On September 14th of last year Floyd Mayweather won a majority decision over junior middleweight Saul Alvarez. He followed that up on May 3rd of this year with a majority decision over former junior welterweight title holder Marcos Maidana. And this past weekend on September 13th, Floyd won a unanimous decision over Maidana in their much hyped rematch. That’s three fights inside of one calendar year for Mayweather, which is much busier than the one or two fights a year he was averaging prior to 2013.
During his in ring post fight interview he immediately gave a shout-out to boxing fans saying that they won’t see him in the ring again until May of next year, eight months from now. He was then asked if perhaps we might see him fighting Manny Pacquiao the next time he fights. To which he responded, “I’m going to go back and talk to my team and assess the situation. I’m not ducking and dodging no one. If the Manny Pacquiao fight makes sense, let’s make it happen. He has some business to take care of. Once he gets past that guy [Chris Algieri on Nov. 22], we’ll see what the future holds.”
Mayweather’s answer sheds light on two things that by now are pretty easy to interpret and read through the tea leaves. For starters, by him saying that “I’m not ducking and dodging no one” after being asked about fighting Pacquiao, that tells you that he’s aware that most clear-thinking media and fans view him as the biggest reason why he and Pacquiao haven’t yet met in the ring. They understand that it’s been Floyd who has been moving the goal post and injecting a new stipulation every time it appeared that maybe the fight was close to being made. Okay, so we know Mayweather is touchy and insecure about how he’s thought of when it comes to why he and Pacquiao haven’t fought.
The bigger issue is how Mayweather seemed open to fighting Pacquiao after the fight and then sort of changed his tune the next day. And that was all contrived on Mayweather’s part. Mayweather no longer holds any trepidation or doubt that he can beat Pacquiao the way I believe he once did. And yes, they are going to fight before Floyd retires as long as he doesn’t lose in his next two bouts.
The reason why Mayweather seemed receptive regarding a bout with Pacquiao in May is because he wants to keep his name out there and fresh in the mind of the social media faction. His words have already injected new enthusiasm and speculation by those who act as if their life won’t be complete unless they witness Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Floyd knows there’s a lot of fans who feel that way and for the next six months or so he will lead many fans and media around the way a dog follows his owner when he has a Milkbone in his hand. Mayweather will post on the Internet pictures of his cars, betting slips, stacks of cash and him getting a sponge bath. He’ll make ridiculous comments about Ray Rice, Johnny Manziel and other athletes or celebrities who are in the news. Mayweather will tease the media and fans with the thought that he’s considering fighting Pacquiao next, but that’s all it will be, just a tease so his name stays out there.
The fact that Mayweather-Pacquiao is still considered a super-fight is a joke. In fact, I’m not convinced that Mayweather is still the best pound for pound fighter in boxing. I think Andre Ward, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Roman Gonzales have a case to be above Floyd circa May 2014. However, an overwhelming amount of media, who will hype it, and fans, who will buy it, think Mayweather-Pacquiao is a big deal and legitimate super-fight. And Mayweather knows this as well as anybody. As it’s been said in this space before – Mayweather-Pacquiao will become a reality because there is just too much money involved. In addition to that both fighters are extremely confident that they can beat the other. I believe Pacquiao has always felt that way and believe Mayweather wasn’t entirely convinced until about two years ago. But none of that matters now. Because Floyd is certain he can beat Manny now and he knows that he really does have to face him before he retires.
Mayweather doesn’t care that he’ll be fighting a version of Pacquiao that’ll be close to six or seven years past his prime and that he’ll be a couple years past his. All he cares about is if he wins and how much will he be paid. Floyd is now certain that he’ll win and that he’ll receive the biggest purse of his career in what will most likely be his 50th professional bout. Retiring 50-0 has a really golden ring to it!
If you believe that Mayweather and Pacquiao are never going to fight, assuming Mayweather doesn’t lose before his 50th bout, you’re not in touch with reality nor have you figured out how Floyd operates. Pacquiao can lose in the interim and it wouldn’t change a thing. Pacquiao lost back to back fights in 2012 to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. Had he signed to fight Mayweather after getting knocked out face first by Marquez, it still would’ve been the highest grossing fight in history. So have no fear, as long as Floyd remains undefeated, Mayweather-Pacquiao will remain a viable super fight in terms of media hype and the money it will generate.
Here’s what you can be sure of. Mayweather will look to keep Pacquiao’s name out there until his next fight is announced, and it won’t be against Pacquiao. It’ll most likely be against Amir Khan or Danny Garcia. Whichever one of them doesn’t get Floyd in his 48th fight will probably get him in his 49th. That is unless Chris Algieri beats Pacquiao, then Mayweather will fight him instead of one of them. For his 50th bout, Mayweather will agree to fight Pacquiao after making Manny conform and submit to every faux stipulation that he demands, just so he can once again enter the ring having won the first three rounds before his hands are wrapped on the night of the fight.
Yes, Mayweather and Pacquiao are going to meet, probably in 2016. And once Floyd has signed the contract, you have to know that there’s no chance Pacquiao will be the winner. Because if there was a legitimate chance, aside from a sniper being in the rafters with his aim on Pacquiao, Mayweather would’ve never agreed to the bout. Mayweather knows that his career could withstand any type of setback except him losing to Pacquiao. So you can take it to the bank that if Mayweather is all in and going through with the fight, Pacquiao’s chances to be victorious are non-existent. And that’s the way it was always going to be.
Can you imagine a less relevant super-fight than Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2016?
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com