Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may fight at some point in 2014. Presuming the former can get past Brandon Rios this November, and seeing as he has been a consistent favorite he probably will, he will find himself in the exact same situation as his arch rival: With no real equals in boxing.
From a purely business standpoint, given the amount of money on the line, it would only make sense for Mayweather and Pacquiao to square off.
The problem with that logic is that it’s not new. Mayweather and Pacquiao stood to make heaps of money by fighting in 2013, too. And 2012. And 2011. And 2010. Yet, despite the fact that a Dream Match made all the sense in the world at all those points as well, it never materialized. The fact that they should agree to the fight has never actually meant much to Mayweather and Pacquiao. Assuming that suddenly both will get struck with a bolt of common sense is more wishful thinking than anything else.
So, with that in mind: Why is a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout more likely in 2014 than it has been in the past? Simple: Because now the gains outweigh potential losses.
The problem with Mayweather-Pacquiao has always been math. For all the money both guys stood to make from this super fight, they stood to lose more. When they were at the top of their games, each one was selling a million-plus PPVs. Each guy was performing in front of sold out arenas. Why risk a loss when you can make just incrementally less fighting safer matches?
After fighting two fights in one year for the first time since 2007, Mayweather now sees the difference between fighting a nobody and fighting a somebody. Last weekend’s showdown between him and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez did a million more PPV buys than the one from earlier this year against Robert Guerrero. Mayweather is making at least $41.5 million for his last match – but probably a lot more. Fighting Danny Garcia next would be akin to taking on Guerrero again. Fighting Pacquiao would result in the most watched combat sporting event in history.
All the brouhaha about how much money Mayweather and Pacquiao stood to make by fighting a few years ago is misguided. The real reason they never fought is because of how much they stood to lose. Now that potential losses aren’t a concern anymore, the negotiations will go much smoother.