Manny Pacquiao dismantled Adrien Broner earlier this year and just defeated Keith Thurman, and now there could be an even bigger opponent on the horizon — Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 40-year-old fighter took down Thurman in a split decision on Saturday, looking nothing like his age as he danced around the 30-year-old fighter and dominated the pace of the fight. But there was little time to savor the victory as talk turned almost immediately to whether Pacquiao would try to avenge his most famous defeat, the 2015 fight against Mayweather.
Four years after the two met in one of the most anticipated boxing matches in decades, speculation has been building about whether Pacquiao and Mayweather could meet again. Pacquiao even addressed the issue this week in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, making it clear he would be up for a rematch if Mayweather should choose to come out of retirement again.
“I’m still a fighter,” Pacquiao said.
“It’s up to him if he will come back and fight with me.”
There was already months of anticipation building before Pacquiao’s win over Keith Thurman on Saturday. In the days before Pacquiao’s win over Broner earlier this year, Pac-Man and Mayweather were spotted attending a Los Angeles Clippers game. As TMZ reported at the time, Pacquiao had been invited to celebrate the team’s Filipino Heritage Night, and Mayweather decided to fly in on his private jet specifically for the game.
It was a scene familiar to many who followed the history of the first Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. The two crossed paths at a Miami Heat game in 2015 in the lead-up to that famous first fight, so many saw the meeting at the Clippers game as a sign that the two might be headed toward a rematch.
Mayweather got plenty of attention when he showed up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for Pacquiao’s bout on Saturday, with many wondering whether he was trying to gin up interest in the potential rematch. Reporters ringside said Mayweather was up on his feet for Pacquiao during the fight.
There could be one big factor that may convince Mayweather to leave retirement for one more go in the ring. The first fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. generated more than $500 million in revenue, Business Insider reported and left Mayweather with his cut of about $220 million. A rematch of the fight of the century could potentially generate even more.