With Floyd Mayweather Jr. calling Manny Pacquiao a punk on Twitter and challenging him to a showdown on May 5 it looks like a bout between the two is as close as ever. However, there are many skeptical fans who feel Mayweather’s challenge has been issued because he knows there’s no way a fight can be arranged for that date.
The 34-year-old Mayweather (42-0, 26 Kos) conveniently waited until Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum had announced that the WBO welterweight champion’s next bout would be on June 9 or 16 against either Lamont Peterson, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley or Miguel Cotto. Mayweather, the WBC welterweight king, also knows the MGM Garden in Las Vegas, where he’s scheduled to fight in May, is too small a venue to hold a fight between the top two pound-for-pound boxers in the world. This is a fight that could easily sell 50,000 tickets or more.
However, the 33-year-old Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 Kos) called his bluff by accepting the challenge, but there are many obstacles that need to be worked out for the fight to take place. One of the major issues of course is money. Arum will guarantee Pacquiao’s purse, but Mayweather needs somebody to guarantee his. It’s expected that both men will be looking for paydays of between $50 and $60 million and will share broadcasting revenue 50-50. Also, Arum said he’d want the fight to be held in late May at a temporary venue to be built in Las Vegas.
Mayweather had his jail sentence postponed by a judge in early January though, based in the fact he was fighting on May 5. He’s now scheduled to show up to jail on June 1 to serve his 90-day sentence. Constructing a venue in Vegas will also cost millions and doesn’t make sense when you consider the fight could be held at an existing arena anywhere in the U.S. or the world for that matter.
It seems that Mayweather may have known there are too many issues to hold the fight, but he may have put his foot in his mouth if all of the logistics can be worked out. It’d be hard for him to back out in that case. There’s no need to back out though anyway as he’d probably go into a fight with Pacquiao as the slight favorite.
Arum said if the fight with Mayweather doesn’t come off then Pacquiao will go ahead with his previous plans, which would likely be a June 9 date. However, you can probably strike Lamont Peterson’s name off of the list of potential opponents since the WBA has ordered a rematch between him and Amir Khan after several irregularities during their fight in December, which Peterson won by controversial split decision.
A mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather could still take place in May, but don’t count on it until a few more details have been ironed out. On the bright side, this is as close as the two have ever come to an agreement on a potential bout.