Mayweather vs. Pacquiao rumors for 2017
By Chris Williams: There are big time rumors starting to float around about Floyd Mayweather Jr. coming back to fight Filipino star Manny Pacquiao in 2017. Pacquiao, who recently picked up the WBO welterweight title off of Top Rank fighter Jessie Vargas, seems to be very eager to make the fight with Mayweather happen. Pacquiao posted a photo of himself on Instagram on Sunday showing him with a jacket with both his and Mayweather’s photos on the inside of the jacket. If that’s not a sign that Pacquiao wants the rematch with Mayweather then nothing is.
The rumors of Mayweather-Pacquiao fight are that of the rematch taking place in the first half of 2017, possibly on Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday. That would be bad news for Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and his promoters at Golden Boy, because they would be kicked off the date.
There’s no chance at all that Canelo could compete for the Cinco de Mayo date if Mayweather and Pacquiao choose to grab the date. Even Canelo vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin couldn’t bump Mayweather-Pacquiao off that date.
Mayweather was at ringside for Pacquiao’s fight against Vargas earlier this month on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight is there for Mayweather if he wants it, because Pacquiao has been quite open about him wanting to fight him again to try and avenge his loss from May 2015. Pacquiao feels that he deserved the win. However, Pacquiao is also saying that he was only 60 percent of his normal self because of a shoulder injury that he had in that fight.
Pacquiao has since had surgery on his shoulder, and he now is 100%. A lot of boxing fans think Pacquiao’s shoulder injury was just an excuse to keep him from taking responsibility for losing the fight. What strengthened the opinion of these fans is when Pacquiao started talking about how sea water was helping his injury heal.
Mayweather did his part in beating the breaks off Pacquiao last year in winning by the scores 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112. I happened to agree with the judge that scored it 118-110 for Mayweather. Pacquiao never stood a chance in the fight. The only rounds that I gave Pacquiao were the ones in which Mayweather seemed to be coasting out of boredom. The fight was so one-sided that Mayweather looked bored at times; because Pacquiao wasn’t attacking him the way he needed to in order to have a chance of winning.
There will obviously be fewer boxing fans interested in a second fight than in their 2015 fight, which brought in 4.6 million buys on pay-per-view. However, there will still be more than enough fans interested to make the fight worthwhile. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rematch brings in 3 million buys.
There will be some drop off from their previous fight, but not enough to where the fight won’t be a huge money maker. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum believes the rematch will make it the second biggest pay-per-view fight in history. That means Pacquiao vs. Mayweather II will bring in more than 2.4 million buys from the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Mayweather fight in 2007. The 2.4 million buys number is currently the second best.
Some boxing fans will make noise about not wanting to pay to see a second fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao, but when it’s all said and done, I think they’ll purchase it anyway. The reluctant fans will get caught up in the hype just like before, and it’ll be like a whirlpool that they can’t escape. The fans will want to be part of history and part of the event like last time. That’s why I think the rematch will bring in at least 3 million buys if not 4.
If Mayweather and Pacquiao actually promote the fight properly unlike last time, they could bring in the same numbers as last time. They didn’t really market the fight the last time. It was all done in a rush due to the negotiations dragging out so long. This time, if they can get the negotiations done now, then they would have five months to market the fight before Cinco de Mayo in May 2017. That’s a good five months to create huge hype for Mayweather-Pacquiao II. We’ve Pacquiao having won his last two fights against Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. Pacquiao has shown the boxing public that he’s come back from his loss to Mayweather and his shoulder surgery. The fans are now back on board the Pacquiao express. Now all that needs to happen is Mayweather to give Pacquiao the signal that he’s ready to fight him a second time and they can then get the fight negotiated in a hurry by December so that they can start the marketing of the fight.
The fans are going to want to purchase the Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch just like last time. I wouldn’t be surprised that the fans won’t even care if the pay-per-view goes for $100-$110 like last time. The fans will happily purchase the fight, because it’s the best fight in boxing. There’s nothing that compares to it. You can’t compare the Golovkin-Canelo fight to Mayweather-Pacquiao, because those guys haven’t become stars yet. Golovkin and Canelo are still popular with mainly just the hardcore boxing fans. Mayweather and Pacquiao are known to the casual fans. There’s a big difference.
Mayweather wants to get a nine-figure payday, and Pacquiao gives him his best chance of getting that kind of money. Pacquiao deserves a 60-40 split of the loot. Hopefully, he doesn’t get greedy an start asking for an even 50-50 split, because I don’t think Mayweather would ever agree to that. There’s plenty of money for Pacquiao to make with a 60-40 split. What other options does Pacquiao have if he turns it down? His fight against Jessie Vargas didn’t make big money. If Pacquiao turns around and fights one of his promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters like Terence Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko, he’s not going to get big money from those fights, because they’re not stars. We haven’t even heard the PPV results for the Pacquiao-Vargas fight yet. It’s a good sign that Top Rank STILL hasn’t released the numbers yet.