Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. is starting to feel inevitable again.
For years now, two of the undeniably greatest pound-for-pound fighters of the last 10 years have teased the general public with the prospect of a superfight. A battle in which they would, once and for all, determine the best boxer of the decade and -- in the process -- answer the one question that has dominated the sport since 2009.
But each time an agreement has seemed within grasp, negotiations would fall apart. One side would spin the reason for the collapses one way, the other would spin it another way. The prospect of all-time greatness, legacy boosts and mountains upon mountains of cash just couldn’t bridge the sizable gap that existed between Pacquiao and Mayweather.
Following a pair of unimpressive victories against Victor Ortiz and Juan Manuel Marquez, respectively, both the No. 1 and No. 2 pound-for-pounders in the world now seem to understand their historical mortality. The finally get that they’re not the shoe-in candidates for boxing greatness that they originally assumed they would be.
And as they’ve slowly come to that conclusion, they’ve also moved closer and closer to coming back to the negotiation table.
If you believe Pacquiao, they’re now back at that table.
During a press conference after his homecoming at General Santos City, here is what the Filipino champion had to say, via ABS-CBN:
"Ongoing ang negotiation sa fight namin ni Mayweather, hindi pa final (Negotiations are ongoing for my fight with Mayweather, but nothing is final)," Pacquiao said.
"Nakita n'ya [Mayweather] na, 'pwede ko na labanan si Manny, dahil medyo nahirapan s'ya si Marquez, e si Marquez, binugbog ko [Mayweather] lang (Mayweather may be thinking, I can fight Pacquiao now because he had trouble against Marquez, and I was able to beat up Marquez)."
It’s also been reported by numerous sources that Michael Koncz, a notable Pacquiao advisor, met with Top Rank boss Bob Arum this week about putting together a fight against Mayweather. Given Arum’s traditional reluctance towards setting his golden goose, Pacquiao, up against the undefeated champ, though, it remains to be seen how much good Koncz’s actions will do.
This time around, however, Arum will have someone else pushing him towards setting the fight up: Pacquiao himself. It appears as though the No. 2 pound-for-pounder in the world has finally set his mind on the superfight we’ve begged for, and he won’t let anyone, including Arum, deter him.
"'Yan ang pinakaa-abangan ng boxing fans (This is what boxing fans are waiting for)."
Stay tuned, folks. Things are about to get really interesting.