Mayweather reveals Pacquiao rematch plans for late 2018
By Allan Fox: Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he’ll be coming back to face Manny Pacquiao in a rematch before the end of 2018. The 41-year-old Mayweather announced the rematch with Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) on his Instagram site on Saturday. Mayweather’s fight with Pacquiao in 2015 brought in a record-breaking 4.6 million pay-per-view buys.
Both fighters were still considered two of the best fighters at the time at 147, and had a huge following. Things have changed a lot since then. Mayweather is now viewed as a guy that picks out easy marks for fights, and then delivers dull performances. Mayweather’s last four fights have been incredibly boring to watch against Conor McGregor, Andre Berto, Pacquiao and Marcos Maidana. Mayweather’s first fight with Maidana was an interesting to watch in 2014, as that was a match in which he stood half the fight and fought the Argentinian against the ropes. In the rematch, Mayweather ran from Maidana for 12 rounds in beating him by a boring 12 round decision in September 2014. Every fight since then by Mayweather have been lackluster performances against Pacquiao, Berto and McGregor.
Mayweather says he expects to get another “9-figure” payday with his rematch against Pacquiao. That might be wishful thinking on Mayweather’s part, as Pacquiao is no longer the big pay-per-view draw that he was back in 2015. Pacquiao has since lost against Jeff Horn, and looked beatable in his fights against Jessie Vargas and Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao looked good in his last fight in beating Lucas Matthysse by a 7th round knockout on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, a lot of U.S boxing fans didn’t bother watching that fight because it was streamed on ESPN+, and a lot of people don’t have a subscription for that service. While some American boxing fans made the effort to download the application, many didn’t because Pacquiao is no longer viewed as a top level guy at 147 in the eyes of a lot of people, and he’d been out of the ring for 12 months since losing his previous fight against Jeff Horn by a 12 round decision in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Mayweather will obviously get a good payday fighting Pacquiao in a rematch, but it’s highly unlikely that the boxing public in the States is going to pay their hard-earned money seeing 40-year-old fighters facing each other in a glorified old timer’s fight on PPV. Mayweather would be better off coming back to challenge the winner of tonight’s Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul Canelo Alvarez or fighting one of the top welterweights like IBF champion Errol Spence Jr., WBC champ Shawn Porter or WBA champion Keith Thurman.
It’s debatable whether the boxing public will be interested in seeing two old timers in Mayweather and Pacquiao fight each other in a rematch after seeing their less than exciting three years ago in May 2015. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112. Afterwards, Pacquiao angered a lot of boxing fans when he revealed that he had fought Mayweather with an injured shoulder. The fans and the odds-makers would have liked to have known about Pacquiao’s injured shoulder ahead of time. Perhaps some of them would have changed their bets or decided not to see the fight. The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight failed to live up to the billing and the high costs, as both of them fought with no sense of urgency. Given all the hype involved with the build up for the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, the fight was a huge disappointment for a lot of boxing fans. What was even more disappointing afterwards was Mayweather’s decision to face past his best Andre Berto in his next fight in September 2015 instead of fighting a relevant top level welterweight like Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. or Shawn Porter.
The timing of Mayweather’s announcement for a rematch against the 39-year-old Pacquiao suggests that he’s looking to steal the thunder from tonight’s rematch between IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez. Mayweather arguably undermined the first Canelo-GGG fight year when he staged his fight against UFC star Conor McGregor three weeks in front of their fight. Due to the high cost of the Mayweather-McGregor, which went for $100 per household, a lot of boxing fans were tapped out financially when it came time for the Canelo vs. GGG fight and were unable to afford ordering it. The Canelo-Golovkin fight was announced first, but then Mayweather came in later and scheduled his mismatch against novice fighter McGregor in front of it. The Nevada State Athletic Commission still sanctioned the Mayweather-McGregor fight despite the UFC fighter never
having boxed professionally in his life. What transpired was a fight that looked more like a glorified sparring partner with Mayweather appearing to fight at half speed in carrying McGregor until the referee Robert Byrd haled the fight in the 10th round due to the punishment that Conor was taking.
Mayweather made over $200 million for his fight against Pacquiao in 2015 after receiving a guarantee of $100 million. It’s unclear whether anyone would be willing to give Mayweather a guarantee of $100 million for a rematch against Pacquiao. That’s a very, very hard sell at this point in the careers of the two fighters. The landscape in boxing has changed dramatically, as has the PPV situation. It’s arguably tougher for promoters to sell their fights on PPV unless it involves top guys like Canelo and Golovkin. Mayweather likely would want nothing to do wither either of those guys because he’s too old, too shot and too weak to try and pot shot them to a dull 12 round decision. Mayweather beat Canelo five years ago in 2013 by a decision, but that was when he was still in his prime more or less, and the Mexican fighter young at 22-years-old. Canelo is now in his prime at 28-years-old, and he’s a lot bigger. Canelo is probably not going to agree to melt down to 152 pounds to fight Mayweather at a catch-weight like he did in 2013. If Mayweather were to fight Canelo at 160, he would likely take a beating, as he would if he fought GGG.
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) September 15, 2018
Pacquiao would likely be eager to fight Mayweather fight now, as he’s been interested in avenging his loss to him since 2015. Pacquiao doesn’t have a lot of options for big money fights right now other than a fight with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. That wouldn’t be a huge payday for Pacquiao like he received against Mayweather due to Crawford not being a popular PPV fighter. He’s popular in Nebraska but nowhere else.
Some boxing fans might be interested in paying to see Mayweather fight Pacquiao again at the right price, but it’s hard to imagine them wanting to pay the kind of money that fans will be paying to see Canelo and GGG fight tonight on HBO PPV. That fight sells for $84 per household on HD PPV on HBO. Those guys are in their prime. In the case of Mayweather and Pacquiao, they’re shot fighters that are no longer capable of fighting at the level they did a decade ago or even five years ago.
Mayweather is said to have made $300 million for his mismatch against boxing novice McGregor last year in August 2017. McGregor wanted a rematch with Mayweather in the octagon, but he’s not shown any interest in accommodating him. McGregor would likely agree to face Mayweather inside the ring again, but it’s a fight that would be an even tougher sell than a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch. Pacquiao made $160 million for his fight against Mayweather in 2015. It’s unclear how much of that money Pacquiao has left after three years. A rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao in the U.S might not be doable, as the Filipino star hasn’t fought there in years and it’s unknown whether he would be willing to go back. Can a second Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight sell if it fails to take place in the U.S?