Pundits see another fight of century as huge con

Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Floyd Mayweather Jr during their last bout. Plans are afoot to have them slug it out in the ring once more.
Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Floyd Mayweather Jr during their last bout. Plans are afoot to have them slug it out in the ring once more.
Image: Al Bello/ Getty Images

Is it a coincidence that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao happened to bump into each other in Japan where they announced plans for their rematch?

And this happened over a weekend when the entire boxing world was still embroiled in debates about the outcome of the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Those who know Mayweather’s tactics were not surprised by his intrusion into the GGG-Canelo limelight by announcing the Pacquiao rematch.

The self-proclaimed retired boxer who goes by the moniker “Money” and markets himself best, knows all the tricks when it comes to self-promotion, after doing the same at the Golovkin-Alvarez tournament last year.

While the boxing world was caught up in the euphoria of that fight having finally happened, Mayweather sneaked in a sucker punch by announcing that he would be fighting MMA star, Conor McGregor, in a cross-code fight.

This development overshadowed the Golovkin-Alvarez fight with the boxing fraternity instead caught up in the farce masquerading as a boxing match, that centred around Mayweather’s bid to break Rocky Marciano’s 50-fight unbeaten record.

The bout happened on August 26 and by the time the actual fight came on September 16, people had already spent their money on the farcical bout. Mayweather’s decision to “gatecrash” the GGG-Canelo fight may not affect the pay-per-view numbers this time, but there is no question that it has diluted the boxing debate about the controversy of the outcome.

In this regard, Mayweather has maintained his marketing genius.

Not that Pacquiao whose first fight with Mayweather broke all financial records, is as fierce a fighter as he once was.

But people will still tune in and make the two filthy rich in the name of boxing.

Mayweather is not even attempting to market this bout as a legacy enhancing effort, clearly stating that it will be just another nine-figure payday for him. Several top boxing scribes including Ring Magazine editor, Doug Fischer, see this as a money-making scheme which has nothing to do with thrilling boxing fans with an explosive bout. “Anyone who would pay to see that silliness deserves to be outright conned,” Fischer wrote in his Monday mailbag column.

“Seriously, they should shuck and jive for 12 rounds [literally turn it into a dance-off] and after the final bell rings, they should laugh directly into the TV cameras.”

Mayweather knows that promoting the fight on its own would be hard given the faded stages of his and Pacquiao’s careers.