Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision on Saturday to reclaim the WBO welterweight title. The victory has spurned even more questions surrounding a possible fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
PacMan might not be as dominant as he was a few years ago, but his win over Bradley showed that he is still among the best in all of boxing. The fight wasn’t very close, as the three judges scored the bout 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110, in favor of Pacquiao. While Pacquiao lost an extremely controversial decision to Bradley in June 2012, there’s no question about who won the rematch.
Prior to the fight, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said the winner of Saturday’s bout would go on to face the winner of Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado, which is set for May 17. After Pacquaio’s big win, though, Arum restarted his campaign to produce a Pacquiao-Mayweather megafight, calling for the fans and media to force Mayweather into the ring with PacMan.
"The only people that can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public, if they boycott the nonsense on May 3," Arum proclaimed at the post-fight press conference.
"That's what the public should do. [If the media] want that fight, tell the public not to buy pay-per-view and not to buy tickets,” Arum continued. “There is no other [strategy]. We are prepared tomorrow to sit down at a table with his people … to work out the conditions for the fight."
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Mayweather will face Marcos Maidana on May 3 at the MGM Grand, where Pacquiao beat Bradley. The bout isn’t expected to be very competitive, considering Mayweather is a -1200 favorite. With two weeks in between Mayweather-Maidana and Marquez-Alvarado, Arum says he would be willing to negotiate Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.
“That’s a lot of time,” Arum said after Saturday’s fight, via the L.A. Times. “If they told me they’d sit down and wanted a serious meeting, then I’d delay [working on Pacquiao vs. the Marquez-Alvarado winner] till whenever.”
Mayweather has yet to comment on Pacquiao’s victory. While Arum is daring Mayweather to put his perfect record on the line against Pacquiao, the undefeated boxer has said that he will never do business with the promoter. Mayweather left Arum eight years ago, after fighting for him for a decade.
If Pacquiao’s association with Top Rank is preventing him from getting a fight with Mayweather, then the public may never see the two square off. Arum has told Sports Illustrated that he and Pacquiao are close to agreeing on a contract that will run through 2016. Mayweather has stated that he’ll retire after his second fight in 2015, when his contract with Showtime comes to an end.
While Mayweather’s relationship with Arum might play a role, many in Pacquiao’s camp believe Mayweather is afraid to jeopardize his perfect record. After Pacquiao’s two losses in 2012, it looked like he might be heading towards the end of his career. However, with wins over Brandon Rios and Bradley, he might be the toughest opponent Mayweather could find.
"We'd love to fight Mayweather but there have been so many excuses. He really doesn't seem to want to fight us, but we want that fight. I think my guy beats him," Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach told The Daily Telegraph.
With Mayweather likely out of the picture, Pacquiao is still looking for another fight in 2014. Marquez is the early favorite to be PacMan’s next opponent, considering he’s expected to defeat Alvarado in May. It would be the fifth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez.
Mayweather will fight in September, following his bout with Maidana. Amir Khan, who was the favorite to face Mayweather in May, could get his shot at Mayweather in a few months. He’ll take on Luis Collazo on the undercard of Mayweather-Maidana.