By Jake Donovan
For those who believed the outcome for the Pacquiao-Adrien Broner main event was a foregone conclusion and were more interested in Saturday’s Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast revealing a Pacquiao rematch with Floyd Mayweather, then the night left you with the same information you already had going in.
Mayweather was seated ringside as a co-promoter for Saturday’s card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but never budged from ringside as Pacquiao was announced as a unanimous decision winner and asked of his own future in-ring plans.
Then again, the undefeated former five-division champion already had his fill of the oft-asked question on the possibility of Mayweather-Pacquiao II
“Y’all keep asking me about fighting Manny Pacquiao next,” Mayweather told Showtime’s Jim Grey while Pacquiao-Broner was still playing out. “First he must get past Adrien Broner, and right now I’m living a happy life.”
It was the second time on the night in which he was asked the question, with the on-air promise from Grey that it would be asked again once Mayweather entered the ring by fight’s end. That moment never came, as Mayweather simply mugged for the camera from his seat while Pacquiao celebrated a clear-cut decision win in his first fight under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) umbrella.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39KOs) signed with PBC late in 2018 for several reasons. Along with securing an avenue to keep his own stable of boxers active for years to come, his own desire to keep fighting now comes with a clearer path to face the conglomerate’s wealth of welterweight options.
Still, the one storyline that most chose to run with upon his joining adviser Al Haymon’s stable is whether it would lead to a sequel to the richest fight in boxing history.
Mayweather and Pacquiao navigated through a sea of politics—and about five years of build-up—to finally collide in May ’15, with Mayweather taking a decision in a dull 12-round affair that shattered every box-office record.
The money to be made from a rematch—even if only pulling in half the amount of its predecessor—would still far exceed what Pacquiao can make to face any other boxer in the world. That, coupled with the oft-offered alibi of the Filipino southpaw’s injured shoulder heaing into the May ’15 affecting his performance has left enough room for talks of one day doing it all again.
Having refused to discuss any future fight until his fight with Broner was through, Pacquiao was forced to once again field the question of a desire to avenge the four-year old defeat.
“Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight,” Pacquiao bluntly told Grey when asked the one question which will undoubtedly come up again and often for months ahead. “I am willing to fight Floyd Mayweather if wants to come back to boxing.”
Grey’s efforts to draw a definitive response from Mayweather fell flat.
“The camera is on you now Floyd. If you’re interested in the rematch, just give us a nod,” Grey asked, while Mayweather stared straight ahead, motionless at least until the camera turned away.
According to BoxingScene.com senior writer Keith Idec, Pacquiao stands to make at least $20 million for Saturday’s win over Broner, his second straight following a shocking—and controversial points loss to Jeff Horn in July ’17.
Overall, Pacquiao is 4-1 since losing a 12-round decision and his portion of the welterweight title to Mayweather. Still, his five fights combined since then likely haven’t netted him as much as the $127 million he hauled in for his loss to Mayweather, who cleared well over $250 million for the May ’15 event which produced 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and more than $600 million in revenue.