As Floyd Mayweather Jr. heads to jail today, it is important to note that we are no closer to seeing a fight between him and Manny Pacquiao now than we were three years ago.
Back in May of 2009, just as Pacquiao was beginning to enjoy his unofficial reign as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Mayweather confirmed that he was coming out of retirement. Sure, Pacquiao may not have been the official top pound-for-pounder on everyone’s rankings at that time (or even No. 2, officially), but everyone knew that he was that dude. And that dude was a position that had previously been held by the most polarizing undefeated fighter of all time – Mayweather himself.
Floyd was too competitive to let a challenge to his throne stand.
Most figured that his comeback was entirely spurned by a desire to prove that he was still the best. And so, as he pounded the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez and “Sugar” Shane Mosley into oblivion in two of the less interesting matches of his career, everyone assumed that he was doing so with the intention of working himself back into game shape for a Dream Match versus the only guy left in this world who could really, truly challenge his greatness.
After countless botched negotiations, tons of stupid excuses and a general failure by all involved to realize how much this bout would mean to fans – Pacquiao versus Mayweather is just as much a pipe dream today as it was in May of 2009 when Floyd re-emerged from his extended sabbatical.
Today, on the day when Mayweather surrenders himself for an approximately three-month bid, it’s important to note how little we’ve progressed in three years time. And it’s equally important to note that folks are starting to be okay with that.
The Dream Match that we all pined away for, while we still admittedly want to see it, isn’t as big of a deal now as it even was a few months ago. Boxing connoisseurs have come to terms with the fact that this may not happen. Will it sting to know that two of the top pound-for-pounders in our era very well may not fight? Sure. Is it the worst thing in the world? Nope.
A week after The Sweet Science lost one titan to death and another to one of the most horrifically tragic accidents ever, we’ve all sort of become numb to the BS and nonsense that comes standard with Pacquiao and Mayweather. Maybe they’ll fight when Floyd gets out. Maybe they’ll both gain a bit of perspective during their time apart. Maybe they won’t.
We’ll survive either way.