In the world of professional boxing, at least several years ago, there was one match-up of fighters that was considered something of a holy grail for the sport. That was a confrontation between American Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Filipino Manny Pacquiao. At the time the latter outstripped the former in weight division championships 8 to 5, but Mayweather more than made up for it by being utterly undefeated. The fated match finally took place in 2015, which Floyd “Money” won via unanimous decision, though it was labeled a disappointment by fight fans and analysts. That has not stopped Mayweather from announcing a rematch this year.
ESPN 5 has it that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is once again in the mood to come out of retirement and take on Manny Pacquiao. The full context of his intent was in an Instagram post that was dated Saturday, September 15. It was a video of the two boxers conversing at a Tokyo music festival, apparently sometime after Pacquiao’s latest ring victory over Lucas Matthysse of Argentina. Pacquiao seems to be telling Mayweather, “I have the belt,” with Mayweather replying, “I’m going to take it from you like I did before.” The undefeated boxer captioned the photo with: “I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way.”
The May 2015 boxing match between Pacquiao and Mayweather at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was so highly anticipated that it was called “The Fight of the Century”. What actually happened was something of a yawner for the audience, with Floyd turtling for most of the fight while Pacquiao, who reportedly was nursing a shoulder injury, was conservative in the punches he threw, landing just 81. Any question of fight quality was irrelevant to Mayweather, with his $220M purse.
No further details about the potential rematch between the two boxing legends was shared in “Money” Mayweather’s Instagram post, although ESPN shared a video clip of the unbeaten boxer pushing for the fight to happen this year, no later than the last day of December. In that video he even boasts, “We gonna take the belt. We gonna get the payday. And I don’t want no shoulder excuses,” referring to the perceived cause of Manny’s diminished ferocity back in 2015.
Mayweather’s last fight was in 2017 when he knocked out UFC fighter Conor McGregor in his debut professional boxing match. There appears to be no significant roadblocks to organizing his rematch with Pacquiao for this year, as Floyd represents himself and Manny has been a free agent after parting ways with Top Rank prior to his fight with Lucas Matthysse.
Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated