WHAT A DIFFERENCE A NIGHT MAKES – Manny Pacquiao regained some of the ground he’d lost to Floyd Mayweather, Jr, in what now, yet again, seems like the eternally unrequited speculation on each boxer’s comparative merits.
A bit of that upside came when Pacquiao earned a convincing win in his rematch with Tim Bradley, but there was a lot more positive spin for Pac-man after Mayweather took some lumps from the relatively unheralded Marcos Maidana three weeks later.
For many mauling moons it appeared, short of winning an actual fight, there was little likelihood Pacquiao could regain any of the status he’d ceded to Mayweather after back to back losses, one crushing (Juan Manuel Marquez), one controversial (Bradley).
In terms of relative top dog status in everything from pound for pound rankings, star power marketability or fan perceptions, as of May 1st, 2014, Mayweather had left Pacquiao behind in the dust of the public domain.
Then, a couple days later at the MGM Grand, Maidana came ducking in, came blasting in, came in with the kitchen sink - overhand bolo to the back of the noggin all night long method in, and shoved his way onto global headlines by giving Mayweather a tough bout, one many observers felt should have resulted in victory for Maidana.
Somewhere along the way, Pacquiao re-acquired precious points with the pugilistic public. Somehow, Pacquaio’s perceived chances got better overnight, or maybe a few hours before that, every time Maidana landed a conker behind Floyd’s cranium.
As the reviews came in, so did many positive Pacman comments, more than there had been recently, about Pacquiao having the tools to thwart Mayweather’s defenses. Major media outlets mentioned how Mayweather might be losing a step. Suddenly, Mayweather was supposedly vulnerable. The potential Pacquiao fight was mentioned in numerous post fight reports. You can guess how many other foes were listed, anywhere.
Even Muhammad Ali was attributed with a tweet requesting the Mayweather – Pacquiao showdown. While even “The Greatest” might hope for the contest, not that many people say the fight will happen soon, if ever.
Actually, the mega-bout could be more possible in 2015 than it has been for many years.
Everybody’s ultimate business sense, and drive, may prevail with a perspective that if there’s ever a last chance to milk the match for all it’s worth, that window is closing.
Gossip about Mayweather- Maidana doing approximately the same pay-per-view numbers as Pacquiao – Bradley is misleading, even considering just basics like price and available broadcast locations or public viewing on a worldwide level. That said, in the rare case of what an event like Mayweather and Pacquiao would be, public perception of the principals is a significant factor.
Mayweather is still saying something different, that Pacquiao had his chance and missed it, but Floyd is a bottom line guy and the bottom line is that Pacquiao represents a far bigger profit than any other opponent.
Whether or not one thinks Maidana pulled off the upset, he definitely made an impression on the viewing audience. His surprising performance will help him command a substantially larger paycheck for a Mayweather rematch and paydays against other high profile contenders.
While Maidana and Pacquiao gained more in the court of public opinion, Mayweather was no loser either, huge paycheck aside. He still has the priceless “0”.
Also, Maidana helped solve a pending issue of future opponents for Floyd’s Showtime contract by at least one more, and provided a viable marquee name for another pay-per-view. Maidana might also offer Mayweather a safer opponent than advertised. Mayweather probably knows Maidana can’t really hurt him, and by the time they fight again, Mayweather should have effective answers to the problems Maidana presents.
Under the unlikely circumstances Maidana actually beats Mayweather this year, there is not much that could postpone a trifecta, even if Pacquiao agreed on a 25% purse split and promised to pee in an empty strip club champagne bottle every other Monday.
If Mayweather beats Maidana again, which is even more of a probability than it was the first time but still means nothing, there’s almost a guarantee he’d face Pacquiao in the final fight of his current Showtime contract. That fight would be the first large scale, single show pay per view at $100 a pop and it will do over 1,500,000 buys, though many viewers could be at movie theatres.
The widely talented welterweight scenario is good for Mayweather and Pacquiao, and very good because of them. Pacquiao is almost back at the center of that scene, where all rumbling roads, hopefully, lead to the real Money.