It’s happening. At least, that’s what the rumors suggest. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are apparently in advanced discussions for a rematch. There’s lots of evidence and chatter to suggest that it will become a reality. It would be a truly special moment in sports…but do you even care?
AREN’T THESE TWO RETIRED?
As nobody ever says, “retirement’s for chumps”.
Floyd Mayweather supposedly retired following his (thought to be) final bout with Andre Berto on September 12th, 2015. As you’d expect, he won the fight via unanimous decision bringing his record to 49-0. That was supposed to be the end of it – a somewhat quiet ending to a legendary career that never quite captured the imaginations of fans the way it probably should have.
Not so long afterwards, Manny Pacquiao would fight Timothy Bradley Jr., on April 9th, 2016 and win via unanimous decision to take the WBO International and lineal welterweight titles. He said post fight that, “As of right now, I am retired.” That lasted about a month before Pacquiao announced he would fight Jessie Vargas, whom he defeated on November 5th of this year. Pacquiao then (sort of) retired from boxing to concentrate on his political career.
And you thought Brett Favre was bad.
Ok fine, he was bad too.
Just like with Favre, however, there’s lots of money left to be had. In fact, there’s at least 10x what Favre made in his final season NFL season on the table for both Pacquiao and Mayweather. You don’t just turn a blind eye on money like that.
REVISITING MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO I
Their first fight left a lot of fans wanting more, but the stars of the night were certainly happy with the results. Pacquiao pursued Mayweather in typical style, approaching and trying to throw a flurry of bombs. But it was Mayweather, who tactfully controlled the fight with his counter-punching combinations and speed. The champ left his opponent in a bloody mess.
Fans of Mayweather, and those who follow the sport closely, knew this was coming. While the grandeur of a fight involving the greatest boxer of the modern era is undeniable, the in-ring product often falls short of expectations. There were reports that Pacquiao was nursing an injury, but that may not have changed the outcome.
On pay-per-view, the fight scored $410 million in revenue, eclipsing the previous record set by Mayweather-Alvarez bout from 2013 and the fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Mayweather, which both combined for about $270 million.
Individually, it’s obvious that both Mayweather and Pacquiao profited immensely from the fight as well. Mayweather cashed in around $230 million from the fight, while his opponent pocketed around $160 million. As wildly popular as the UFC is, it can’t hold a candle to these types of numbers.
And then itself is probably why we’re pointed towards a second fight between the two legends. Would you turn down the chance to earn over $150 million even if it “tarnished your reputation”?
DO YOU CARE IF PACQUIAO FIGHTS MAYWEATHER AGAIN?
There is a truly diehard contingent of boxing fans around the world. However, the casual sports fan often struggles to come to grips with being drawn in by a sport that sells them $100 pay-per-views which don’t exactly live up to the hyperbole.
A lot of this comes down to what you deem acceptable return on your investment. Are you paying to simply watch Mayweather do what’s made him the winningest boxer in history? Are you hoping for a Pacquiao upset? Do you just want them to beat the snot out of each other?
Alright, everyone says “yes” to the last one. The truth is that the best fights in boxing happen well off what we’d consider the mainstream path. And while Mayweather has built a veritable empire using his hands and feet, many of his recent fights fall well short of being called “classics”.
Appreciating Mayweather is a very difficult task given his personality. Many will generally call him arrogant, while other outright question his legacy. That’s all fair. As a literal self-promoter, Mayweather has always had control over his destiny. He knows how to line up the perfect opponent for his skill set to preserve his most important asset – his undefeated streak.
That’s truly the greatest part of his draw at the window. Mayweather knows that people want to see him lose and uses that to lure in casual fans that might not otherwise pay any money to watch boxing. It’s also the reason he fought Pacquiao in 2015, as opposed to earlier in the Filipino’s career where he was in his prime.
That undefeated streak is still there. The two fighters are still amongst the greatest in recent memory. They’ll probably charge you another $100 to watch the fight if it materializes.
Millions of people are going to tune in to watch the fight, and you’ll be drawn to the gravity of the supernova created by the hype machine. Everyone involved with the first fight is probably salivating at the chance to make big bucks. There’s a very strong chance that this fight happens whether you like it or not.
So you make as well make it interesting, right? Luckily, for you, Bodog has already put up odds on the potential fight.
BODOG FIGHT LINE – MAYWEATHER (-350) VS. PACQUAIO (+275)
Handicapping any Mayweather fight is a fairly routine process because, as I stated above, he doesn’t take fights that he’s poised to lose. You might dislike Mayweather as much as you hate any other sports star, but the truth is that the guy is untouchable. Like almost everyone else, I wish he had taken tougher fights in his career but it’s time we all stopped crying over spilled milk.
Mayweather will crest the age of 40 in February 2017, while Manny will turn 38 at the end of this year. You’ll hear a lot about “Manny looking better than ever” and the shoulder injury that presumably slowed him down in their first meeting, but there’s no way you can bet against Mayweather. Pacquiao is going to take another massive beating in order to make an obscene amount of money. There are worse ways to make a living.
As down as I sound on this rematch, the real truth is that I’m a sports fan first and foremost. Seeing any boxing – even Mayweather – achieve a record of 50-0 is something I will never see in my lifetime ever again. If it takes me leveraging the balance of my mortgage to make Mayweather’s -350 odds worthwhile, then so be it.
There are very few things in sports as guaranteed as a Mayweather win, and there are very few things as potentially special as witnessing a fighter hit the half-century mark with a perfect record. So I’ll bite and get excited like the rest of you.
Even if it’s Floyd Mayweather.