COMMENTARY | Just when boxing fans thought they were safe from the ghostly remains of the Mayweather-Pacquiao mega-bout that could never be, out comes a tidbit of news sure to provoke yet another round of heated debate between boxing's two biggest and most loyal fan bases.
Speaking with On the Ropes Radio, Roger Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather's uncle and head trainer, let loose a bit of info that had to hit fight fans like a straight right hand to the kisser.
According to Mayweather, he and his nephew met with Bob Arum "a little over a month ago" for a "couple of hours" and discussed fights with both Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. Mayweather also seemed to be sure that both fights discussed would be taking place:
"Floyd's gonna fight em, why wouldn't he fight them? Anytime you are getting that type of money, how the hell are you not going to fight them. He has to fight Pacquiao cause that's the fight people want to see and people talk about. If he wouldn't fight Pacquiao he would go down in history as a scared ******* champion, wouldn't he? If he didn't fight Pacquiao, OK then. My Nephew ain't scared of no Pacquiao."
So, assuming that Mayweather is telling the truth and not half-delusional, this is the closest both parties have come to making boxing's biggest bout since their fight negotiations broke apart in late 2009/early 2010 over the issue of random blood testing for performance enhancing drugs.
If Arum and Mayweather are actually on speaking terms, money issues will work themselves out and, if Pacquiao has been honest about his willingness to undergo true random blood testing, then that shouldn't be an issue, either.
Assuming nothing else pops up to put a halt to the talks, all that remains is the timing.
Pacquiao has his December 8 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez and, of course, everything will depend on whether he actually wins (although a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would still be the biggest fight ever, even with Pacquiao coming fresh off a loss to Marquez).
The idea could be to match Mayweather against Bradley, possibly over Cinco de Mayo weekend and Pacquiao against someone else, possibly in June, with the Mayweather-Pacquiao clash finally coming in November or early December. Business-wise, this makes perfect sense. Actually, Mayweather-Pacquiao has always made perfect sense, but egos have always gotten in its way. Maybe this time, with options running out for both fighters, the necessity to cash in might actually push it to completion.
This story would seem to fit in with strange rumors circulating recently. The buzz, passed along on social media, had Mayweather rumored to be fighting Bradley. It was an odd story to start circulating, especially considering that Bradley, who had never been mentioned as a possible foe for Floyd, is a Top Rank fighter and, up until now, it was ridiculous to think that Top Rank and Mayweather would ever work together on anything. Maybe, possibly, hopefully, there was some actual reality behind the internet chatter and things are actually falling into place.
Obviously, this is all very optimistic and we've all been burned before when it comes to this legacy-defining battle that just can't seem to find its way to the ring. But at least this is something we can hang our hopes on-- Something tangible we can point to and say, "Okay, maybe these people are serious, after all" or at the very least, "Well, things are actually moving in the right direction."
I wouldn't hold my breath, but it doesn't hurt to hold out hope and think positive every once in a while. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is worth some suspension of disbelief:
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Jenna Jay, Roger Mayweather: "If Floyd wouldn't fight Pacquiao he would go down in history as a scared motherf*cking champion" Part 2 of 2, On the Ropes Radio / Doghouseboxing