Perhaps it doesn't have the same cachet it once did, but there are definitely still plenty of people in the boxing world who would love to see Floyd Mayweather face Manny Pacquiao. That ship has sailed unfortunately, and the odds of it happening are less now than ever before.
Mayweather proved that he is still the sport's pound-for-pound king on Saturday as he decimated Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero in an easy, unanimous-decision victory. Mayweather was never in danger throughout the fight as he used his elite quickness and evasiveness to stymie Guerrero. He also used his deceptively-powerful right hand to tag Guerrero time after time.
There was some concern as to whether or not Mayweather would be the same fighter at 36 years of age with a year away from boxing under his belt, but he dispelled any doubt with a virtuoso performance. As the premier fighter and box-office draw in boxing today, all the power is in "Money's" hands at this point.
He has earned the right to pick and choose his opponents, and that is precisely what he will do moving forward. Mayweather has five fights remaining on his mega deal with Showtime, which will be the richest contract in sports if Mayweather completes the 30-month term of the deal.
Since Mayweather already has guaranteed money in the bank regardless of who he fights in his next five bouts, there is no incentive to go for the gusto with Pacquiao. Additionally, Mayweather's switch to Showtime after being affiliated with HBO for the bulk of his career is a major stumbling block when it comes to Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLA.com.
Alas, no Mayweather-Pacquiao fight soon. Not only are promoters refusing to work w/ each other, but they're on competing networks now.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 5, 2013
Boxing is about politics as much as anything and that has been quite apparent when it comes to Mayweather and Pacquiao. The two sides couldn't come to an agreement when all the pieces were in place, so a massive hurdle such as Mayweather being a Showtime guy and Pacquiao being an HBO guy is only going to make negotiations even more difficult.
Pacquiao also isn't as ideal of an opponent now as he was a couple years ago. There used to be some question as to whether or not Mayweather was better than Pac-Man, but that is no longer a discussion. Pacquiao has lost his past two fights to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez respectively, so he has lost much of his momentum.
That appears to be Mayweather's line of thinking based on what he told Larry King during a recent interview. According to King's Twitter account, Mayweather told him that Pacquiao is "still asleep," which is in reference to Marquez's devastating knockout of Pac-Man in December of last year.
Pac-Man has already signed on to fight Brandon Rios in Macau, China in November, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. Mayweather will likely agree to fight someone like Amir Khan, Danny Garcia or Devon Alexander well before Pacquiao's next fight happens, so it is a vicious circle that won't allow Mayweather and Pacquiao to sync up.
Mike Koncz told me Pacquiao-Rios is good to go for Nov. 24 in Macau. #boxing— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 6, 2013
There are simply too many factors working against Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and not enough reasons for either man to take the fight. It would probably behoove Pacquiao to make the fight happen more so than Mayweather since Pac-Man appears to be on the down slope of his career and is seeking redemption, but even he established himself as a great fighter a long time ago.
As much as boxing fans would love to see Mayweather and Pacquiao duke it out, they don't have to prove anything to anyone. They are two of the best fighters of their generation and stand to make big money regardless of who they fight.
In a perfect world they would settle their differences and come to some sort of agreement, but the circumstances surrounding them are imperfect to say the least. There was a time when nothing but a couple big egos were stopping the fight from happening, but now it is much more complicated than that.
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