Is Floyd up for Manny rematch?

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2021 - 12:00am

Floyd Mayweather is back in the gym, training for a “special exhibition” with YouTube crackpot Logan Paul over eight rounds at the 75,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on June 6. The Money Man claims the show will fatten his bank account by $100 million although that remains to be seen, considering fans aren’t exactly burning the lines to book a $50 pay-per-view screening.

Mayweather, 44, stands 5-8 and weighed 149 1/2 pounds in his last fight against Conor McGregor four years ago. Logan, 26, stands 6-2 and scaled 199 1/4 pounds in his first and only bout as a pro against Olajide Olatunji two years ago. Mayweather is a welterweight and Logan, a cruiserweight. Mayweather is undefeated with a 50-0 record, including 27 KOs. Logan’s record is 0-1 but if not for two point deductions, he would’ve beaten Olatunji by a split six-round decision instead of losing that same way. Logan floored Olatunji in the fourth and was docked for hitting his opponent while on the canvas. Olatunji, by the way, is a YouTuber like Paul and can’t be considered a serious fighter. Paul isn’t a serious fighter either.

The Mayweather-Paul engagement is a joke and a tragic comic relief. Paul will tower over Mayweather and outweigh him by at least 50 pounds so who cares? Promoters are careful not to call it a fight because it would be an injustice to legitimate practitioners like Canelo Alvarez and Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather will eat Paul alive and as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. In 1935, Joe Louis decked Primo Carnera thrice before referee Arthur Donovan stepped in to halt the massacre at 2:32 of the sixth round despite a wide disparity in weight. Louis scaled 196 pounds and Carnera, 260 1/2. Carnera stood 6-5 1/2 and Louis, 6-1 1/2.

Mayweather hasn’t been in a ring since demolishing Japanese kickboxer Tensin Nasukawa in one round in a Saitama exhibition in 2018. That came with a $9 million price tag. Mayweather said it doesn’t make sense to come back for a real fight and get paid $35 million if an exhibition can rake in $100 million with no sweat. But what if Mayweather is guaranteed more than $100 million to battle Pacquiao in a rematch? In 2015, Mayweather and Pacquiao faced off in Las Vegas in what turned out to be the richest fight in history, generating about $600 million. Mayweather’s take was in the range of $180 to $200 million while Pacquiao bankrolled anywhere between $120 to $150 million. It’s now six years later and both Mayweather and Pacquiao are in their 40s. Will a rematch be as marketable as the first encounter?

Mayweather is surely testing the waters for a Pacquiao rematch. Over a week ago, he named Pacquiao as the best fighter he ever fought. “He’s a hell of a fighter and I can see why he won as many fights and I can see why he’s going down as a Hall of Famer,” said Mayweather who mocked Pacquiao after their clash in 2015. Pacquiao, 42, has compiled a 5-1 record since losing a questionable decision to Mayweather despite fighting one-armed from the fourth round because of a rotator cuff injury. Mayweather has fought only twice since.

Pacquiao has accomplished more than Mayweather in their careers. Pacquiao has beaten 25 former, current and future world champions while Mayweather lists 24. Pacquiao has won world titles in eight divisions compared to Mayweather’s five. But Mayweather has won 26 world title fights and Pacquiao, 17. Mayweather is undefeated while Pacquiao has lost in seven fights. What probably bothers Mayweather are statements from experts who believe Pacquiao is the better man. Bernard Hopkins, for instance, said recently “I’d rather have Pacquiao’s legacy than Mayweather’s.”

Mayweather is promoting his coming exhibition like crazy and even participated in a WWE-like act where Paul’s brother Jake triggered a near brawl by taking the Money Man’s cap in a public confrontation. For Mayweather to resort to farcical antics is an indication that he’s desperate for a paycheck. Pacquiao has called out Mayweather for a rematch to settle things once and for all with his shoulder at 100 percent. If the price is right, expect Mayweather to answer the call sooner or later.

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