Fallen champion Manny Pacquiao may well be an interested spectator from the Philippines tonight as rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. makes a mandatory defence of his WBC welterweight title against Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas.
A long-time target of Mayweather, Pacquiao, 34, was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight – leaving any hope of a big money bout with Mayweather dead in the water for the immediate future.
A possible way back for the ‘Pacman’ is in the offing tonight, but only if Guerrero can pull off the seemingly impregnable task of taking Mayweather’s unbeaten record and thus bringing Pacquiao back in from the cold.
Mayweather’s aura of invincibility is potentially the only stumbling block right now after Pacquiao agreed to back down from his 50-50 demands and accept the drug testing demands that scuppered previous attempts to agree the clash.
If somehow the 36 year-old was to lose at the MGM Grand to Guerrero, interest in seeing the two finally meeting in the ring would certainly be greater than it has been since last December and could conceivably happen in the summer of 2014.
Floyd has a date in September already set as Pacquiao has recently announced a November 23 return in Macau, China – meaning that negotiations could begin before the end of the year, but only if Mayweather drops a loss before that cut off point.
Without that blot on Mayweather’s record, Pacquiao would have to make a spectacular return to winning ways against Brandon Rios or Mike Alvarado and even then – would probably have to avenge either of his recent losses to Tim Bradley or Marquez before being considered.
That would mean a Mayweather v Pacquiao mega-fight is at least 18 months away if ‘Money’ continues his dominance of the sport, with the likes of Saul Alvarez and Devon Alexander in line to meet the pound for pound king in the fall as Pacquiao is kept frozen out.