The triumphant return of the mailbag, Mayweather-Pacquiao exclusive edition

Kevin Iole
Boxing
Manny Pacquiao is interviewed by Yahoo global anchor Katie Couric at his Los Angeles home. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

MANNY KATIE

Manny Pacquiao is interviewed by Yahoo global anchor Katie Couric at his Los Angeles home. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

As hard as it is to believe after more than five years of often tortuous negotiations, the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is just one month away.

Yes, tickets are not on sale yet, there is still no information about closed circuit locations and many fans who can't make it to Las Vegas for the bout have wondered whether the fight will be shown in movie theaters.

Unfortunately, I've got no answers for you on those topics. The fight is on, no matter what your wise-cracking friend may have told you on April 1. So I have answers to your questions about the biggest fight of most of our lifetimes. Starting today, and repeating as often as I have good and unique questions to choose from, I'll bring back the mailbag, an old favorite.

But we're keeping these mailbags limited strictly to the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, which if you just arrived back on Earth from your trip to Mars, will be May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

If you want me to consider your question, please post it on Twitter with the hashtag #MayPacYahoo and I might get to it.

So, for the first time in quite a while — too long, really — let's get to your questions in this week's edition of the mailbag:

Well, I think it's a pretty fair assumption to think that if it's any kind of a fight, we might see them back in the ring against each other once again. But will it be September? That's a much tougher one.

Mayweather has fought in May and September in each of the last two years, so he's comfortable with that routine. That said, however, I'm betting there will be a rematch but it won't come this quickly.

The pressure on the fighters is immense, and the work to get this fight made in such a short time frame has been extraordinary. The fight was formally announced on Feb. 20, meaning only 72 days were left until fight night. That's far less than is usual for a bout of this magnitude.

Mayweather and Pacquiao have been in extremely high demand and have done an exceptional amount of significant interviews in a short period of time. Katie Couric, our very own global news anchor, interviewed both men earlier this week.

If I had to guess, I'd say there will be a rematch but that it won't come until 2016 when the new MGM arena opens.

What an opening act that would be.

I do not believe it will be. On May 20, 2014, Pacquiao signed a contract extension through 2016 with Top Rank and nothing I have heard from him would lead me to believe he'll retire before that deal is over.

I could see this playing out signficantly differently depending on how the fight plays out:

1. Pacquiao defeats Mayweather. In this case, there would without question be a rematch. If Pacquiao won the rematch, I think he'd fight one more time and then retire. If Mayweather won the rematch, I'd bet they'd fight a rubber match before both retiring.

2. Mayweather defeats Pacquiao in a close fight. In this case, I think they would again fight a rematch. If Mayweather won that one and went up 2-0, I think Manny would take a farewell fight and retire. A Manny win in the rematch would force a rubber match.

3. Mayweather thrashes Pacquiao. This is the only scenario I see in which there is not a rematch. Mayweather would take another big fight and I think Pacquiao would likely take two more fights before calling it quits.

Bottom line, I don't think we've seen the last of either man after this fight. Even if one or both of them speaks of retirement in the ring, I wouldn't give it great credence. Fighters sacrifice so much during training camp and in an emotionally charged situation after a heavily hyped fight, they could say anything. They likely would feel differently after having time to think about it.

I believe the fight will be judged fairly. The Nevada Athletic Commission knows that the eyes of the world will be on this fight — like no fight before — and will without question appoint the people it believes are the three best judges in the world.

Now, if it goes to the scorecards, will everyone agree with their decision? I'm not saying that. People are quick to cry fix when it's rarely, if ever, the case. Even the great former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield expressed skepticism about whether the judges will be fair.

In short, I believe the three people picked will be the three the Nevada commissioners believe are the best available, and I believe those three will fairly select the winner.

The news is good on the leg cramp front for Pacquiao. I spoke to Freddie Roach, his trainer, last week and he told me then that Pacquiao had been having cramps, so he took him to the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. There, he was given a cream that cost $1,800 for a bottle.

On Tuesday, I was in Los Angeles and spent time with Roach. I spoke at length about Pacqiuao's issues with cramps. He told me that the doctors are confident they've solved the problem. The cream is working and Roach said Pacquiao hasn't had cramping issues since.

Fortunately, those seats are reserved and the seating order is chosen by the promoter, the public relations team, representatives of the hotel and a credentialing agency (And a shout out to Andy Olson and his team at Magna Media for the fantastic job they do at so many fights arranging media seating. It's a thankless job and there are going to be more than a few reporters upset at them on May 2, but that comes with the territory).

So, as a result, when you pick up your credential, the seat is on the front.

If we had to compete for seats, more reporters would be working out in the days before the fight to elbow their way to the best seats once the doors opened. As it is, the seats up front will mostly go to the reporters from the biggest outlets and with the most tenure on the beat.

Frankly, Dan, I'm completely mystified by your question. The promotion has been over-the-top for the fight already. Major news outlets are already writing multiple stories a week on the fight. Much of that comes from work done by the publicists arranging interviews, etc.

If you're talking about preview shows and the like, well that starts soon. The networks are each going to do an All Access or 24/7 type of show, focusing on their fighter. Showtime's "Inside Mayweather vs Pacquiao" begins on April 18  following the Julio Cesar Chavez-Andrzej Fonfara fight. It will have subsequent episodes on April 25, April 29 and an epilogue on May 9.

HBO will do a one-hour preview show, "Mayweather-Pacquiao: At Last," that will also air on April 18. HBO is also planning a special on April 25, but it hasn't released many details on that yet.

I do believe you'll hear mention of the fight during both the Final Four and The Masters.

So, the promotion is in full gear. I hope that helped, but I'm not sure otherwise what you're referencing.

Thanks for all the questions. If I didn't get to yours, keep watching. I'll do more of these mailbags between now and the fight, and I'll get to as many as I can. Just remember to include the hash tag #MayPacYahoo so I am sure to see your question.

Entertainer Justin Bieber (L) appears on stage with Floyd Mayweather at a March 11 news conference in Los Angeles to formally announce Mayweather's May 2 fight with Manny Pacquiao. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Entertainer Justin Bieber (L) appears on stage with Floyd Mayweather at a March 11 news conference in Los Angeles to formally announce Mayweather's May 2 fight with Manny Pacquiao. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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