Manny Pacquiao's victory over Timothy Bradley on Saturday night in Las Vegas preserves the allure of a potential superfight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. but also decreases the likelihood of "Money" putting his undefeated record and legacy on the line for the sole purpose of giving the fans what they want.
At this stage of his career, Mayweather has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
The majority opinion at this point appears to be that if it was going to happen, it would have already took place by now. Plus, the 37-year-old Mayweather's 46th professional bout is scheduled for next month. And with Pacquiao set to turn 36 in December, there's a good chance the fight wouldn't live up to expectations.
Just six months ago, Pac-Man was in the midst of a two-fight skid and was being doubted by many. The demand for a megafight then was lower than ever before, with many calling for Pacquiao to retire from the sport. However, after picking up his second win in less than five months, the veteran southpaw has revived the superfight talk, is boxing with immense confidence and has proven he still has some left in the tank.
That confidence was on display in his win over Bradley, which helps to diminish the legitimacy of his loss to Desert Storm in their first meeting. With back-to-back wins under his belt, which include handing Bradley the first loss of his professional career, Pacquiao has demanded our attention and reemerged as a top pound-for-pound contender.
Before Pacquiao's triumph over Bradley, FightNights.com on Twitter proposed a very possible scenario:
If Pacquiao beats Bradley, then goes on to fight and beat Marquez, is a 2015 Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown even bigger than it was in 2010?— FightNights.com™ (@boxing) April 5, 2014
But prior to Pacquiao's bout with Bradley, Mayweather talked about the importance of staying focused on himself and the next task at hand, which is his May 3 showdown with Marcos Maidana, per MLive.com's David Mayo:
"I try to focus on just Floyd, I don't try to focus on nobody else...I feel people tend to stumble, trip and make a lot of mistakes when they tend to worry about other things instead of focusing on themselves."
Until Mayweather gets past Maidana, it's unlikely we'll be able to get an accurate read on the true likelihood of a superfight.
Still, with Pacquiao avenging the controversial loss that knocked him from the top of the boxing mountain, the potential for a superfight against Mayweather remains very much alive, certainly more so than it was a year ago.
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