When Floyd Mayweather recently promised a "big surprise" for May 2015, which he would announce after his September rematch with Marcos Maidana, a lot of minds went to the same place. Would Mayweather finally fight Manny Pacquiao? Is boxing's long-destructive Cold War finally coming to a true end, with Mayweather dealing with Top Rank to make boxing's biggest money fight?
Maybe. Maybe not. Ivan G. Goldman of BoxingInsider.com says that according to a source, Floyd Mayweather Sr, Floyd's trainer and a trusted adviser, says that's currently the plan. But as Mr. Goldman says, Mayweather Sr isn't exactly the most reliable source, as he says lots of things.
The source, who's both a manager and trainer and quite knowledgeable, said Floyd Senior made the remark about Pacquiao as they discussed other matters. He wasn't absolutely sure that Daddy Floyd wanted his comments repeated so he asked me not to identify him. He's known the father for many years. Floyd Senior, he said, wants the fight to cement his son's legacy and bring in what would certainly be the biggest haul in boxing history. The source wasn't absolutely certain when they spoke two weeks ago that the entire team was in agreement on a Pacquiao fight.
"I thought at the time that maybe the dad was just saying that because he was trying to motivate the fight." Just the fact that the father is pushing for the fight is significant, but the source said that since then he's seen other indications that the rest of the team is on board.
Mayweather (46-0, 26 KO) is still boxing's richest star attraction, making major money even though pay-per-view returns for two of his last three fights have not been up to snuff in bouts with Robert Guerrero and Marcos Maidana. A rematch with Maidana is being promoted more aggressively, but will it hit a million buys? Was the first fight good enough to sell the rematch to more fans?
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) has also seen his pay-per-view star fade, doing rocky numbers with Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley in his last two outings. A November 22 fight with Chris Algieri is also not expected to be a big hit.
Where else can these two aging superstars find the sort of money this fight brings? That has been true for years, but before now, both Mayweather and Pacquiao could sell a million pay-per-views every time out. That is no longer the case. Opportunities are fading. And with Richard Schafer, who flat-out refused to work with Top Rank, now out of the picture at Golden Boy and Showtime, the fight may be more doable now than it has been at least since 2010.
That said, no, this is not reason to expect this fight. Another floating idea is a Mayweather rematch with Miguel Cotto, and yet another is a rematch with Canelo Alvarez. Both would be big fights, and in theory a lot easier to make happen than the Pacquiao bout.
Maybe, though, as Floyd and Manny get closer and closer to the end of their incredible, Hall of Fame-bound careers, they want to make this fight happen, for whatever it's still worth to their legacies and their bank accounts.
It's a spark you might not have wanted if you're as sick as many are of even entertaining these thoughts, but it's out there.