Manny Pacquiao didn’t do much to challenge Floyd Mayweather’s unbeaten record, but days after the mega-fight there is already talk of the two boxers meeting one more time. While it took more than five years for the best boxers of their generation to finally face off, a rematch appears to be a distinct possibility.
Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in their May 2 fight at the MGM Grand in a one-sided contest, and he’s told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that he’d be willing to fight the 36-year-old again in a year. Pacquiao underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn rotator cuff, and there are questions surrounding how much the injury affected his chances of upsetting the world’s top pound-for-pound boxer.
The public isn’t exactly clamoring to see Mayweather-Pacquiao II. Fans and even some former boxers criticized the bout for being “boring,” as Mayweather won in typical and methodical fashion, using his defensive prowess to avoid more than a few significant blows. Pacquiao landed just 19 percent of his attempted punches, and Mayweather’s 34 percent connect rate was lower than usual.
Even though Pacquiao might not have been at full strength, Mayweather has clearly cemented his legacy as the top fighter of his generation. Still, the money might be too good for both sides to turn down a second fight in 2016.
The final numbers aren’t in, but the May 2 fight generated record-setting revenue. The pay-per-view reportedly did more than 3 million buys, and total revenue likely approached $400 million. Mayweather and Pacquiao could end up splitting more than $300 million for their efforts, with the winner getting a 60 percent share of the purse.
It’s hard to imagine a rematch selling as many PPV buys or making the boxers just as much money, but Mayweather-Pacquiao II would still give the fighters a payday significantly higher than if they were to face any other opponent.
Mayweather flashed a check of $100 million after the mega-fight, which he was given even before the final PPV revenue. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao would get $50 million no matter the PPV numbers. By comparison, Mayweather was guaranteed $32 million for his previous bout, while Pacquiao’s guaranteed purse was reportedly $23 million.
There are no marquee names that either Pacquiao or Mayweather could fight that would make for a bout nearly as big as a potential rematch. Amir Khan is a potential opponent for both, but a PPV pitting Khan against Mayweather or Pacquiao could have trouble reaching 1 million buys. Canelo Alvarez could look to fight Pacquiao, though he’s already been defeated handily by Mayweather.
Miguel Cotto and Danny Garcia are among the biggest names in the sport, and both have been mentioned as opponents for Mayweather and Pacquiao. But neither boxer is a welterweight, making potential fights unlikely.
Mayweather has stated his intention to retire after he fights again in September, but finishing off his career against Pacquiao in 2016 makes a lot of sense. Doing so could help him get to 50-0, surpassing Rocky Marciano’s iconic unbeaten record.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao didn’t go as many fans expected, but the public tends to have a short memory. The rematch wouldn’t be for another year, and plenty of people that said they wouldn’t pay to see the bout again would likely watch a second meeting between the two superstar welterweights.