NEW YORK CITY — While every pundit dished reports about the possible rematch between WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and retired pound-for-pound superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. immediately after Pacquiao’s conquest of Adrien Broner, Andreas Hale of Sporting News broke the hearts of the Mayweather vs Pacquiao II proponents with this report:
Immediately after Manny Pacquiao’s hand was raised in victory against Adrien Broner, the boxing world’s attention turned to a potential rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao dominated Broner en route to a unanimous decision in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,025 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and a Showtime PPV audience, with the retired Mayweather seated ringside. Pacquiao called out the undefeated fighter, who beat him by unanimous decision in the 2015 megafight that shattered PPV records, but Mayweather refused to take the bait.
For now, at least.
According to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather has absolutely “no interest” in coming out of retirement to face Pacquiao.
“No,” Ellerbe said when asked if Mayweather was looking at a blockbuster return bout with the Filipino senator. “He has nothing else to prove. I’m very happy for him. He’s retired. He has no interest in doing that. It’s not always about the money … what more can the man do?”
Mayweather was recently in the ring, albeit in an exhibition bout against kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on Dec. 31 in Japan. Mayweather routed Nasukawa with a first-round stoppage after knocking him down three times in the first round. Mayweather affirmed that he was happily retired and was only interested in exhibition bouts if the money was right.
Pacquiao sent a clear message that he would happily face Mayweather if he decided to come out of retirement, but Ellerbe made it clear that remaining retired was exactly what the soon-to-be 42-year-old was interested in doing.
“He doesn’t have the motivation or the desire,” Ellerbe said. “He’s living his best life, traveling, running his multiple businesses, spending his hard-earned winnings. He’ll be 42 come Feb. 24. Enough is enough. What good is it to earn that money if you aren’t around to spend it?”
Mayweather has often teased a return to boxing if the money is right, and a bout with the 40-year-old Pacquiao could generate a significant chunk of change, especially after how Pacquiao performed against Broner. It may not get the 4.6 million PPV buys the highly anticipated first bout generated because of how easily Mayweather cruised to victory, but with Pacquiao looking extraordinarily sharp and possessing a newfound desire to be on top of the sport, there certainly is enough interest.
Money talks, but will it speak loudly enough to get Mayweather’s attention?