There are a lot of reasons why Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will probably fight before they retire, but the main ones are money and risk. At the end of the day, regardless of what anyone says, it’s human nature for people to look for the biggest reward they can possibly get for the least amount of risk. That holds true in boxing, too.
Mayweather is currently coming off an impressive, albeit reportedly under-watched, victory over Robert Guerrero. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, the match did fewer than one million PPV buys – a massive embarrassment for Showtime, Mayweather and everyone involved in putting the showdown together. During a chat this weekend, Rafael reiterated that his sources have told him that Mayweather-Guerrrero did “about 870,000 buys.”
Again, if it’s proven that this thing did anything shy of one million buys, it will send Showtime’s execs and Mayweather’s team scrambling for a big fight to promote. The obvious big fight would be pitting Mayweather against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, however, there are a lot of signs that the former’s side doesn’t really want to make that happen. They’re insisting on a weight that Avarez’s team is refusing to fight at, and there is really no middle ground to speak of.
Moreover, as noted by the Las Vegas Informer, during a recent interview Mayweather indicated that he was “older and wiser” and didn’t to put himself in “any rough predicaments anymore.” As he put it: “I’ve done all that. I don’t have to come out and tell you guys how fast my hands are or how good my jab is. I just have to go out there and do it.”
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Translation: Mayweather wants a big name who he isn’t afraid of losing to.
Alvarez doesn’t fit that bill. Pacquiao does.
Pacquiao is fresh off back-to-back losses and is in a career tailspin. If he falls to Brandon Rios this November, retirement is imminent. If he prevails, he gets a new lease on life. Presuming he is able to beat Rios, and seeing as he is a 3-to-1 favorite that’s obviously the assumption at hand, taking on Mayweather makes perfect sense. Their fight, despite the fact that it would come about three years too late, is a virtual lock to break any and all PPV records.
For Pacquiao, it will be one final massive pay day. For Mayweather, it will be an opportunity to check off one of his obligations to Showtime, all the while generating the sort of buzz the company was expecting when they signed him to that crazy deal.
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It’s a win-win, any which way you want to look at it.
People can keep pretending as though the idea of Mayweather-Pacquiao is dead, but it isn’t. The prospect of that bout dies when both men retire, and not a second before that.