Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are at a crossroads. Neither man wants to give an inch to the other, but both need a super fight in order to achieve pay-per-view success. Pacquiao is coming off a commercially unsuccessful showing against Brandon Rios, one that he was forced to take overseas just to make up the money he would have lost fighting in the United States. Mayweather is coming off an extremely successful fight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, however, prior to that, his match against Robert Guerrero didn’t live up to expectations.
Pacquiao is looking to fight right around April of next year. Thus far, his list of potential opponents has been unimpressive: Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Ruslan Provodnikov. Bradley is willing to make the fight happen, so he is the likeliest option. Marquez is most commercially marketable foe available, but has expressed zero interest in a fifth Pacquiao fight. And Provodnikov has been mentioned as a way to build up his name value – he’s not an actual option.
Mayweather is planning to fight in May, and he supposedly has his sights set on Amir Khan. We've played this game once before, with Devon Alexander. That was a fight that nobody was longing for and that seemingly came out of the blue, and eventually it turned out that Mayweather was just using the idea of it as negotiating leverage. This Khan thing feels like the same thing. Khan has zero mainstream U.S. appeal. Zilch. And if Mayweather is going to fight someone with zero mainstream U.S. appeal in May, why not make it a Mexican fighter?
Showtime learned with the Guerrero fight that people aren’t suckers. They won’t just pay for any Mayweather fight. So why would they make the same mistake with Khan?
Mayweather versus Pacquiao has never made more sense. But as we’ve learned over the past few years, a fight making sense doesn’t mean it will actually get made.