Since he is planning on undertaking two fights in 2013, there is no reason that Floyd Mayweather Jr. can't push for the latter of the two to be against Manny Pacquiao.
A report by ESPN's Dan Rafael logs a quote from one of Mayweather's closest advisers, Leonard Ellerbe, who feels supremely confident in the opponents his fighter can draw and the star power of Mayweather:
Floyd Mayweather has a plethora of options. Who doesn't want to fight Floyd 'Money' Mayweather and make the most money they ever made in their career? You hit the lottery once you've become a Floyd Mayweather opponent.
Two target dates have been set for the fights: May 5—which Ellerbe playfully refers to as "Cinco de Mayweather—and Sept. 14. Both bouts would take place in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, too.
Sliding Pacquiao into that September slot with plenty of notice would give Pac-Man ample time to prepare, and if he didn't return to the ring until then, the epic, long-anticipated showdown would generate even more hype.
Granted, some of the luster from the fight is bound to be lost in light of Pacquiao getting knocked out in the sixth round against rival Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8. With two consecutive losses, Pacquiao must redeem himself in the ring to silence critics of his lack of commitment and general decline as a boxer.
There would be no better way to do that than to step into the ring and hold his own with Mayweather in a fight that boxing fans have been hoping would transpire for years.
It would not only be a treat for anyone with any stake in the sport, but it would also have a chance to be the most lucrative fight in history. As Ellerbe noted, both fighters would essentially be hitting the lottery, as would promoters and everyone involved in making the fight finally happen.
Mayweather did nothing to quiet the speculation in his recent comments following Pacquiao's loss. While there was a level of respect and sympathy for the out-cold knockout the Congressman suffered, Money May made sure to deliver a backhanded compliment as well (h/t FightHype.com):
In the sport of boxing, you have to really dedicate yourself to your craft...I think he's got so many different things on the outside that he worries about, you know. But it was a good thing that he was able to come into the sport, you know, piggyback off my name, and get a bunch of endorsement deals and make a good living. That's a great thing.
It's hard to read into the nature of Mayweather's comment and what the precise intent behind it was. But stirring the pot like that, implying that Pacquiao doesn't work hard enough and that he somehow used his name to gain success, definitely won't quiet advocacy for this fight to finally happen.
There wasn't necessarily any guarantee that a Pacquiao-Mayweather battle was going to happen in the first place even if Pac-Man had maintained his undefeated record against Marquez.
However, fighting Marquez again wouldn't make much sense for the 33-year-old. Although he began to take control of the fight prior to the knockout, Pacquiao holds the 2-1-1 edge over the Dinamita, and should have a fresh ground on which to prove himself.
The technical prowess of Mayweather and aggressive style of Pac-Man makes it such an intriguing fight, as they have to be considered the best pound-for-pound fighters of their generation.
Whoever has been ducking whom, it doesn't matter. The debate between these two should be settled once and for all. Not in the press, but in the ring.