Are we seriously going back to this? Why can't we just get past the idea of a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight happening in our lifetimes?
Of course, it doesn't help when we can't go a few weeks without hearing somebody drone on about how if X, Y, Z happens, then maybe the fight's on.
In the buildup to Pac-Man's bout with Brandon Rios, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum went on the record with Australia's 1116 SEN Radio to stoke the dying embers of what is the greatest fight you'll never see: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather (via Ronnie Nathanielsz of BoxingScene.com):
Arum said, “The only major impediment is that Mayweather now fights for Showtime and Manny for HBO” but cited precedent “when they had the same situation years ago where Lennox Lewis was an HBO fighter and Mike Tyson fought for Showtime.”
He noted that the two networks “came together and shared responsibilities of promoting the pay-per-view and it worked out really well.”
Arum feels that “if Manny demonstrates that he’s back and there’s a public outcry, we should be able to get it done.”
From a fan's perspective, what's the point in shelling out $75 to watch two guys in a fight that's way past its sell-by date? You might as well just take $10 and watch Grudge Match. It's pretty much going to be the same thing.
People that would inevitably complain about how a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight never happened automatically assumed it would be amazing. Why wouldn't it be awesome? You've got two of the best fighters of their generation facing off.
You know, just how the fourth season of Arrested Development was going to be amazing.
Superfights in boxing after about the late 1980s almost never live up to the hype. Usually one guy is so much better than the other that things become one-sided very early.
There was a time when Pacquiao-Mayweather would have been a great spectacle, but unfortunately, that time has passed.
If you're Pacquiao, you should have little interest in this fight. You're only setting yourself up to fail.
Pac-Man is on the downward trajectory of his career. Sure it was just one punch that made the difference against Juan Manuel Marquez, and Pacquiao was likely robbed by the judges. But there's no getting around that the 34-year-old isn't the same fighter he was a couple of years ago. He's slower, and his punches lack the same kind of power he had in his late 20s.
Meanwhile, Mayweather has looked great in his return. You can discount the victory of Robert Guerrero, because that was just a tune-up for the bout with Canelo Alvarez, which Money dominated. He's shown few signs of decline.
Should he face Pac-Man, Mayweather would continue relying on his supreme defensive skills and suck all the air out of the fight, winning on a majority or unanimous decision.
It's interesting that Arum draws the parallel to Lewis-Tyson. That was one of the last real dream fights in the heavyweight division. For one reason or another, it never happened until 2002.
The event did draw a ton of money—$106.9 million on 1.95 million buys in the United States—but it was a terrible fight. Tyson was years past his prime, and Lewis thoroughly outclassed him before knocking him out in the eighth round.
Sure, Tyson got a nice payday, but his legacy took a major hit, as he chose to "fade into Bolivian."
Pac-Man should think about that when he decides whether or not fighting Money May is the best thing to do. Why have one of the lasting images on your career be a defeat to one of your biggest rivals?
At this point in his career, Pacquiao has made enough money that he doesn't need to take fights just to pad his pockets. His legacy is secured, even without a fight against Mayweather.
He'd be wise to take a look at the whole situation and realize that sometimes you're better off leaving questions unanswered.