Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao may be headed into a rematch after all, according to Pacquiao himself. The two welterweights fought what turned out to be the most lucrative boxing event in history back on May 2, but after the fight Pacquiao announced that he was suffering from a shoulder injury coming into the bout — an injury that has kept him from stepping back into the ring this year.
Mayweather, for his part, fought once more — easily defeating Andre Berto by unanimous decision on September 12 — and then announced his retirement with an undefeated record of 49-0 in a 19-year career.
But most boxing experts and fans remain skeptical that Mayweather’s retirement is the real deal, partly because one more victory would allow him to break Rocky Marciano’s record of most wins in an undefeated career — but also because Mayweather has “retired” on several occasions already, only to reemerge and continue his career.
Mayweather “retired” first in 2006, then again in 2007 just as he was negotiating a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya after their fight that set records for pay-per-view buys. Mayweather came out of “retirement” to fight Ricky Hatton in 2008, then retired again.
After Mayweather laced up the gloves to face Juan Manuel Marquez in September of 2009, he, for once, did not retire again. Until this year.
But according to Pacquiao, Mayweather’s latest retirement is no more certain than his previous attempts to step away from the boxing game. The Philippine icon, in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday to attend the International Amateur Boxing Association World Championships, told the French News Agency (AFP) that he is currently negotiating simultaneously with Mayweather and with British welterweight Amir Khan, who has long been lobbying for a match with either Pacquiao or Mayweather.
“I will fight anybody, anywhere,” said Pacquiao, whose record stands at 57-6-2 since he turned pro at age 16 in 1995. “I am going to fight probably before the election. The election is coming next year, May, and before that I will probably have one fight. We are going to finalize by November or December.”
Pacquiao currently serves as a congressman in the Philippines, but next year he plans to run for the country’s senate. He said that if he wins the election, or perhaps even if he doesn’t, his next fight will likely be his last.
“I will not be absent because the whole country would be my responsibility. I will have to give up the other things that require my attention. If you are a senator, your focus should only be your job and your family,” Pacquiao told the news agency. “I’ve been in boxing for more than 20 years.”
Mayweather, for his part, has not corroborated Pacquiao’s claim that the two camps are in negotiation for a rematch of their May 2 megafight — a fight that despite a spectacular performance financially, accumulating a record-shattering 4.4 million pay-per-view purchases, was considered a major disappointment from a boxing standpoint.
Mayweather, if he does fight again after all, would likely fight in Las Vegas, his adopted hometown. In fact, he has not fought outside of Las Vegas since defeating Sharmba Mitchell in Portland, Oregon, on November 19, 2005. He has now fought 15 bouts in a row in Vegas.
But Pacquiao said Thursday that he hopes his next and final fight will take place in Qatar.
“I would love to have my next fight here in Qatar, and my team is now working towards that. Whether it will be against Amir Kahn or Floyd Mayweather, I’ll be ready,” Manny Pacquiao said in the interview. “I would love to have a rematch against Floyd in Qatar!”
[Images: Al Bello / Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images]