(Mayweather photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images, Pacquiao photo by Al Bello / Getty Images)
With the rollercoaster that these negotiations have taken us all on over the past month or so, many people here and elsewhere online have expressed the feeling that all of this is nothing more than jive meant to hype the fight, and that they still expect everything to go ahead as previously planned for March 13.
There are a lot of good reasons to expect this. First and foremost, this is boxing, where pro wrestling-like salesmanship and marketing comes up very frequently, and Mayweather is especially good at selling fights in that way. It's no knock at all. I mean that as a compliment.
Could it all be gamesmanship? It certainly could. I hope it is, because this is a fight that can't be replaced properly, simply because no other fight for either man is this good, this desired, or this intriguing. One of my favorite things about boxing that has kept me coming back is that rush you get just as a fan with the big fight atmosphere. For my money, there's no better moment in sports than those last few moments before the bell sounds to begin round one of a major boxing fight. Nothing is even close for me.
And thinking about Mayweather and Pacquiao staring each other down at center ring is really something amazing in my mind's eye.
Anyway, let's poll it up. Do you think this fight will happen as planned, later this year, further down the road, or never?