Mayweather-Pacquiao II Starting. Six months ago I never thought I’d be saying this, but sadly, I think there’s going to be a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch. At one time due to the bad taste left in the mouths of many boxing fans by their first encounter, and how they felt ripped off financially, I didn’t think they’d be gullible enough to fall for it again. We’ll, I’m backtracking on that now.
All it took was for Mayweather to show up and sit ringside and watch Manny Pacquiao fight Jessie Vargas and capture the WBO welterweight last Saturday night via a one sided unanimous decision. Moreover, Mayweather recently said he’s getting the itch to fight again. And everyone knows how both Manny and his trainer Freddie Roach have been passively dropping hints here and there that they’d love nothing more than to get Floyd in the ring again. They actually believe that Manny was robbed of the decision in their first bout and how he was dramatically hindered due to his injured shoulder. This is interesting because with a healed shoulder Manny didn’t look demonstrably better in his last two bouts since losing to Mayweather back in May of 2015.
Granted, Pacquiao looked good beating Jessie Vargas. He controlled every aspect of the fight. He did what he wanted and had an answer for everything Jessie tried. Manny’s still fast and has some pop in his punches. For a guy who has fought 67 times as a pro and is about to turn 38, he certainly doesn’t look like he’s on his way out to pasture. And that has led many to speculate about Manny and Floyd possibly touching gloves again — something which, for it to happen, will only take Mayweather to agree to it. Floyd, as always, can control the negotiations. Team Pacquiao is at his mercy, and Mayweather knows it.
Right now Danny Garcia holds the WBC 147-pound title, Keith Thurman the WBA, the IBF is vacant but was held by Kell Brook before he vacated it to fight middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin, and Pacquiao holds the WBO. We can forget about Floyd fighting Brook since he was beaten handily by Golovkin. Thurman has no juice other than being undefeated….which leaves Pacquiao and Garcia who fill every need Mayweather wants for his 50th bout. They’re both-title holders, are undefeated and not relatively big welterweights. However, money is the tie-breaker and Pacquiao represents a much bigger payday for Floyd than does Garcia. Pacquiao has a worldwide following and his fans, for the most part, will buy any fight he’s involved in. If you compound that with their dislike for Mayweather and belief that Manny was hindered by his shoulder injury during their last fight, they’ll pay to see them go at it again. They won’t pay as much as they did the last time — but they’d pay $75.00 instead of the $100.00 they put out last time to see Pacquiao get a second chance and reverse the outcome of their first fight.
There is a faction, and it’s not small, who believe Pacquiao beat Mayweather the first time they met, and could possibly beat him more convincingly the next time, and that all but insures the fight will be another blockbuster financially. And then there’s Mayweather’s point of view which probably goes something like this………”I beat Manny the last time and it wasn’t my hardest fight. Stylistically, there’s nothing Pacquiao can do differently but try and bring more of the same that didn’t work the last time. I know everything he can do and as long as I don’t do anything stupid, he can’t knock me out….and most importantly, it’ll be the second biggest payday of my career. I better jump on that fight before he either loses or I start to really decline.”
The chatter has begun with Bob Arum suggesting a rematch is in the cards. The time is approaching where Mayweather is going to have to make a decision. Pacquiao is available and looked pretty good in his last fight. Mayweather no doubt wants to seek his 50th victory. He needs the right opponent and it also must be for a lot of money. Pacquiao has energized his believers and a rematch with Floyd, although for a little less money, is still the biggest fight money-wise Floyd can make with the least risk. Six months to a year ago I didn’t think we’d ever see them in the ring again. Today, a second bout between them makes sense on both parts. The odds of it happening are probably better than those against it.
So here’s another warning. If you love watching Pacquiao fight and that is all that matters, then go for it and purchase the rematch if it happens. However, don’t complain if you don’t get your money’s worth and the result isn’t what you had hoped for. A rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, healed shoulder and all….will be a complete repeat of the first fight because Floyd owns Manny stylistically. The bout won’t be thrilling or action-packed, Floyd will control the action for no less than eight of the 12 rounds, and he’ll win the decision again and close the book on their rivalry.
I suggest you spend your money elsewhere. Mayweather-Pacquiao II would be the second biggest con in boxing, right in line behind the first fight. You’ll be throwing away more money, you won’t be all that entertained, and if you’re rooting hard for Pacquiao – you’ll be very frustrated at the conclusion.
Don’t say you weren’t warned. Here’s the first warning, just for the record.
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Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com