Everyone in the boxing world has been waiting on one matchup for years. They want to see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, a high-profile fight that could gross as much $250 million, according to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.
The two sides have been constantly arguing about how to split the revenue and how the drug testing should take place to the point that it is hard to believe this fight will ever happen.
However, fans still want to see the two arguably best pound-for-pound boxers in the world fight each other.
In a sport that has not had many marquee matchups in the last decade, this could be vital for regaining fans. The heavyweight division has been a wasteland since Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko took over and refused to fight each other, so the pressure is on the people in the other weight classes to make things happen.
Throughout his career, that has not been a problem for Mayweather.
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Money's last fight against Miguel Cotto was the second-highest grossing non-heavyweight fight in history. It made $94 million off 1.5 million pay-per-view buys.
Of course, the highest grossing fight of all time also featured Mayweather, that time against Oscar De La Hoya.
Pacquiao vs. Mayweather could pass this, but it is quickly losing steam.
Besides the issues in the contract, the draw is constantly getting worse. After a number of years, it is possible that these men are no longer the two best boxers in the sport.
In ESPN's latest pound-for-pound rankings, Pacquiao has dropped from second to fourth. His loss to Timothy Bradley saw him fall behind Andre Ward and Sergio Martinez.
While many will dispute the decision that gave Bradley the welterweight title, you can also see that the Pacman is not the fighter he was a few years ago. Whether it is age, conditioning or simply focus, his level has dropped.
Pacquiao has not knocked out an opponent since 2009, and his most recent bout was a loss. If he cannot defeat Marquez on Saturday, his reputation as one of the best will drop fast.
To make matters worse, the upcoming match is no easy contest. Marquez has come close to defeating the former champ three times, with one of them ending in a draw. This time, he will certainly be going for a knockout to avoid any judge involvement.
Would people want to see Mayweather fight a boxer coming off two losses who has looked progressively worse in each fight in recent years?
Mayweather does not have a problem creating a buzz. Whomever he fights next will allow him to get a rather large payday. However, there is no bigger opportunity than the potential matchup with Pacquiao.
Many fans will flock to the ring and to their television sets regardless of the results of Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4, but not everyone.
A Pacquiao win would help him regain respect as one of the top fighters in the sport and help set up the dream bout against Mayweather.
At this point, that is all boxing fans can hope for.
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