According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr will give recent opponent Manny Pacquiao a second chance at taking his ‘O’ when the pair square off again in a year’s time.
The 38 year-old, who comprehensively defeated Pacquiao in the most lucrative boxing match of all time at the weekend, has spoken (privately via text to Smith) for the first time since the ‘Pacman’ cited a shoulder injury as the reason for his Las Vegas defeat.
Pacquiao says he suffered a tear in training and fought on despite being refused a pain-killing injection by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a decision which resulted in a sixth career loss on the scorecards after an out-of-character performance.
Mayweather improved to 48-0 with the victory, just one more win away from equalling the great Rocky Marciano’s record, and after ‘Money’ returns on September 12, the build-up can begin for another big-money battle with the Filipino Congressman.
British fighter Amir Khan has already ruled himself out of facing Mayweather in the fall due to his commitment to religious tradition Ramadan, which now means the former 140lb ruler will probably never get the chance to face the best of his generation.
With retirement talk already in the air, a meeting with Pacquiao in May 2016 would almost certainly be Mayweather’s last – leaving just a solitary window of opportunity left for one of the current crop of welterweights to exploit before the American steps away for good.
Current WBA champion Keith Thurman and IBF title holder Kell Brook would be the two frontrunners to snatch the place opposite Mayweather in four months’ time as boxing readies itself for another helping of the MayPac phenomenon.
Providing Mayweather stays unbeaten post-September, Marciano’s record could be overhauled if another triumph over Pacquiao can be achieved next year.