End of an era: Mayweather three fights left, Pacquiao five
News that Manny Pacquiao is set to retire once his newly-inked Top Rank contract expires in 2016 has left those holding out hope of a super-fight with Floyd Mayweather with little time left to realise their dream.
The 35 year-old has revealed that his upcoming bout with Chris Algieri on November 23 will be the first of five fights that will ultimately signal the end of one of the most outstanding careers ever seen in the sport.
Pacquiao, who has claimed world titles at eight different weight classes, will only fight two more times in both 2015 and 2016, before bowing out at the end of his final year to concentrate on political engagements in his home country of the Philippines.
Beginning in 1995 at the minimumweight limit, Pacquiao steadily rose through the ranks to claim a maiden world title at 112lbs in 1998, before going on to win seven more full world titles bringing him into his current reign as WBO welterweight champion.
Great rival Mayweather, who is two years Pacquiao’s senior, has stated in the past that he himself will retire upon the completion of his own lucrative contract with Showtime, which runs until September 2015.
‘Money’ fights on September 13 in a second encounter with Marcos Maidana, and will then compete in May, before a final bout in the fall of next year that could potentially equal Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0. Saying Mayweather does achieve this feat without facing his Filipino nemesis, and Pacquiao also stays undefeated until that time, there would then be the opportunity for an unprecedented record-equaling fight between the two legends.
That surely would be the perfect ending to Mayweather’s career should he decide to take on Marciano’s record, although there will always be those who want the fight happen sooner, rather than later.
Amir Khan has already laid claim in the media to wanting the Mayweather fight in May 2015 if the Brit comes through a December 6 return, whilst Pacquiao still wants to exact revenge on Juan Manuel Marquez in a fifth fight next April after suffering a shocking knockout in December 2012.
If both took those paths in 2015, the opportunity to collide in the biggest grossing fight of all time would certainly be there in just over twelve months’ time, but whether the ultimate battle happens at all remains the quarter of a billion dollar question.
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