Floyd Mayweather moved his career record to 46-0 with a tough majority-decision victory over hard-hitting Marcos Maidana on Saturday. Even though his latest triumph is sure to spark further conversation about Manny Pacquiao, boxing fans shouldn't expect the superfight to happen.
Talk of a clash between Mayweather and Pacquiao started to heat up again after "Pac-Man" avenged a prior defeat to Timothy Bradley. It was the second straight comprehensive effort from the eight-division world champion, who previously knocked off Brandon Rios.
The superfight had faded a bit after Pacquiao dropped back-to-back fights against Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, which took Mayweather out of the equation for awhile. That's changed now that he's back on track and once again looking like one of the top boxers on the planet.
Unfortunately for boxing fans, while the talk of seeing the two biggest names in the sport right now face off has returned, the likelihood of it actually happening hasn't increased. It will remain a long shot until talk between the sides turns positive, which may never happen.
Immediately after Pacquiao defeated Bradley, the focus shifted to Mayweather. It shouldn't have been that way because it was actually a solid bout, but the attention always goes to the next big thing.
Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports passed along comments from Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who explained the only way he thought it would be possible for the superfight to happen:
The only people that can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public, if they boycott the nonsense on May 3.
That's what the public should do. [If the media] want that fight, tell the public not to buy pay-per-view and not to buy tickets. There is no other [strategy]. We are prepared tomorrow to sit down at a table with his people … to work out the conditions for the fight.
Arum was, of course, referring to Mayweather's fight against Maidana. He was also talking from a position of strength since his pay-per-view had just come to an end, making it easier to call for a boycott of a card.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions didn't take kindly to those remarks. Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times provided his response, in which he states he doesn't think Pacquiao is serious about making a fight happen:
He sure knows how to get something done: by telling people to boycott Floyd's fight, calling it a terrible matchup. Is that how you negotiate or create goodwill? It doesn't make me want to say things that would leave hope for that fight, because I don't believe he wants the fight. This is how you do things when you don't want to get things done.
So I'm not going to lead fans down that pipe dream.
These type of verbal exchanges through the media have become commonplace between the two sides every time the topic of a superfight has come up in recent years. In the end, both sides declare victory, and no progress is made toward an agreement.
There's no reason to believe things will be different this time around. At least not yet. Maybe things will change after the sides explore the landscape and see the number of possible bouts that would generate major hype is extremely limited.
A match between Mayweather and Pacquiao probably wouldn't create the same type of buzz it would have a couple of years ago, but it would still be a huge draw for boxing. And the longer they wait, the less appeal it's going to have to the mainstream fans the sport covets.
As much sense as it makes on paper, it's still unlikely to become reality anytime soon.