Manny Pacquiao reportedly wants a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2016 after losing by unanimous decision in their first meeting, which failed to live up to the massive hype, back in May.
Pacquiao still isn't happy with how that bout played out. He believes his more aggressive style earned him the victory, stating Mayweather "was running away all the time." But he's open to another clash, according to Joe Koizumi of Fight News.
"I'd like to concentrate my efforts on working as a politician this year, and want to fight Mayweather in a rematch," he said. "I'll be ready for that mentally and physically next year. I'll show a better performance against him than in the first encounter."
Reports emerged after the loss to Money that the Filipino superstar had battled through a shoulder injury, which impacted his performance. He noted in the Fight News interview that he now has his full range of motion back and it's no longer an issue.
That said, it's very much up in the air whether he'll get another shot at Mayweather.
The undefeated (48-0, 26 KO) American originally said he'd be open to a rematch. After the dust settled a few days after the fight, however, he changed his mind. He told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times that the outlook was altered because Pac-Man was a "sore loser" and "coward."
One other issue would be fan interest. The first deal happened—after years of verbal warfare between the camps—because a huge amount of money was on the table. It's unclear if they could come anywhere near the projected $500 million in revenue again after the first encounter was a dud.
Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden discussed a potential fight and why it's likely to happen:
Just wait until early 2016, when Manny tells you how healthy he is. Wait to see that video of him in the gym hitting pads, to hear the pop of fists on bag. Trainer Freddie Roach is going to tell you Manny Pacquiao is better than he’s been in years. This time, he'll say, they won't be limited in training camp. This time we'll see the whirling dervish the world has come to love.
Not everyone will buy that particular fairy tale. Some are natural skeptics; others have been around the fight game long enough to recognize a fighter in decline. But enough people will take the bait to make the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather rematch a big deal.
Mayweather has also talked about retiring following his next fight against Andre Berto in September. It's hard to believe he would end his career after such a nondescript bout, but so far, he hasn't wavered from that stance.
There are a lot of moving pieces that make it unlikely Pacquiao and Mayweather will meet again. If they do, hopefully it's a lot more entertaining than it was the first time around.