It’s not abundantly clear where and when it will happen, but we do know that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will make a lot of money for their recently announced rematch. The figures can be overblown at times, but Mayweather is reckoned to have made over $200 million from the last fight, which broke the record for PPV buys and generated over $400 million.
To be frank, the reception to the news has been reasonably muted, with some pundits openly hostile to the prospect of the fight. This will, of course, be Mayweather’s third and he is pretty clear that the most important aspect of the fight is the “9 figure pay-day”. The question is whether fans will still be excited about another Mayweather comeback, especially after the farcical nature of the Conor McGregor fight.
For Pacquiao, who is rumoured to be considering running for President of Philippines in the early 2020s, it’s not quite clear as to his reasons, money aside, for wanting the fight. There is some discussion that he has some outstanding tax issues with the IRS, so perhaps his own payday looms large in his mind at the moment. As for sporting reasons for the fight, it’s not as if we are dealing with some sort of controversy from the previous bout. Not like, say, Golovkin and Alvarez, where there was a tangible lack of a resolution in the first fight after a dubious judges’ decision.
Hype will build once date announced
But, you should expect some of the rhetoric that came after the last fight to be dug up all over again: Pacquiao’s shoulder injury, which the Filipino refused to blame at the time, will no doubt come up, as will the talk of Mayweather’s injections that raised some questions with the USDA. Both fighters, certainly Mayweather, are reasonably proficient at creating hype, so you wouldn’t put it past them to really get the fans’ juices flowing by the time fight night comes along.
The fight is rumoured to be happening in December, with a possible date of 2nd December mentioned. It seems like a very small window to get a fight this big ready to go, but who knows what is going on behind the scenes.
Preparations for the fight are being made elsewhere. Sportsbooks have priced up the fight, putting Mayweather in as the favourite. The best odds for the unbeaten American seem to be around 4/9 with Ladbrokes, with some bookies going as low as 2/7.
Pacquiao will tempt punters
For Pacquiao, the best odds are a fairly generous 5/2 (Betfair), with the draw coming in at a tempting 25/1. More markets will become available once the date is set in stone, but you can already snap up offers like Mayweather vs Pacquiao free bets in anticipation of the fight.
Have the sportsbooks got it right? Will Mayweather win? It feels unlikely that he will want to risk tarnishing his perfect record by ‘entertaining’ the audience and letting Pacquiao get close to him for a proper ‘scrap’. So, we should expect more of the same, with the Filipino legend chasing Mayweather around the ring in a forlorn hope of getting close to him.
But, the lack of hype might help this fight. If it is a surprise classic, with both fighters putting on one last show for the benefit of the fans, then we might get some sense of closure on two of the careers of the greatest to ever step in the ring.