You've read all the ballyhoo on the Internet and it's been profoundly repeated over and over how the parties representing Floyd Mayweather 47-0 (26) and Manny Pacquiao 57-5-2 (38) are talking more and more. And though everyone has plausible reasons to be skeptical about the fight actually coming to fruition, rest assured, it's getting closer. As I've been saying for the last six years, the fight was always going to happen. There was no way Mayweather was going to walk away from boxing without meeting the only fighter of his era that boxing fans really ever wanted to see him fight.
Floyd never lost sight of the fact that retiring undefeated and not facing Pacquiao would be like having an asterisk next to his record. He also grasped when Pacquiao originally showed up on his radar, that he had the size, reach and style to handle Pacquiao and that the longer he stalled the fight the better it would be for him and the greater his chances of winning would be. Mayweather understood that high volume punching aggressive fighters always burn out physically and use themselves up at an earlier age than do “boxers” or “technicians” like him.
Add to the equation that since 2009, Mayweather is 8-0 and Pacquiao is 9-2. Not only has Manny officially lost twice, but he was knocked out cold for over a minute by Juan Manuel Marquez, three years after Mayweather pulled a fast one on the scale and then went out and beat Marquez 12 out of 12 rounds. The loss by Pacquiao to Marquez in their last fight in the devastating fashion in which it happened has totally pushed Mayweather into being the “A” size of the promotion. It's not the disputed loss to Timothy Bradley that set Manny back, it's winning a controversial decision over Marquez in their third fight and then being obliterated by him in their fourth fight, a fight he was in total control of before Marquez put him to sleep with a counter-right hand at the end of round six. And it was that punch from Marquez that boosted Mayweather into the pole position regarding who will set the terms and conditions of the fight during the negotiations.
And you better believe that in order for the fight to become a reality, team Mayweather will force team Pacquiao to consent on every faux demand that Floyd wants or there will be no fight. The fight, because of the deal that will finally be agreed upon, will have the outcome tilted in Mayweather's favor, on that you can bet your life. And for that reason, along with Mayweather's advantage in size and style, the outcome is not in question for me. Mayweather will beat Pacquiao and it won't be a terribly exciting fight, and I'll commit blasphemy right here and declare that it won't even be Mayweather's toughest fight.
Now that I have the easy prediction out of the way, here's the reason why those of you who really think this fight is a big deal can finally get excited…..and that is the time for it is nearing. And the reason for that is, neither Floyd nor Manny have anywhere else to go where the risk-reward works in their favor.
Realistically, who is left for Mayweather to fight where he actually has something to gain without a monumental risk? Nobody cares about a fight between Mayweather and Keith Thurman, Kell Brook or Amir Khan. The only fighter aside from Pacquiao that fans would get excited about Mayweather fighting is Gennady Golovkin. And you know what, there's a better chance of Floyd fighting Wladimir Klitschko than Golovkin, and that's because no one would expect him to beat Klitschko like they may believe he beats Golovkin.
As for Pacquiao, who is out there for him to fight with the exception of Adrien Broner, if not Mayweather? Sure, Pacquiao and Alvarez would be a huge draw, but if Canelo beats Manny up, then who would care about him fighting Mayweather after that? Answer..nobody.
The time has finally arrived where neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao have another viable opponent for them to fight that makes as much dollars or sense as them fighting each other. If you think about it, they're both desperate, because their PPV numbers are falling and slowly but surely the ‘fool me every time’ public is becoming fed up with the games and subterfuge of delaying the fight. And with both Floyd, who is about to turn 38, and Pacquiao, who just turned 36, the urgency to get the thing done is gaining momentum.
Mayweather-Pacquiao is a fight that should've happened during the spring of 2010, almost five years ago. Back then, I thought Mayweather would probably win had the fight happened, but I wasn't without a little doubt. Today, I'm certain of the outcome because Floyd always had the size, reach, style and temperament to handle Manny. However, it is Pacquiao who has declined more and is now too easy to hit. This is something Mayweather was counting on to occur as far back as 2009. And for those reasons the fight is an easy call for me.
I'm sure there are many who will disagree with me on who holds the style advantage. Those who hold those opinions will say Floyd's legs are gone and that Manny has the more judge friendly style. And to that I say, that's not how it will unfold once they climb into the ring. But that's an argument for another day that everyone can weigh in on with what they think…..And that's a debate I'll relish when the time comes.
Until then, if you really need to witness Mayweather-Pacquiao so your life can be complete, rest assured the reality as I've said it would all along, is nearing. And the reason you can count on the fight being close to happening within the next year at the latest is because they have both run out of opponents to fight who they can gouge the public to pay for. Now they both need each other. Yes, Manny needs Floyd more than the reverse, but Floyd still needs to fight Manny to avoid retiring with an asterisk next to his final career record.
Think of it this way…you've waited since 2009 to see Mayweather and Pacquiao fight each other. At the worst you only have another year to wait. After waiting five years, those who care about seeing the fight should be able to wait another year, if they have to, standing on their head. And if you get weak and begin to doubt that it's going to happen, just keep reminding yourself neither Floyd nor Manny have any other opponents left to fight that the boxing public cares about.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com