Mayweather/Pacquiao (Courtesy Photo)
In early October, Floyd Mayweather Sr. reignited speculation over a possible fight between his son and Manny Pacquiao, a fantasy bout that’s been teasing boxing fans for the last few years.
“That fight’s gonna happen. Trust me,” Mayweather Sr. told fighthype.com. “It’s a fight for the world, man, right there. It’s the biggest fight that has ever been in life, so like I said, man, that fight’s gonna happen.”
A potential bout between Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao fell apart a few years ago after Mayweather requested that the two use Olympic testing standards during their training to confirm that Pacquiao’s climb to the top ranks wasn’t due in part to sports enhancing drugs. After Mayweather announced late this year that he intends to retire in 2015, the idea of Mayweather/Pacquiao was virtually left for dead. But with the current champ’s father saying that the idea is very much on the table, will we finally see the two most popular boxers square off in 2015? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.
Green: It’s going to happen. There’s way too much money at stake for the fight to not go down. One last payday and a crucial win over a fighter who most perceive as his biggest rival would be ideal for Mayweather. If he can keep his undefeated record intact until the two would meet, the stage would be set for Mayweather to go out with a bang. The two have been boring fight fans over the last few years with bouts against lesser names, but a fight of this magnitude would definitely be the highlight of their respective careers. Floyd has two fights left on his contract with Showtime—I can almost guarantee he’ll fight Manny in both fights and cash out into retirement, possibly as a billionaire.
Riley: The older the two get, the less fizzle this fight has. The appeal was there three or four years ago, but with Mayweather at age 37 and Pacquiao at age 35 entering the twilight of their careers, a fight in 2015—when both fighters would be a year older—would be more sizzle than substance at that point. Mayweather’s a business man and with an undefeated record on the line, he could easily go out with his record intact and still be considered one of the best fighters to ever box, without the risk of losing some of his luster as he heads into retirement. If Mayweather wasn’t willing to enter into such a fight in his prime, then I can’t see why he would now at a point in his career where he has clearly lost some of his quickness and power.
Green: The bout wasn’t there at first due to Pacquiao’s reluctance to submit to the testing Mayweather wanted, and I would assume talks won’t progress now if he doesn’t consent. Mayweather has been willing to engage in the fight since the idea first arose, but he’s not going to do so if Pacquiao is cheating—and I can’t blame him. Plus, Floyd didn’t want to give any money to Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum. But I think Arum won’t be in the way this time and the fight will occur. Floyd’s father obviously has more insight to his son’s plans than anybody else, so if he says the fight will happen then I tend to side with him, regardless of whatever obstacles are in place.
Riley: I’m sorry, but I just can’t see it. I can’t see Mayweather putting his unblemished record on the line at the tail end of his career and risking a crushing defeat. Although most would favor Mayweather greatly if the fight was to go down, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Pacquiao came away the victor. Pacquiao definitely has more to gain after suffering a pair of embarrassing defeats over the last few years. But when you look at Mayweather and everything he stands for, he has a whole lot more to lose than he does to gain should things go awry. We’ll see what 2015 holds but I wouldn’t hold my breath on a possible fight between the two fighters especially if Mayweather wins his next bout in May and remains undefeated.