Finally, boxing fans got the first clear confirmation that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has re-opened his mind about fighting Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.

Not in his radar

Boxing’s best pound for pound fighter has been rejecting the idea of fighting Pacquiao in the last two years after the Pacman suffered back to back losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. In fact, after defeating Canelo Alvarez in September 2013, Mayweather told reporters that he “wasn’t thinking of Manny Pacquiao.”

When Pacquiao signed a two year contract extension with Top Rank last May, many fight experts believed that the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout was officially killed. Mayweather had vowed never to do business with Bob Arum again, saying that he doesn’t want his former promoter to make any money off him or his fights. Re-signing with Top Rank also meant that Pacquiao would continue to work with HBO, while Mayweather is on an exclusive six fight deal with rival Showtime.

Surprise in May

But things started to change last July, when Mayweather announced his September 13 opponent. Mayweather didn’t only name Marcos Maidana as his next foe, he also left an intriguing one-liner:

“Then in May, I’ll have a big surprise for you.”

That single statement resurrected conversations of a fight that was killed before it was made. Mayweather has already fought the best of the best, the who’s who of this era except Manny Pacquiao. And if there was a surprise that would come from someone like Mayweather, it had to be a Manny Pacquiao. Yet during the recent promotional tour for the Pacquiao-Algieri bout in the US, Money Mayweather vehemently denied rumors that his team was starting to make serious negotiations with Bob Arum and company.

Let’s make it happen

Last Saturday, that dream fight got its first true chance of life minutes after Mayweather beat Marcos Maidana:

“I got to go back and talk to my team. I’m not ducking or dodging no opponent. If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen,” Money told Showtime’s Jim Gray. “He’s got a guy in front of him [Chris Algieri on Nov. 22]. Once he gets past that task, we’ll see what the future holds.”

“Let’s make it happen” is the most interest that Mayweather has shown in Pacquiao since 2009 when the two went at odds with the drug testing and purse money for their proposed mega bout.  And it’s about time, not only because both of them are aging fast, because Vegas is starting to lose interest in Mayweather.

Where is the money?

According to a report by ESPN, the gambling money wagered last Saturday was “significantly down”. The Mayweather-Maidana rematch “attracted less than 50% of the betting action” that the Mayweather-Canelo bout did last September 2013.

The reason isn’t really Mayweather, because he’s the sport’s  top draw. But it’s not translating to bets right now because of his opponents. Fighting Maidana twice  caused the drop and with two fight left in his career, Floyd Mayweather Jr. needs better foes.

A rematch with the rejuvenated Miguel Cotto could be a possibility, although weight could be a problem. Amir Khan does have a huge UK following, but Mayweather doesn’t seem to be interested in him and Khan should be more matched with Kell Brook in a domestic fight. Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and even Brook himself could be considered, although none have the same luster as a Manny Pacquiao.

The Best Ever

Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to wear the TBE cap anywhere he goes. Maybe he is correct although some would argue. But he certainly doesn’t need to fight Manny Pacquiao to cement his legacy as TBE. But boxing is only half a sport, the other half is business and that’s why Mayweather is called Money Man. He’s smart enough to know where the pot of gold is before he hangs up his gloves.Mayweather is called Money Man. He’s smart enough to know where the remaining pot of gold is before he hangs up his gloves.

So Manny Pacquiao better take care of business of November 22nd, because this may be the last shot we have at the super fight that has eluded all of us for five years now.

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