Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Will there be a rematch?
After a brief retirement, Manny Pacquiao easily defeated Jessie Vargas on Saturday night, regaining the welterweight world title. Now the big question is: Will rival Floyd Mayweather also come out of retirement for a rematch with Pacquiao?
It’s looking likely.
In May 2015, Pacquiao and Mayweather faced each other in a record-shattering fight that generated $600 million in total revenue. Mayweather took Pacquiao’s welterweight belt, and the latter eventually retired. This past May, he was elected to the Philippines senate, where he’ll serve a six-year term. So he’s already got a full-time job. He’s also 37, and Mayweather is 39. But if Pacquiao can come out of retirement to handily defeat the 27-year-old welterweight titleholder, he’s clearly still got it.
Besides, Pacquiao’s now saying he and Mayweather owe the public a rematch in order to “win back the trust of the fans.” In last year’s long-awaited fight, Pacquiao injured his shoulder and stumbled his way through an uneventful match. But, “if we fight again, I will do everything in my power to win back the trust of the fans,” Pacquiao said. “They would not be disappointed again if it happens.”
It’s pretty much up to Mayweather now.
The 39-year-old got a lot of rumors going Saturday when he showed up to watch the Pacquiao-Vargas bout ringside with his daughter. Mayweather rarely attends fights not put on by Mayweather Promotions, so could his appearance mean he’s measuring up his rival in the event of a rematch? If so, he played it coy on Saturday, saying, “I’m just taking [my daughter] to the fight.”
Whether or not a rematch happens, the tension between the two stars is gone. Before Saturday’s fight began, Pacquiao looked at Mayweather, pumped his fist, and smiled. Afterward, Mayweather gave Pacquiao the thumbs-up. That doesn’t mean the fight will happen, of course, but if it does, it won’t take nearly as long to set up, now that everyone seems to be getting along.
“Like everyone else, I’m guessing there will be a rematch. He did come to the fight,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. “I give it 75 percent. Do I know it’s gonna happen? No. Do I know if Floyd wants the fight? No. I know nothing more than the public knows at this point and what I observed.”