Stop the presses

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If you are an ardent follower of superhero movies, chances are you have acquired the habit of staying glued to your seat long after the movie is finished in the hope of catching the post-credit scene that hints at a possible sequel.

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Being both a boxing fan and superhero movie fanatic, this pencil-pusher chose to stay glued to the events that followed Manny Pacquiao’s resounding 12-round unanimous decision win over American Tim Bradley Jr. While Pacquiao confirmed that he is archiving the gloves, a post-fight scene somehow convinced many that the ‘Pacman’ might just end up lacing on the gloves again.

The post-fight scene, fleeting but vividly captured in the social network, showed Floyd Mayweather Jr. rushing out of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada after the Pacquiao-Bradley scuffle. Mayweather had retired ahead of Pacquiao and is supposedly enjoying life away from the sport, but his presence in the arena and his subsequent belittling of Pacquiao’s win (claiming the fight should have been declared a draw) definitely revived fan interest in a rematch. As if to add fuel to the fire, Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum told the media recently that a rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao is “more likely than not.” In the normal scheme of things, Arum, with his innate hatred for Mayweather, would be the first to shoot down with a verbal Uzi any talk of a rematch.

Mayweather defeated Pacquiao by decision last year in a fight that gave pro boxing a huge black eye. Pacquiao did not disclose a busted shoulder and fought Mayweather with one healthy arm. Improper, and even dubious, drug tests hounded Mayweather and it did not help his cause one bit that he fought Pacquiao like he was gunning for the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. Suffice it to say, the match left several issues unanswered.

Just before the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, Mayweather tried to steal the spotlight by dropping hints that he is ready to fight again. Mayweather’s record stands at 49-0 and many feel the temptation to return and raise the mark to an all-time best 50-0 is irresistible. Should he end his hiatus, Mayweather definitely can’t pick another nondescript opponent, as he would be risking a fan boycott. In the opinion of many, Pacquiao makes for the ideal foe because Mayweather is already familiar with the Filipino’s style and did beat him.

Pacquiao and Mayweather owe it to themselves to take on each other again to eradicate all the negative vibes that came out of their initial encounter. Mayweather would be the heavy favorite in the event of a rematch, but it would be very interesting to see if he can pull it off again opposite a healthy Pacquiao.

‘Retirement’ is a word not etched in stone in boxing. Mayweather had previously reneged on a retirement pledge and Pacquiao doing the same thing would not be a major surprise. For Pacquiao, Mayweather represents an itch that he will have to scratch if he is to sleep soundly when he is old and grey. For Mayweather, thoroughly dominating a healthy Pacquiao makes for the best finale compared to the Andre Berto farewell last year where he was heavily booed. What makes the return match still palatable is the fact that both fighters have shown they are still the best the welterweight division has to offer. In the final analysis, Pacquiao and Mayweather need each other to bring proper closure to their respective careers.

And then, of course, there’s all the moolah that can be made. The purses may not be as record-breaking as the first time, but the guess is that it will be more than enough to secure the fighters for two lifetimes.

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For comments, the writer can be reached at atty_eduardo@yahoo.com.

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