Floyd Mayweather (-400) vs Manny Pacquiao (+275), Draw (+3300)
Floyd Mayweather (49-0) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2) II has not been confirmed yet, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that it’s happening.
For his WBO Welterweight title fight against Jessie Vargas, Pacquiao invited Mayweather to sit ringside as he picked apart the then-champion. Then, when he was asked if he was interested in a rematch with Floyd during the post-fight interview, Pacquiao skirted the question with a coy, “If that’s what the people want…”
That reignited talk of a rematch that was always kind of in the works anyway. Fight promoter Bob Arum has since come out and said there’s a 75-percent chance that the fight will happen in 2017. Rumor has it that there are plans to hold it on Cinco de Mayo.
Since their first fight, Mayweather has had one easy win against a lowly Andre Berto, and Pacquiao has had two comfortable wins over Timothy Bradley and Jesse Vargas. With Mayweather turning 40 in 2017 and Pacquiao hitting 39, this will probably be the two aging boxers’ last chance to showcase their evanescing skills.
If the fight happens, it will be the biggest fight in boxing since, well, Mayweather-Pacquiao I. Their first fight was the first $600 million night in the history of sports. Though the rematch is unlikely to fetch the same numbers, it’s certainly the most lucrative option for both fighters (except for the extremely improbable Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor crossover fight).
Besides the PPV numbers, there are some legitimate reasons why a rematch makes sense. First, Pacquiao claimed to have had a shoulder injury during the first fight. He’s since had surgery and completely recovered; a rematch may not be so one-sided for Mayweather. Also, it would be Mayweather’s 50th fight and, if he defeats Pacquiao, his 50th win. He’ll want this feat to be against a worthy opponent.
With or without a shoulder injury, the odds are stacked against Pacquiao. He was thoroughly out-boxed by Mayweather in 2015 and, while his recent fights have been impressive, they’ve also showcased a well-worn fighter long past his prime. Mayweather’s technical and defensive style has held up much better against time. You can probably tell how I’m leaning for the potential rematch.
Pick: Floyd Mayweather (-400)
Photo credit: “Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather” by Bryan Horowitz, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.