't.
After fans of the sport have had months to simmer and rid themselves of the bitter taste left in their mouths from Mayweather vs Pacquiao, they will, albeit on a smaller scale, be amenable to a rematch if both fighters can prove they are healthy and at least four of the above five conditions are met.
Unlike their first bout, Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2 would need a lot of massaging and some clever promotion; but such a bout would certainly prosper if both fighters would be willing to accept in the $40 - 50 million range.