Manny Pacquiao has not hung up his gloves for good. Rumors persist that the famed Filipino boxer will compete one more time before retiring and there continues to be the lingering notion that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather can somehow come to fruition.

Pacquiao, 42, currently serves as a senator in the Philippines and as the party president of the PDP–Laban party and has not fought since July 2019, defeating Keith Thurman by a split decision. Still a major draw in both the Philippines and abroad, he has acknowledged that negotiations for an upcoming fight are ongoing, though he has yet to announce an opponent.

Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30KOs) is considered the most likely opponent, and Pacquiao even suggested as much in March. But a fight between Pacquiao and the Southern Californian may not be close to being finalized, even though it was being targeted for May.

While it may seem like a long shot, there are reasons to believe Pacquiao’s final fight might come against Mayweather. Stranger things have happened in professional boxing, and Mayweather is known for being a wild card when it comes to picking an opponent. 

Mayweather, 44, is scheduled to fight YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition fight June 6 and Mayweather hasn’t had a professional boxing match since he knocked out Conor McGregor in 2017. In November 2019, TMZ reported that Mayweather was targeting two fights for 2020, one against a UFC star and one against a boxer. 

The coronavirus pandemic prevented Mayweather from getting back in the ring last year. At the time, Mayweather was seriously considering a fight against Pacquiao, according to TMZ.

There are monetary reasons for a rematch. The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, was the biggest bout in history, generating 4.6 million pay-per-view buys, with Mayweather earning an estimated $250 million. Pacquiao likely earned more than $100 million in the loss.

The anticipation for the rematch wouldn’t come close to matching the first fight. However, even if it didn't generate nearly the same amount of revenue, both boxers would certainly be in for a lucrative payday.

Mayweather’s upcoming fight with Paul is further evidence that he’s interested in fighting for a lot of money. As for Pacquiao, he owns a 5-1 record since his fight with Mayweather, only losing a controversial decision to Australian Jeff Horn and would no doubt accept a challenge from Mayweather.

And there may be fewer roadblocks to a fight in 2021 than there were for years leading up to the 2015 fight. Pacquiao revealed in September that he was no longer under contract with Audie Attar's Paradigm Sports Management and will be promoted by his own MP Promotions. Mayweather also is promoted by himself under his company Mayweather Promotions. 

Both boxers have not effectively looked past each other. Mayweather recently stated that Pacquiao was the toughest opponent of his career. In January, Pacquiao's manager, Sean Gibbons, posted a provoking tweet to Mayweather.

Many top boxers went on a hiatus due to the pandemic, creating a need for a high-profile fight to resuscitate the sport. There’s been speculation for years that Pacquiao and Mayweather — arguably the two most prolific welterweights of their generation —  might meet again. It would not be surprising if a deal gets signed.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao could have a rematch next year. In this picture, Pacquiao throws a right at Mayweather during their welterweight unification championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images