Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao: It Has To Happen Now!

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2010

LAS VEGAS - MAY 01:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. smiles from his corner during a round break during his fight against Shane Mosley during the welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Tonight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. held serve. It's taken five months but we're now back to square one in the chess game that is the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight negotiations. 

The question is whether anyone thought it would end differently. I sure didn't.

That's not to say there wasn't a small surprise in the Mayweather-Mosley bout that we all just watched. Mosley definitely rocked Money May in the second round a couple of times.

But for those people who have questioned Floyd, Jr.'s fortitude, the second round showed what those of us who saw his two fights with Jose Louis Castillo already knew. Floyd is tough, has a good chin and learns from his mistakes. 

By the third round Money had recovered physically, tightened up his defense and started landing punches with the precision of a top surgeon. After that it was just a matter of whether would win nine or ten rounds out of twelve on the judges scorecards. 

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a very, very good fighter. 

But this was not a very good fight. Then again, no one I talked to before the bout thought it would be. 

The fact is, there is really only one fight out there. Only one fight we all want to see.

And that's the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao showdown.

Personally, I've had my doubts about the fight coming off but I'm starting to think that it will indeed happen. Right around November. Probably November 13.

Here's why. 

For all of his boasting, Floyd knows he needs a big fight to cement his legacy. He may have hoped that a win over Mosley would be that fight. Unfortunately, Floyd won so easily that even the HBO broadcast team was questioning whether he was too old and had been out of the ring too long to take on a fighter in his prime like PBF.

What they didn't discuss was whether Sugar Shane got off the juice and wasn't the same fighter as when he beat Oscar De La Hoya on steroids and EPO. But a lot of people will question whether Shane was ever a legit fighter or just the second coming of Marion Jones. 

Either way, it wasn't the kind of epic fight that Floyd needs to cement his legacy. 

There are fighters other than Manny who might be able to give Floyd that fight. Paul Williams with his thousands of punches would probably be an entertaining fight, Sergio Martinez is a tough guy, and there are several talented young fighters who might rise up some night and give Floyd all he can handle.

But those are risky fights with little reward. None of those boxers will bring the kind of money and instant respect that a legacy fighter like PBF wants from a bout.

Manny is the only one out there who can provide that kind of big reward for Floyd while bringing in the kind of money that makes the risk worthwhile.

And while Manny Pacquiao is no doubt the most popular person in the Philippines, he's going to lose his second election in as many tries on May 10. Rumor has it he's spent a good portion of his own money for the right to do lose for the second time.

That means Manny is going to have something to prove later in the year as well. That he doesn't need the Philippines the way they need him. 

Finally, the powers that be at HBO know that if boxing is going to stay vital they need a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. And HBO needs boxing to do well.

If you haven't been keeping up with HBO recently other than boxing here's a small bit of news. David Simon's Treme just got picked up for a second season after debuting for the season with a little over a million viewers. 

They are still deciding whether to pick up How To Make it In America after that series averaged around 600 million viewers a week.

As a comparison, Manny's 700,000 PPV buys was considered a disappointment and if Mayweather-Mosley only does slightly better than 1 mil it will be considered a slight disappointment as well. Those are PPV numbers!

If it weren't for boxing and it's attendant 24/7 series, HBO would be in big trouble right now. 

That means HBO will be putting a lot of pressure on the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps to get their fighters to sign for this fight. And do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Here's how I think it will go down.

First off, the Nevada board will propose mandatory blood testing starting in the fall. This will allow both the Mayweather and Pacquiao Camps to claim victory in the battle over drug testing. 

Manny's people will say they are following the boxing commission rather than bowing to Floyd and Floyd will be able to say he helped clean up boxing. 

Next they will find some sort of creative way to get the fighters to a 50-50 split. This will probably include the promoters taking a little less so both camps can claim victory. 

Finally, the Pacquiao camp will hold out the site of the fight as a bargaining chip to close final negotiations. They know Floyd won't fight anywhere but Vegas because of the Xylocaine issue, but they felt like they gave this up too early last time and got suckered on the drug testing issue.

This time they'll leave it hanging on the table to make sure the negotiations close. Look for tough negotiations followed by quick capitulation around the middle of July. 

Then the circus will start in August with a multi-city promotion followed by the biggest PPV bout of all time. Richard Schaefer won't be taking out of his neck the next time he predicts 4 million buys. 

It might just happen.