Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao: Will the Desired Fight Happen This Year?

Leo ReyesAnalyst IFebruary 28, 2011

Manny Pacquiao
Manny PacquiaoTom Pennington/Getty Images

In recent days, Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s uncles Jeff and Roger Mayweather, who form part of his fighting team, have been issuing statements which may be construed as a prelude to a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather clash before the year is over.

In addition to the usual venomous statements about Manny Pacquiao's alleged use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), Roger and Jeff, who were both professional boxers in their prime years, have been sending signals about Floyd's immediate fight plans.

In a report by Percy Crawford of Fighthype.com, Floyd's uncle Jeff said he's been talking to Floyd and that there is a possibility of a fight. He said he knows Floyd has been talking to the daughter of Africa's famous ex-president Nelson Mandela, who is an avid boxing fan, about a possible fight in South Africa.

It may be recalled that Floyd was considering fighting Paul Spadafora, who was rumored to have beaten Floyd badly in a recent sparring session.

In 2004, Mayweather was set to fight Spadafora at Madison Square Garden in New York, but the fight did not push through on objections by the New York State Athletic Commission as Spadafora had no license to fight in the state.

At that time, Spadafora was awaiting trial, stemming from the Oct. 26 shooting of his girlfriend in suburban Pittsburgh.

My guess is Mayweather is again eying a fight with Spadafora, which could take place in South Africa, a venue that was mentioned by Jeff Mayweather. It could be held this May and will serve as Floyd's tune-up match for his most awaited fight with pound-for-pound king Pacquiao.

"Having just turned 34, you can be certain Floyd is plotting a way to regain his lost status as a boxing icon. He and his team of advisors want back into the money-making business, however it appears HBO is adamantly against televising Floyd against any more of disadvantaged handpicked opponents," said Scoop Malinoski of boxinginsider.com

Scoop thinks Mayweather's team will try something that they will sell to HBO and the public, and the way to do it would be to stage the fight in South Africa, whose ex-leader Nelson Mandela is celebrating his 92nd birthday this year.

Obviously the event will be a worldwide media hit, given Mandela's worldwide popularity, but Scoop is doubtful Mandela would allow himself to be used.

Scoop has other theories including those related to the choice of opponents, and they sound real and worth looking into.

Still, Mayweather will have to sort out his legal problems even as he prepares for a tune-up fight in the next few months.

Boxing fans are saying the undefeated boxer stands to lose his second spot in the Ring's top 10 pound-for-pound list if he fails to fight in three months. If this happens, he will lose a lot of credibility and risk his name being taken out of the list for good.

With the recent pronouncements coming from Floyd and his team, a year-end fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. may not be a remote possibility.