Manny Pacquiao appears to be angling for a 2016 rematch with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., apparently joining the ranks of boxing experts and fans who simply do not believe Mayweather when he says that his September 12 bout against Andre Berto will be the last of what would be his 49-fight, and likely undefeated career.
“I’d like to concentrate my efforts on working as a politician this year, and want to fight Mayweather in a rematch,” Pacquiao told Fight News this week. “I’ll be ready for that mentally and physically next year. I’ll show a better performance against him than in the first encounter.”
But even if Mayweather does come out of his latest “retirement” to fight Pacquiao for a second time, what makes fight fans believe that the second fight would be more crowd-pleasing than the bout that took place on May 2 of this year — a fight almost universally considered a “dud” due to Mayweather’s cautious, defensive style and Pacquiao’s inability to land solid punches on the elusive champ?
Pacquiao has since claimed that his subpar performance was due to a shoulder injury that he brought into the fight — but didn’t tell anyone about until the fight was over.
Pacquiao now claims that the shoulder has healed with almost miraculous speed.
“I can lift my shoulder like this,” Pacquiao told Fight News, demonsrating by rotating the joint. “No problem any longer.”
But one expert, trainer Abel Sanchez, who trains middleweight knockout specialist Gennady Golovkin, remains skeptical that even with a fully healthy Pacquiao, a rematch would be any different than the first fight.
“Most people seem to forget that Mayweather has fought 47 times the same way,” Sanchez told the Philippines news network ABS-CBN.
“It wasn’t going to a bar fight. It was going to be a Mayweather fight. And because Pacquiao was not 100 percent, as we find out now, that fight ended up being a dud.”
No Mayweather fight will turn out any differently, he cautioned.
“We just have to learn from it, and understand that Mayweather is going to fight that kind of fight, no matter who he fights,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez also appeared to be warning that Mayweather’s September 12 fight against Andre Berto will be no different, despite both fighters promising an action bout.
But even though the announcement of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto fight has been met with nearly universal disdain in the boxing media and fandom, Manny Pacquiao refused to join the chorus of negativity, insisting that the nout will be “a good fight,” and commending Berto as “fast and strong.”
[Image: Al Bello]