By: Sean Crose
“We will finalize the fight this week, either Mayweather or somebody else, where and when, what date.” So says boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. In a turn of events that has taken the fight world completely off guard, it looks as if Pacquiao may indeed get his long hoped for rematch against Floyd Mayweather, who bested Pacquiao by a ho-hum unanimous decision back in 2015. The long awaited initial (and so far only) match between the two men was widely regarded as an enormous financial success, but a disappointment for fans, as the defensive minded Mayweather wisely played it safe throughout the bout.
Things got controversial after the much hyped match, however. Word reached the public that Pacquiao had sustained a shoulder injury before the bout. Then, in a development mysteriously under-reported by the mainstream media, reports emerged that Mayweather had taken an IV injection after the weigh in for the fight with the blessing of USADA, whose job it was to let people know that things were essentially on the up and up. The whole affair left a bad taste in most people’s mouths. What’s more, no one was clamoring for a rematch. Last Saturday, however, the world learned a rematch might indeed happen.
“I’m coming back,” Mayweather posted on Instagram, “to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another 9 figure pay day on the way.” The announcement was posted alongside a video of the two men at a Japanese night club. The fact that Pacquiao has largely, if not entirely, broken ties with longtime promoter Bob Arum means that a rematch will have an easier chance of being made that the original match did. Unlike the first bout, this one probably wouldn’t be delayed by managerial and promotional squabbling, as the Filipino icon is now essentially free to come and go without being troubled by previous burdens. In short, a rematch might be easy to make.
And, if reports from reliable sources are to be believed, negotiations are pretty much going well and the two men will announce an early December rematch this week (according to Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger, December 1’st and December 8 are targets). The decision of the two aging greats to face off yet again makes sense. Although people didn’t demand a rematch, enough time has passed, and each fighter has deteriorated enough, for things to look interesting. The fight might not be anywhere close to the first as far as earning potential is concerned, but it will undoubtedly be a huge affair.