Mayweather Pacquiao was arguably the most anticipated fight of all time. The two boxing greats could be on a collision course for a 2019 rematch!
Speculation and hype is intensifying as it is looking more likely that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will once again meet in the ring.
Mayweather was in attendance for Pacquiao's latest fight against Adrien "The Problem" Broner. The undefeated Mayweather watched the Philippine Congressman claim a comfortable unanimous decision over the American, Broner.
Officially, Pacquiao beat Broner by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. However, in reality this was arguably a little harsh on the 40 year-old Pacquiao. The current (regular) welterweight champion, landed more than twice as many punches over the duration of the 12 rounds.
After the fight, and using his champion status to his advantage, Pacquiao stated, "If he wants to come out of retirement, then announce it and challenge me. I'm a champion and I don't pick any opponent."
During the Showtime's post-fight interview with Pacquiao, Mayweather himself was asked by Showtime sportscaster Jim Gray, "Are you going to accept that challenge?" With the camera on "money" Mayweather, he coyly looked away and didn't respond.
It is looking more and more likely Mayweather and Pacquiao have a rematch of their 2015 fight.
Pacquiao has made his feeling clear. "Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight," Pacquiao said in reference to Mayweather's current retired status.
The only ever eight-division world champion has been angling for a rematch ever since their first fight.
Meanwhile, Mayweather temporarily halted his retirement to face Conor McGregor in a boxing match. McGregor, a former two-weight UFC champion, fighting in his first professional boxing match, succumbed to a 10th round TKO stoppage. This fight was the 2nd biggest PPV draw ever behind Mayweather Pacquiao 1.
More recently, the controversial Mayweather, fought in a boxing exhibition bout against Tenshin Nasukawa. This fight took place under the Rizin promotion and was widely criticised.
The 20 year-old Nasukawa is a kick-boxer who normally fights at the 121 pound weight division. However, this three-round exhibition took place at a weight of 147 pounds. This, along with the skill gap between the two, at least in terms of pure boxing, was the primary reason for the criticism behind the bout. Mayweather completely outclassed his opponent which ended in a first-round finish.
Back in September 2018, Mayweather had stated that he intended to come back and face Pacquiao in December 2018. This didn't materialise but at the very least does show Pacquiao is on his radar. After all, there a few people who aren't called Pacquiao, who could generate the type of money needed to get Mayweather in the ring.
Despite being one of the highest paid athletes of all time, it is widely speculated that Mayweather may need to come out of retirement for the money. He lives an unsurprisingly lavish lifestyle which is rumored to have taken a toll on his wealth.
The intent and motivation from Pacquiao's side is clear. He has been outwardly open about wanting the rematch. However, with Mayweather having a win over Pacquiao already, there is perhaps less competitive motivation from his side. If the two are to meet in 2019, or later, it will likely be financially motivated from Mayweather's side.
With Pacquiao coming off two wins and Mayweather approaching 42 years of age next month, it makes sense for the rematch to happen sooner than later.
Mayweather does have the likes of McGregor, and even Khabib Nurmagomedov as potential opponents. Both of these are under contract with the UFC though. Dana White, UFC President, has expressed reluctance to allow a fighter of his to get in the ring with Mayweather again.
As a result, and if this holds true, Mayweather doesn't have many other options beyond Pacquiao. Moreover, bookmakers are even offering odds for a 2019 rematch between the two. Based on these odds, Pacquiao is a 2/1 (+200) underdog as of writing.