A lot of signs have been pointing to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. putting aside their differences and agreeing to a fight at some point in the foreseeable future.
It all started with a very noticeable change in tone from Mayweather following his release from prison. The usually outspoken undefeated champ has visibly limited the amount of barbs he has sent his arch rival’s way in recent months.
Then there was Pacquiao agreeing to give up 55 percent of the purse split to Mayweather in the event of a Dream Match – something he had previously refused to do.
And that is to say nothing of the little things that have happened over the past few months: Pacquiao’s developing relationship with 50 Cent, Bob Arum’s apparent openness regarding setting the bout up, performance-enhancing drug (PED) testing issues being resolved, etc.
It goes without saying that we have been down this road before only to ultimately be disappointed, however, it does feel like we’re actually creeping towards this thing finally happening.
On Wednesday, Fight Hype (by way of Bad Left Hook) reported that Pacquiao agreed to an extension with Top Rank. The extension is interesting in itself, obviously, but this part of the report really stuck out:
According to an eyewitnesses on the scene, Dena duBoef, Vice President of Marketing and the daughter of Bob Arum, escorted Pacquiao to a private room where he had a closed-door meeting with Arum, Koncz, and 50 Cent. It's unclear as to exactly what was discussed, however, our source strongly believes that Pacquiao was given a verbal guarantee that, with the help of 50 Cent and Tommy Smalls, an April fight with Floyd Mayweather would indeed take place, convincing Pacquiao to sign the contract extension. "He thinks he has that fight coming, but that fight isn't ever going to happen," our source added.
Clearly this all hearsay and impossible to verify, but it’s pretty huge regardless of Top Rank’s intentions. Whether they want to do it or not, Pacquiao is going to be expecting a bout against Mayweather early next year. And if he doesn’t get it? Well, then he’ll just retire. Top Rank gets paid so long as the Filipino champ fights; if he hangs up his gloves, nobody gets paid. They can’t just stall this thing – it won’t work this time.
Stay tuned. We may be moving slowly, but we're definitely moving towards something.