Manny Pacquiao couldn’t stay retired for long, and he might not be ready to call it quits until he gets a second chance at Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao will return for a fight on Nov. 5 against another opponent, but he’s hoping it leads to a rematch against the undefeated boxer.
With Mayweather committed to his retirement at the moment, Pacquiao is expected to face either Jessie Vargas or Terence Crawford in the fall. His ultimate goal, however, is getting revenge against Mayweather, who beat him by unanimous decision in the most profitable fight of all time.
"That's probably the only reason that we're staying in the game, because we do want a rematch with Mayweather and we would like to get that," trainer Freddie Roach told On the Ropes Radio.
Roach said Mayweather has been to his gym a couple of times since he last fought. The former welterweight champion retired after defeating Andre Berto by unanimous decision last September to improve his career record to 49-0.
Much of the boxing world expected the retirements of Mayweather and Pacquiao to be short-lived, and the Filipino Senator didn’t even step away from the sport for four months before deciding to return. Mayweather has publicly flirted with the idea of getting back in the ring, but he’s said it would have to be against the right opponent, one that would guarantee him a nine-figure payday.
"Mayweather told me he hasn't trained a day since he retired and I said, 'Hey, I thought you were a gym rat, you're always in the gym?' and he said, 'I haven't worked out a day since I retired.' I told him, 'There's still some big fights out there for you.' I didn't ask him about Manny at all but I don't know the real reason why he's coming by to visit. He doesn't want me to be his trainer I don't think, but I thought maybe it was for him and Manny to get together one more time," said Roach.
"I know Manny wants the rematch really bad, Manny thought he won the first fight and if you look at it with no commentating, you watch and see him landing more punches. I still was a little disappointed in Manny's performance but now he's one hundred percent and I think at one hundred percent, he will destroy him."
Roach’s assessment of the mega-fight on May 2, 2015 doesn’t correlate with the statistics, which state that Pacquiao landed just 81 punches to Mayweather’s 148. Pacquiao was hampered by a shoulder injury, forcing him to undergo surgery just days later that kept him out of the ring for almost a year. Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision on April 9.
Pacquiao is likely on the short list of names that Mayweather would consider coming back to fight. But a rematch couldn’t happen until 2017, and it would likely be contingent upon Pacquiao winning his next fight, which is no guarantee. If Pacquiao drops down to 140 pounds to face Crawford, he might even be considered the underdog.
Roach indicated to BoxingScene that Pacquiao might forgo a fight with Crawford, whose style he equated to a “younger version” of Mayweather. If the light welterweight champion can defeat Pacquiao, it would make more sense for Mayweather to return and face the up-and-coming star.
As much as the mega-fight has been criticized for being “boring,” a rematch would certainly generate big pay-per-view buys. Mayweather and Pacquiao easily set a record with 4.6 million buys last year.
Mayweather has been critical of Pacquiao, claiming he used his shoulder injury as an excuse for losing their fight, and it's unknown if he'd be willing to give his rival a rematch. If Mayweather does return, it'll likely be after his 40th birthday in February.