It took almost a decade to actually get Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao into a ring together the first time, and now a rematch might come almost on a whim.
Word is that the fight, if finalized, would take place December 1 or December 8 in Las Vegas, and that the fight could be finalized as soon as this week.
Mayweather (50-0, 27 KO) hasn’t had a legitimate boxing match in three years, since beating Andre Berto in September 2015, the fight that somewhat quietly followed his mega-bout with Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KO) in May of that year. Floyd last fought in August 2017, beating Conor McGregor in a huge spectacle that you can take seriously as a competition if you’d like.
Mayweather, 41, and Pacquiao, who turns 40 in December, set the pay-per-view mark with 4.6 million buys for their hugely anticipated showdown a few years ago. Expectations should obviously not be that high for a rematch — first of all, the fight they had disappointed a lot of those millions of more casual fight fans who bought into the hype, and second of all, this is three more years down the road, and they’re even further past their primes now.
But it will do business, and they will make money. Mayweather and Pacquiao are still pretty easily the two biggest mainstream names in the welterweight division and perhaps in the sport overall, and Mayweather fighting is going to be an event no matter what. He proved that with McGregor, a fight most of the boxing media looked at as a joke or a stunt, and then sold 4.4 million on pay-per-view, probably largely out of pure curiosity and the chance to see something different, which Mayweather-Pacquiao II is not.
Anyway, if it’s going to happen, let it happen now. Pacquiao looked sharp and strong and somewhat rejuvenated in thrashing Lucas Matthysse in July, a year after he looked a little worn in a controversial loss to Jeff Horn. There’s not going to be a better time for Mayweather-Pacquiao II, and while you could argue the best time for the rematch would be “never,” if they’re going to do it, I say let’s do it now.