Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. seem to be heading in different directions right now. After a January where they looked to be creeping closer and closer to fighting one another, February has returned us to the status quo – everyone is moving on to more realistic options.
Less than 30 days ago, Pacquiao made headlines when he suggested that he wasn’t trying to make money off Mayweather’s name. Ever since Pacquiao lost to Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012, that had been Mayweather’s claim: that he and Pacquiao were on different levels, and that Pacquiao was simply using him at this point. Pacquiao squashed that rumor by suggesting they donate the proceeds to charity.
That suggestion fizzled out after about a day.
Nevertheless, the mere fact that a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout was being discussed again could have been viewed as progress. During Pacquiao’s two-fight losing streak, that didn’t even seem like a viable option anymore.
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This past week, Floyd Mayweather Sr. suggested that if Pacquiao really wanted to fight his son, he would leave Bob Arum. This is a suggestion Mayweather Jr. has made on numerous occasions, too. However, according to an unconfirmed report from Boxing Socialist, Pacquiao and Arum have apparently reached agreement on a deal extension. Even if that isn’t true or the rumored extension falls apart, it’s unlikely that Pacquiao will leave Arum at this point in his career.
So if Pacquiao is sticking with Arum, and Mayweather doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao while he’s with Arum – how are we creeping closer to a super fight? Well, because nothing has changed: both men are still scrambling for opponents. Timothy Bradley was the obvious next choice for Pacquiao, but that’s where he runs out of “obvious” opponents. Juan Manuel Marquez doesn’t want a rematch; Ruslan Provodnikov isn’t ready.
The same goes for Mayweather. Amir Khan is the best option his team could come up with – and he has about the same name recognition in the United States as Robert Guerrero does. We all remember the numbers from that bout. Amazing for any fighter not named Floyd Mayweather Jr., and totally unimpressive for the top pound-for-pounder in the world.
Mayweather and Pacquiao still need each other. And so long as that remains true, a super fight between them is very, very likely.