MANILA, Philippines – The clamor remains strong in the US for a superfight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
In a poll conducted by ESPN, 63 percent of responders believe that there is strong pressure for Mayweather to fight Pacquiao.
The remaining 37 percent, on the other hand, believe that Mayweather should not be affected because there is “little” pressure favoring a superfight.
Talks about the supposed Pacquiao-Mayweather fight were resurrected after the Filipino boxer reclaimed the WBO welterweight crown following his dominant victory against Timothy Bradley.
Mayweather, for his part, has a May 3 fight date with Argentine boxer Marcos Maidana.
Max Kellerman explained on ESPN SportsNation that the American boxer has repeatedly been taking on non-competitive fights in recent years, hence, the clamor for the mega-bout remains.
“How many fights is the public gonna want to take for Mayweather where they're viewed going in as non-competitive? And the fight after Maidana, people talking about Amir Khan, who is this country (US) really won't mean much,” said Kellerman.
He maintained that Pacquiao is still the most competitive fight for Mayweather in terms of boxing skills and star power.
“Pacquiao is the second biggest star in the sport. It's like 1, Mayweather and 1A, Manny Pacquiao and the public perceives him as the biggest threat to Mayweather at or below the welterweight division. [So] there will be pressure on Mayweather,” said Kellerman.
But SportsNation cohost Marcellus Wiley argued that Mayweather can’t be pressured to take on Pacquiao from a business stand point.
Wiley said that “Money” Mayweather can choose the right opponent as long as he remains marketable.
“If you're Floyd Mayweather, this is how you answer all your critics: The difference between what I do and somebody on a street corner having a fight, is business,” said Wiley.
“No one handles his business better in the ring and out the ring than floyd Mayweather, so this is big business.”