A one-year hiatus couldn't keep Floyd Mayweather Jr. from dominating his recent fight with Robert Guerrero. Since he is clearly in top form, the most significant next step he could make in the twilight of his career would be to finally make the fantastical showdown between him and Manny Pacquiao a reality.
Mayweather argues that the fight would not hold any weight, given the fact that Pacman lost his two most recent bouts. He expressed that sentiment in an interview with Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post:
[A fight with Pacquiao] no longer holds weight. That's not my focus. My focus is myself. Like I said before, I mean it's just basic common sense. Why am I fighting a guy that just took two losses?
While it may not seem all that appealing to Mayweather, it would still likely be the biggest possible draw.
That is necessary to appease Showtime, who signed Mayweather to a six-fight contract but may fall well short of their targeted revenue from the Mayweather-Guerrero clash, as ESPN's Dan Rafael points out:
If Mayweather PPV indeed does under 1M that will mean heavy $$ losses for Showtime. My sources tell me break even was about 1.1 or 1.2M buys— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 7, 2013
There has yet to be any finality to those numbers, but the projections aren't a good sign.
Should Floyd Mayweather fight Manny Pacquiao?
If Mayweather really wanted to boost his brand, he would take on the bout with Pacquiao without hesitating. If that exterior superiority complex he flexes to the press truly is how he feels, then why would he feel too above Pacquiao to entertain the idea of fighting him?
A prospective encounter with Pacquiao would occur at an ideal juncture for Showtime and especially for Mayweather if it were next or in the very near future, given the technical prowess he showed against Guerrero.
In keeping his record unblemished at 44-0 last Saturday in Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, all three judges scored the fight 117-111 in Mayweather's favor—a unanimous decision against the clearly outmatched Guerrero.
It's pretty clear that Mayweather is currently the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and given Pacquiao's knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez—whom Mayweather beat handily—it makes sense that his already-innate confidence is sky high.
If Mayweather waits too long to take on Pacquiao and the southpaw ultimately returns to form, though, it may be too late in Mayweather's career to take him on should the buzz continually increase for them to take the ring together.
That could wind up being the first and likely only dent in Mayweather's planned slate of 50 fights.
With only five more opportunities to cement his legacy, it is critical that Mayweather tackles this challenge. If he does so successfully—no matter what type of shape Pacquiao is in—it will silence any of his detractors and only grow his legend.
But that legacy will always be at least partially incomplete if Mayweather doesn't actively seek out a fighter in Pacquiao he seems to dismiss and implies he can easily conquer.