For boxing fans across the nation, it seems that the sport has been stuck in a state of limbo the past few years.
The fight that every fan, casual or hardcore, has been clamoring for, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, has been this mystical (and possibly fictional) event that has an infinite amount of hype, yet absolutely no reality.
Both fighters have called each other out in the media and said all the right things when the cameras were on, but neither has taken the steps necessary to make this fight happen.
Well, for those who have lost all hope, the past couple of weeks have been full of positive signs that Money Mayweather and the Pacman may finally deliver this coveted fight.
Though Pacquiao has a fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8, he already seems focused on a possible bout against his hyped rival.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire on Sept. 21, the 33-year-old Filipino said that he would accept a 55-45 financial split on the potential fight's purse and would seemingly do anything to go toe-to-toe with the undefeated star.
“He can be introduced first, have top billing … he can wear my trunks,” Pacquiao was quoted Friday by publicist Fred Sternburg in Mexico (via the Los Angeles Times). “I don’t care. I just want to get him in the ring.”
While Mayweather's camp seems unimpressed with that concession (advisor Leonard Ellerbe told Pugmire that "Floyd will dictate the terms"), another more important one may just hold the key to the fight.
According to Pugmire, the two boxers have come to a settlement on Pacquiao's long-standing defamation suit against Mayweather that dates back to 2009.
The suit had stemmed from earlier negotiations about a possible fight, wherein it seemed that Mayweather's camp insinuated that Pacquiao had used performance-enhancing drugs.
In an issued statement, Mayweather, his father, uncle and promotional outfit all made it clear that they never wished to claim Pacquiao was doping.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions wish to make it clear that they never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance-enhancing drugs.
Nor are they aware of any evidence that Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs. Manny Pacquiao is a great champion, and no one should construe any of our prior remarks as claiming that Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs.
In the interim, this settlement is simply the Money Team saving its fighter some cash. However, once Mayweather returns to fighting shape and Pacquiao finishes recovering from his fight with Marquez, clearing up these legal hurdles leaves no reason for the men to avoid a fight.
The best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Pacquiao and Mayweather could be the fight that pulls this generation back into the sport. With fighters completely different in style and personality, the actual contest has all the tools to live up to its billing.
With the lawsuit settled and financial details seemingly fluid, all that remains is for both fighters to step up to the plate and finally give fans across the world what they truly want.
Whether that happens remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the time and opportunity for excuses has expired.