All of this talk regarding how nonsensical it is to suggest that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may fight at some point in the foreseeable future ignores one simple fact: both guys are suggesting that they may fight at some point in the foreseeable future.
Mayweather got the party started this month, choosing to answer a question he didn't have to answer regarding whether he has any interest in squaring off against his arch rival. While promoting his upcoming September showdown against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, a reporter pressed boxing’s undefeated king on where things stood between him and Pacquiao. Mayweather simply referred to the Filipino star as a has-been and brushed the suggestion off, but the fact that he chose to answer the question as opposed to ignoring it is an answer in itself.
Shortly after that, Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s advisor, came out and said that if Pacquiao is such a has-been, Mayweather shouldn’t be afraid to fight him.
A few days later, Pacquiao himself emerged from the shadows and said something along the same lines – clearly indicating that he was ready for a super fight should the opportunity arise.
Late last week, in a conversation with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Mayweather addressed what terms would have to be met in order for the most famous boxing match that never was to finally take place.
"Everybody's like, 'Aw, Pacquiao,' but I'm just letting you know he's not getting a fight with me," he said.
“The only way he's getting the fight with me is if he signs with Mayweather Promotions. He's got to give me fights with Mayweather Promotions. If he don't give me no fights under Mayweather Promotions, then he's not getting the fight. That's how it is working now, because the ball is in my court. The ball has been in my court. I have been the A side.”
That’s very true. The ball is entirely in Mayweather’s court now, and he can make whatever outlandish requests he wants.
The only question at this point, really, is whether boxing’s top pound-for-pounder wants to make the demands so ridiculous that there is no way they’re met. If he chooses that option, it may feel good, but it won’t help him fulfill the terms of lengthy Showtime deal. And in case everyone has forgotten, counting the Canelo fight, he’s only two bouts into that deal.
Win or lose, after this September, Mayweather is going to need more fights. Pacquiao presents the ideal minimum risk, maximum reward option. For all his bravado an big talk, Mayweather has consistently proven himself to be a brilliant businessman. Based on that, and all the talking that’s been done in recent months, it’s a safe bet that if the opportunity to take on Pacquiao presents itself in 2014, and if the Filipino star is willing to do what needs to be done financially, this match could come together despite what the naysayers choose to believe.