Manny Pacquiao will fight Brandon Rios this November. Coming off two consecutive losses, the Filipino star needs a victory in this bout in order to delay retirement for at least a few more matches. If he falls to Rios at the end of this year, there is absolutely zero justification for Pacquiao to continue to stay in this sport. However, if he ends up beating his very legitimate 27-year-old foe, the sky’s the limit for the former eight-division champ.
Whereas Pacquiao’s future is relatively easy to map out, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s is a bit tougher to determine. Fresh off a dominating display against Robert Guerrero, everyone seems to think that the undefeated champ will look to take on the most difficult opponent imaginable – something he’s avoided doing throughout his entire career. If popular opinion holds true, Mayweather will square off against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the only guy in the sport currently deemed capable of even challenging him.
To date, negotiations between Mayweather’s camp and Alvarez’s camp haven’t gone especially well. The latter is willing to fight the former, but refuses to come down to the weight Mayweather is demanding. Mayweather, conversely, will only fight Alvarez at one specific weight. Thus, they’re at a stalemate. Might all involved come to an amicable agreement? Sure. But has Mayweather’s camp ever actually come to a mutual understanding with anyone?
More likely than not, Mayweather-Alvarez won’t happen in September 2013.
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As noted by FightHype:
“Richard Schaefer and company are trying vigorously to negotiate for Mayweather vs. Canelo to happen, but I just don't see it falling into place so soon. I believe this fight should take place on Cinco de Mayo weekend of 2014, where it would have the proper 6 months to build a pay-per-view.”
The problem with not fighting Alvarez is that he’s really the only big name option out there for Mayweather. And if it’s true that this most recent fight showdown against Guerrero did a million or fewer PPV buys (1.1 million was reportedly the break-even), then Mayweather needs to do something big for Showtime.
What could possibly be bigger than a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout? The Mayweather-Alvarez Cinco de Mayo idea is a good one, but it’s unnecessary. The fight-a-Mexican-fighter-on-Cinco-de-Mayo idea is required when you need an additional gimmick to sell a fight. Mayweather-Pacquiao sells itself. And it’s not like Mayweather is in any hurry to fight Alvarez. He’d love to put that fight off until at least the end of 2014, if he could.
The bottom line here is this: Pacquiao needs to beat Rios in order to keep himself alive for the biggest payday of his career; Mayweather will probably avoid Alvarez in 2013. So long as those two things hold true, the super fight that’s been discussed for the past five years but never actually materialized remains a possible reality.