Pacquiao vs. Mayweather rematch in the offing?

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

 

REPORTS are circulating in boxing world anent the welterweight rematch between Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Paquiao versus the undefeated American pugilist Floyd “The Money” Mayweather.

Unlike the first proposal when Pacman asked a return bout few months after his unanimous decision loss to the flambouyant ring warrior Mayweather which the latter turned down, surprisingly it’s now Mayweather himself asking a rematch, if possible, within the year. Unfortunately, as of this writing, Pacman is still tight-lipped about the idea and I guess his mind is more focused on the proposed non-title battle against the Mexican-American prized fighter, the young Ryan Garcia, 22, this coming April.

After seizing the World Boxing Association {WBA} welterweight belt from Argentinian Lucas Matthysse on July 15, 2018 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via knockout in the seventh round, and after he successfully defended his title against Adrien Broner on January 19, 2019 via unanimous decision and the unbeaten Keith Thurman (29-0) via split decision on July 20, 2019 both held at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the WBA stripped Pacman’s welterweight title due to his inactivity for one-and-a-half years, which is what the rule says.

Yet, unlike his fight against Broner, the Pacquiao-Thurman title fight from the very first round up to the final bell in the 12th was intense. The 40 years-old Pacman scored a knockdown late in the very first round and eventually persevered up to the last canto. That was the only knockdown of the fight which two of the three ring judges scored 115-112 for Pacman while the third judge scored it 114-113 for Thurman. I believe sans that knockdown by Pacman, the score would have been different, or at the least could have ended up in a split draw verdict. That victory of Pacman acclaimed him today as the oldest welterweight boxer to win a major world title in boxing history.

And now Mayweather is ringing the bell on Pacman’s ears to duel again with or without a belt at stake. This happened after Mayweather’s exhibition fight against Logan Paul this coming February 20 was postponed. Mayweather apparently was apprehensive about the limited number of pay-per-view purchases and deficiency of spectators in attendance at the venue due to COVID-19 constraint, so the bout will likely be shelved. And the way I see it, the coming Pacquiao vs. Garcia tentatively slated this coming April will also be called off for the same reason. We all know that any boxer as colorful as Mayweather and Pacman will bring a lot of interests and eyeballs among the promoters and audiences and, therefore, sellable. I believe that if the idea pushes through, it will be another blockbuster event despite their being in their 40ish years. Mayweather will turn 44 this coming February 24 while Pacman is 42. Their first confrontation was a bit anti-climactic. Very little action because Pacman had shoulder injury as alibi (true or not but many did not buy it), so Mayweather emerged as the winner by unanimous decision. But that’s water under the bridge now. And the question now is: do you think the plan will push through? My answer is, yes, despite the pandemic.

“In every problem, there’s a solution,” as the saying goes and the veteran promoters won’t bite the project if they don’t know the remedy for that.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: DEUTERONOMY 28: 15

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