Manny Pacquiao is slated to return to the ring in September—most likely for Part 5 of the Pacquiao-Marquez melee.
That means Floyd Mayweather’s options for his return to the ring are horrible.
Pacquiao and and Marquez have fought four times, with much controversy in the decisions and an even greater amount of hype and pay-per-view ratings. It is for those reasons that the two are likely to engage in Part 5—and it all translates into money.
The loser in it all is Floyd Mayweather, whose two best options for his return to the ring—following his two-month jail sentence he served for domestic battery this past summer—were Pac-Man and Dinamita.
Pac-Man, though, would have entered the fight on a two-match losing streak, which made it an unlikely fight at best.
Marquez, on the other hand, is still conceivable, though very unlikely. After defeating Pac-Man with a knockout, Dinamita is the hot fighter in boxing at the moment.
But if Marquez and Mayweather were to square off, Money would be considered the favorite—despite his long layoff. The reason: The fight known as “Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: Number One/Numero Uno” did not quite live up to the billing.
Mayweather was returning from a two-year layoff—a first retirement of sorts—only to beat the living snot out of Marquez. The fight was taken to a decision, which was ruled unanimously in the favor of Mayweather.
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It’s unlikely Marquez would want to take a chance on a rematch—facing Mayweather after an extended layoff—only months before a rematch with Pacquiao. There is no reason for him to risk the momentum he gained by knocking out his arch-rival.
And though Timothy Bradley would love nothing more than to challenge Mayweather, as Scott Christ noted here, it simply cannot happen, because Bradley’s representation (Top Rank) and Mayweather’s refuse to work together.
Though Bradley called Mayweather out (read the entire article), it doesn’t make the fight any more likely. Mayweather himself may be willing to fight Bradley, but that fact is irrelevant if the representatives refuse to make it happen.
The SB Nation article claimed that Bradley was in a tough spot, but that does not compare to the spot Mayweather now finds himself in. He is the best fighter in the world, yet cannot find anyone worthy to fight.
Anyone shy of Pacquiao, Marquez or Bradley would be clearly inferior.
Then again, Mayweather is coming off an extended layoff and may be better off fighting a “patsy,” the way college football teams regularly schedule “FCS” teams or lower-level Division 1 schools to start their seasons. The reason they do that is to get the kinks out and prepare for the bigger games the season presents to them.
Boxing—being the most macho sport around—thrives on the egos of its competitors. It is the single element that elevated it above other sports in the '60s and '70s. It is mostly missing now.
And Mayweather, Bradley and the rest of boxing are suffering for it.