With Canelo-GGG 2 bringing boxing to the forefront of the mainstream sports media world, Floyd Mayweather Jr. used the opportunity to shift the attention to himself by announcing a pending rematch with Manny Pacquiao.
On Instagram, Mayweather announced that he would be returning to boxing this year to rematch his longtime foe. The former pound-for-pound king posted a video of himself speaking with Pacquiao and posted the caption: “I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another nine figure pay day on the way.”
In the video, Pacquiao can be seen gesturing to a title belt and declaring “I have the belt,” a reference to the WBA Regular Title he won in his 7th round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse this July. Mayweather scoffed and told Pacquiao he’s going to take the belt from him, and said he doesn’t want to hear any excuses about Manny’s shoulder this time, a reference to Pacquiao’s claim a shoulder injury hampered his performance in their first fight.
The pay-per view numbers for this fight should be interesting. Although the first fight sold a then record 4.4 million buys in the United States, many fans felt disappointed in the anticlimactic unanimous decision for Mayweather, and vowed they would never order another boxing match again, let alone a Mayweather fight. These fans must have been lying, because only a few years later 4.3 million Americans bought his fight against UFC star Conor McGregor. Still, with so many people left feeling that they did not get their money’s worth from the first bout, it’s hard to see the rematch coming close to hitting those kinds of numbers.
Tactically, the rematch could be interesting. Most fans that watched Mayweather-McGregor came away with the feeling that the now 41-year-old Mayweather had clearly lost a step, but as more reports from training camp trickled out it became clear he had not been training with his usual intensity. And, while most fans and media members though that Pacquaio was shot after losing a controversial decision to Jeff Horn, the 39 year-old’s impressive stoppage of Lucas Matthysse led to a number of “The old Manny is back” headlines around the world.
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