|Floyd Mayweather Jr. says his last fight will be in 2015. Photo from Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. setting the stage for a possible mega bout with Manny Pacquiao in 2015?
This seems to be the case, according to boxing analyst Ed Tolentino, after Mayweather announced that he will be reserving a September 2015 date for his final bout.
“Why 2015? The contract of Manny Pacquiao with [Bob] Arum will expire later this year. He becomes a free agent. The presumption is the fight will become easier to make in 2015, unless Pacquiao signs a contract extension with Bob Arum,” Tolentino, a veteran sportscaster, said in an interview on dzMM’s Sports Talk.
The American has previously been quoted saying he will never fight Pacquiao as long as the Filipino remains connected with Arum and his Top Rank promotions.
But the controversial and unpredictable Mayweather looks to be holding out for the mega bout when he announced in an Associated Press report that "September 2015 will be my last.”
The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-per-view earnings, possibly more than the $150 million he made in the Saul Alvarez fight.
Tolentino said that with Pacquiao already at the twilight of his colorful boxing career, it will be more practical for the fighting congressman to choose his fights.
This means, he should go for more rewarding but lesser damaging fights.
“Let's face it, the Mayweather fight is the biggest money fight he can ever realize. So kumbaga magandang retirement pay,” explained Tolentino.
“Kung lalaban pa siya [under] Arum, lababan siya ng two to three fights. Samantalang ‘yung kikitain n’ya sa iisang laban [kay Mayweather] doble pa. So he wants to take less damage as he winds up his career.”
Tolentino also said that Mayweather may have been saving Pacquiao for last because the Filipino boxer remains to be a dangerous opponent.
He said Pacquiao has the edge when it comes to the “intangible factors” of the fight.
“Ito ang hindi mabasa ni Mayweather Jr., the heart and the ‘eye of the tiger’ ni Pacquiao,” cited the analyst.
“‘Yung ‘eye of the tiger’ ni Pacquiao, I believe, will be revived two fold ‘pag si Mayweather na ang kalaban.”