It went unnoticed because of all the false promises and disingenuous negotiations that came before it, but Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao agreed to fight each other a few months ago. Each guy set completely different terms that would need to be fulfilled in order for the match to become a reality, however, the mere fact that they talked about a potential super fight spoke volumes about its viability.
The truth of the matter is, for all the chatter about how the time for Mayweather-Pacquiao has passed and how nobody would want to see it now, a showdown between two of the best fighters from the last decade would still outsell any fight that anyone could put together today. Any fight. This is as true now as it was three years ago, and as true as it will be three years from now. On sheer name value alone, Mayweather and Pacquiao could sell a foot race.
A few month ago, down on his luck and coming off two straight defeats, Pacquiao responded to some jabs Mayweather had previously taken at him through the media. Essentially his counter was this: If I’m so weak now, why doesn’t this dude fight me? If I’ve fallen off so noticeably, then he shouldn’t be scared to take me on.
Never one to let anything go, Mayweather responded like only he can. Speaking to reporters, he insisted that given the hit Pacquiao has taken in stature, the only way it would make financial sense for him to grant the Filipino star a match is if he signed under Mayweather’s banner.
This week, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mayweather reiterated that point. You can check the interview out below.
Now, will Pacquiao actually sign under Mayweather? Of course not. He is still a very marketable fighter, and so long as that remains true, Bob Arum will never let him go anywhere. That’s not the important takeaway from Mayweather’s comments, though.
The important takeaway from Mayweather’s comments is that he’ll agree to fight Pacquiao when he feels the time is right. And with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fresh on his mind right now, the current timing isn’t right. What happens after that? What happens when there are no other big name, viable opponents for him to take on, and he’s facing the prospect of giving Showtime Robert Guerrero-like numbers again?
Mayweather is a smart business man. When the time comes for him to square off against Pacquiao or face a substantial pay cut, he’ll make the only decision he can.