Eager anticipation surrounds the boxing world as Manny Pacquiao is set to fight Brandon Rios on Nov. 23 in Macau, China. After the bout, both he and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be looking for a fight in 2014. While it’s been long thought that a bout between the two wouldn't happen, some close to the situation think it could eventually happen.
"I still have hope,” Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said, via espn.co.uk. “Mayweather's in the same position [Pacquiao] is. You've only got eight fighters in the world that can sell on pay-per-view and make money. That's why I give it a shot."
Mayweather is coming off his fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, which broke records for Pay-Per-view revenue. Two months after the win, he doesn’t know who his next opponent will be, even though he’s committed to fighting in both May and September of next year. When Pacquiao steps in the ring with Rios, it will be his first fight in almost a year.
The two camps had tried to work out a deal for a fight a few years ago, but plans were derailed by disagreements over blood testing. Since then, Pacquiao has said he would comply with Mayweather’s drug testing and purse-split demands. However, Pacquiao’s recent performance has made the undefeated boxer look at other options.
Pacquiao must beat Rios, and possibly another top boxer, before Mayweather would consider fighting him. It’s been two years since Pac-Man has gotten a victory, and some say that there are signs that his skills are eroding. His June 2012 loss to Timothy Bradley was a highly controversial decision that should’ve been awarded to the 34-year-old, but he was knocked out last December by Juan Manuel Marquez.
Roach believes the fight might eventually happen because it’s been talked about for so long and fans want to see it so badly. If the bout isn’t schedule in the near future, though, it could be a letdown, compared to what might have been.
"Every big fight that was supposed to happen in boxing happens somewhere along the way, I just hope this one isn't going to happen too late when they're both washed up and not the same," Roach said. "Then they're just doing it for the money, anyway.”