Stop us if you've heard this one before.
There are these two fighters, you see, and they’re both in the upper echelon of the same weight class and considered among the best in the world regardless of what the scale reads.
They’ve somehow never managed to face each other in spite of spending most of the last five years sharing full-time, championship belt-wearing status in the 147-pound division.
Every time anyone recognizable so much as implies that they’ll one day meet, the boxing world reacts with a collective screeching giddiness that’s usually heard only within earshot of a One Direction concert venue.
And unless you’ve been voluntarily camping under a rock, you know it’s happening again.
Fight-centric scribes from such varied publications as the Los Angeles Times and Manila Standard have referenced recent quantum leaps toward getting the fight made, a departure from an endless series of fits and starts in the last half-decade—during which the would-be match has seemingly been derailed by everything from needle pricks to purse splits to which side would get the locker room closest to the concession stand.
It’s been enough to buckle the knees of even the hardest-boiled cynic.
Yahoo's Kevin Iole reported Tuesday that Manny Pacquiao's camp has agreed to a potential May 2 bout with Floyd Mayweather, according to promoter Bob Arum:
So while the frequency of suggestion that Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao are on the verge of major announcements has certainly increased, the optimism has multiplied this time, less because of the number of people talking about it and more due to the quality of what they’re saying.
It’s one thing if a blogger claims insider knowledge from the comfort of mom’s basement or if a promoter with a flagging product decides to drop a name in the hopes it’ll generate interest.
It’s quite another if folks who do it for a living inspire more confidence than they ever have before.
Toward that end, no less an authority than the Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire—whose name consistently dots press releases announcing awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America—reported Friday that a high-placed source said the camps had negotiated their way past the drug-testing obstacle and were making progress on money while their rival cable networks made headway on a joint broadcast plan.
The same source, Pugmire claimed, said that the two camps have agreed to the site—the MGM Grand in Las Vegas—and that they've whittled down a prospective date to sometime in May or June.
It’s the longest stretch of unfettered promise that the camps are actually working toward making a deal.
When pieced together with Mayweather’s summertime hint of a big 2015 surprise and his on-camera “If the Pacquiao fight presents itself, let's make it happen” remark in September, it’s enough to tip the scales from “we’ve heard it all before” suspicion to “honey, book the airfare” frivolity.
Of course, this being boxing—and, specifically, Mayweather—sinkholes could still emerge if Floyd gets out of bed one day bent on going diva with a sudden list of new demands.
But if Pugmire’s confidant is correct that a press conference could arrive within as little time as a week, his window for would-be avoidance is closing faster than doors at his mansion when Oscar De La Hoya comes trick-or-treating.
And by the time Dan Rafael starts belting out “What Makes You Beautiful,” it’ll already be too late.