3 More Rounds

Is a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch feasible?

Photo: Stephanie Trapp / Trapp Photos

Photo: Stephanie Trapp / Trapp Photos

Pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather recently sent a text message to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith telling him that he would be open to a rematch with the recently conquered Manny Pacquiao after the Filipino recovers from shoulder surgery to repair a tear in his rotator cuff. “I will fight him in a year after his surgery” said Mayweather in the text. A wise decision on Mayweather’s part considering how easily he beat him the first time, and the tremendous amount of hype and money the first bout generated.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal Elattrache told ESPN.com on Monday that Pacquiao will have surgery later this week to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff, which Pacquiao’s camp failed to disclose before the bell rang last Saturday night. Apparently, the surgery will sideline Pacquiao for at least nine to twelve months.

Floyd Mayweather (48-0, 26 KO’s), who is 38 years old, has one fight remaining on his contract with Showtime, and has stated on more than one occasion that he intends to retire after a final fight in September. However, Mayweather also stated that he is human, and occasionally contradicts himself when he makes statements. A win in September would tie Mayweather with former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, who compiled a record of 49-0 with 43 KO’s. Mayweather also stated that he would vacate some of the world titles he currently holds so that other fighters could have a chance to become champions.

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

Regardless of Mayweather’s intent to face Pacquiao again down the road, there are some significant hurdles that must be jumped to make the rematch happen. Besides the surgery, Pacquiao is also facing a possible fine or suspension from the Nevada boxing officials for failing to disclose his shoulder injury on a form prior to the weigh-in last Friday. “It’s not just the fact that he didn’t fill out the question completely, it was that he wasn’t honest and they didn’t tell us a month ago when he had the shoulder injury”, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett said. “They’re not obligated to, but two hours before the fight they wanted a shot that’s a painkiller, in essence. They put us in a very precarious position.”

Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar stated “We will gather all the facts and follow the circumstances. At some point we will have some discussions. As a licensee of the commission you want to make sure fighters are giving you up-to-date information.”

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, stated recently that the injury was disclosed to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which approved the use of an anti-inflammatory shot on the night of the fight. However, the USADA was only a third-party to the fight itself, and it was charged only with testing the pugilists for banned substances while in training and before and after the fight.

Travis Tygart, who heads the USADA, stated “we had no medical information, no MRI’s, no documents. It was not an anti-doping issue. The real question is why his camp checked ‘no’ on the disclosure. Either they made a terrible mistake to not follow the rules or they were trying not to give information to the other side. I’m not sure there’s a middle ground.”

Tygart stated that his agency, which was hired by the promoters of the fight, was contacted on April 7th, and was asked about the use of various substances and whether they were allowed under the current anti-doping rules. Tygart also said that there was another call placed to his agency ten days later asking about using a different substance, again for what the USADA was told was an unspecified shoulder issue.

Approximately two hours before the bout, Pacquiao’s corner asked Nevada regulators whether he could receive a shot of Toradol, which is an anti-inflammatory. Aguilar denied it, and told them that the commission had no previous information regarding an injury, and could not allow the shot in fairness to Mayweather’s camp. Standing by his decision, Aguilar told the media “our job is to protect the health and safety of the fighters and the integrity of the sport. We expect our fighters to be forthright.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp / Trapp Photos

Photo: Stephanie Trapp / Trapp Photos

So from what we can gather, Pacquiao’s camp seems to have made the wrong call by deciding not to disclose the injury. The consequences of which could possibly get the Filipino star suspended for an undisclosed amount of time.

Regardless of the Pacquiao camp’s decision on the matter, I can sympathize with the difficult decision they had to face. If they disclosed it, it would delay or possibly cancel the fight, and untold amounts of time and money would be adrift. If they keep it a secret, they run the risk of Manny being severely limited on fight night, and being exposed as a liar later on down the line.

Regardless of how this all plays out, who’s to say the public would even be interested in a rematch? To get the casual boxing fan to pay $100.00 to see these two get in the ring required an amount of hype and excitement that doesn’t come along often in one’s lifetime. The fact that most of these casual fans were highly disappointed by the lack of action means that lightening most likely won’t strike twice. Fool me once, shame on them. Fool me twice, shame on me. These fans already feel as though they’ve been duped once, and they won’t fall for it again.

As for Mayweather, he’d be better off setting his sights on Amir Khan or Keith Thurman. And while neither would bring the level of star power to a possible fight with Mayweather that Pacquiao brought on May 2nd, the odds are that the fight itself might turn out to be far more satisfying to boxing fans who would love nothing more than to see Mayweather’s hopes of beating Marciano’s record come to a screeching halt.

One Comment

  1. Ramon Aranda

    May 7, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I could see demand go up in time but no way it does the same kind of numbers that the first fight will end up doing. Even at 100%, I’m not so sure how Manny’s style can combat Mayweather’s. Always felt even 5 years ago, that Manny would have problems with Floyd’s speed and counters.

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