It has been almost five years since the final bell sounded on the Fight of the Century, in which five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the United States and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines went the distance with one another. The former won by unanimous decision, and while that result came as little surprise, it nonetheless established an optimal precedent for a rematch.
The 2015 clash between ‘Money’ and ‘Pac-Man’ still betrayed a huge gulf in class between the two men, and one that is far from certain to be reversed – even by Pacquiao’s more testing aftermath. His most recent victory, which came against Keith Thurman back in July 2019, was an impressive one in the context of Pacquiao’s age – and the major title that was on the line.
Presently, it seems as though nothing is being ruled out in the world of boxing. For instance, the latest boxing odds pertaining to possible future bouts have Tyson Fury as a slight favourite in either a unification bout with Anthony Joshua, or a third fight with Deontay Wilder, amidst his own expectation to fight the latter again sooner than expected.
At this time, there are no clear plans for a rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao. However, the popular appetite for a ‘MayPac’ rematch, if nothing else, at least looks likely to enjoy an augmented lifespan.
Preparation key to any MayPac rematch
Mayweather’s lack of a meaningful bout since the victory over Pacquiao throws an extra angle on the existing narrative, especially as his victories attained since (over Andre Berto and Conor McGregor) were ultimately nothing more than processions.
By contrast, Pacquiao has done his hypothetical odds of beating Mayweather in a rematch no harm, with five wins out of his last six bouts, of which four came by way of knockout or unanimous decision. Meanwhile, the sole loss to Jeff Horn in that sequence remains one of the most controversial calls of the past five years, again doing its bit to suggest a much more even rematch with Mayweather.
Pac-man’s last stand
Pacquiao’s nature dictates that he must pass the torch to another – like Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis up in the heavyweight division in years past. To pugilistic purists, that is the honourable alternative to merely retiring quietly, and anointing a ‘paper champion’ of the WBA Super Welterweight division.
In the original encounter, Pacquiao was prominent only for his inability to enact the dominating and aggressive style that has kept him in the limelight for what is now two decades. Ultimately, Mayweather’s superior boxing brain alone would put the smart money on another points win, with Mayweather’s potentially reduced hand speed only a relatively peripheral element in favor of Pacquiao.