welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao celebrates after
defeating WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri of
the U.S. during their welterweight title boxing match at the
Venetian Macao in Macau, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Pacquiao got
the big knockdowns he desperately craved, battering Algieri
around the ring Sunday on his way to a decision win in a
lopsided welterweight title fight.
MACAU — Manny
Pacquiao is done taking the high road, tired of pretending he
At long last he
has Floyd Mayweather Jr. right where he wants him. And this time
he's not about to let him slip away without a fight.
it's time to say something," Pacquiao said Sunday after
dispatching Chris Algieri in convincing fashion in this Chinese
casino town. "The fans deserve that fight. It's time to make
that fight happen."
actually happens, of course, depends on Mayweather agreeing to
sign on the bottom line. And for the better part of five years
now, Mayweather has given one excuse after another when it comes
to making the one fight boxing fans really want.
Pacquiao might be on steroids, and refused to deal with his
promoter. When Pacquiao got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez,
Mayweather said it wasn't worth his time to even mention his name.
Mayweather may be boxed into a corner for a number of reasons and
from a number of angles. The pressure will be on to make the fight
sometime in the first half of next year or forever draw the wrath
of the fans who contribute to his massive paychecks.
movie star Sylvester Stallone takes a movie by his
smartphone before the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao of
the Philippines and Chris Algieri of the U.S. at the
Venetian Macao in Macau, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014.
And suddenly the
prospect of boxing's richest fight ever doesn't seem like such a
far-fetched fantasy after all.
telephone, it's as simple as that," promoter Bob Arum said
when asked what it would take to make the fight. "If boxing
is to be considered a major sport then the fight has to happen.
The nonsense needs to cease. There are no excuses anymore."
the door ever so slightly to the fight after his win over Marcos
Maidana in September, saying that he might be open to the
possibility of a fight.
Pacquiao fight happens, it happens," Mayweather said.
"You can ask the same questions and get the same answers. I
call my own shots."
There remain a
number of obstacles to actually making a fight, though, not least
is Mayweather's willingness to risk his unblemished mark near the
end of his career. There are issues with promoters, TV contracts,
purse splits and even legacies.
But Arum has been
in exploratory talks with Les Moonves, the head of CBS Corp.,
which owns the Showtime network that Mayweather is contractually
obligated to for two more fights.
And the fact is
that both fighters have pretty much run out of opponents that
boxing fans will pay good money for pay-per-view to see. That
wouldn't be the case in a megafight that would break all records
and make both fighters paydays far more than the $20 million to 30
million they've routinely been getting for fights.
"I get asked
about it wherever I go," Arum said of a Pacquiao-Mayweather
fight. "If I'm on a plane the person next to me will ask me.
I go to the restroom, and the attendant asks me."
star Arnold Schwarzenegger smiles before the WBO world
welterweight title boxing match between Manny Pacquiao of
the Philippines and Chris Algieri of U.S. at the Venetian
Macao in Macau, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014.
is the same as he was five years ago, when the clamor first began
for the fight. Age has taken a toll, if ever so slightly, on their
reflexes and speed.
But they both
have plenty left, as Pacquiao showed when he knocked Algieri down
six times on his way to a decision so lopsided that they were
measuring it in terms of touchdowns and field goals.
"The man is
exactly what he was billed as," Algieri said after Pacquiao
cut short his Rocky story in front of Sylvester Stallone himself.
"He's a great champion and one of the great fighters of his
plan was to weather the storm early against Pacquiao and try to
win the fight late, but he did not implement it well. Algieri ran
most of the fight and was unwilling to exchange with Pacquiao, and
was out of the bout before it reached the fourth round.
It was a
signature win for Pacquiao, one he needed badly. His own plan was
to show he still has power after going five years without a
knockout and he kept putting Algieri down even if he could not
finally put him away.
Pacquiao stood in the ring and mimicked a Foot Locker commercial
he stars in, where he jumps up and down and excitedly cries out
"He's going to fight me? Yes! Yes!"
Not so fast,
maybe. A lot of things would still have to happen to make the
fight actually happen. The chances of it falling apart are still
greater than it coming together.
But it may be
time for boxing fans to start getting at least a little bit