Word out of Vegas is that Floyd Mayweather has Amir Khan up next, then despite his recent rant, he fully intends to give Pacman the rematch he originally offered in a tweet to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN. Much has been made of his post-tweet reversal, but as insiders indicate, things change quickly when the prospects of another Powerball-esque windfall are at stake.
Immediately after the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight Khan claims that Money’s manager approached him and told him that the self-styled best-ever was interested in a September bout. A September bout was dubious from the beginning as many assumed that Ramadan, Islam’s yearly fasting ritual, would get in the way. Khan however indicated that if the fight is held in mid-September he would have time to finish up his fasting rituals and still remain strong enough to get in eight weeks of training prior to the fight.
The Money Team likes the prospects of a Mayweather-Khan fight as they see Khan as having a massive PPV upside. While not well-known in the United States, he has a huge international and British following. Just as Pacquiao brought a sizable Filipino contingent to the table, so likewise does Khan bring in massive interest from British and Muslim communities. This together with the fact that Khan is charismatic, is a talker and has a compelling back story, serves a prospective promotion well.
Another plus for Khan is his association with advisor Al Haymon. In keeping the fight “in-house” Haymon is able to keep the profit margin high as well as heighten Khan’s profile for the post Mayweather era. Many in the boxing community, including the well-respected Showtime boxing commentator and former IBF Light Welterweight and WBA Welterweight Champion Paulie Malignaggi, as well as Showtime’s Al Bernstein see Khan as having a very good chance of not only being highly competitive, but perhaps pulling off the upset.
While Mayweather is lining Khan up next, then, despite what his recent anti-Pacman rant might suggest, he has every intention of giving Pacquiao the rematch. While Mayweather is indeed miffed at Pacquiao’s use of his injured rotator cuff as an excuse, going so far as to call Pac a coward, with the recent news that PPV sales could reach well over five million buys, his private feelings and rhetoric have changed considerably. In fact, his recent rant is seen by Team Mayweather and those that know him best as the beginning of the Mayweather-Pacquiao II promotional drive.
One of the reasons the MayPac fight did so well, was the constant appearance of denial, obfuscation and character attacks directed against Pacquiao and his management team. Money’s constant demeaning of Pacquiao as a viable opponent got under the public’s skin and instead of killing interest in the fight it raised not only the public’s ire, but the potential fight’s profile. If the five million plus number holds true both fighters could conceivably end up with close to twice the originally projected payout. These are the kinds of numbers that get Money May’s attention.
For those keen for a second fight, the PPV numbers essentially seal the deal. Despite Mayweather’s rant against Pacman recent news out of Vegas suggests that Khan, if victorious against Chris Algieri, is next up then Pacman will follow in May of 2016. A second win against Pacquiao will send Money May into retirement with his long sought-after 50-0 record. For some, given the difficulty encountered in setting up the first fight, news of a second Pac fight will come with suspicion. For others who know Money’s modus operandi, a Mayweather-Pacquiao II fight is destined to happen. As Bob Arum reminds the public, all that needs to be worked out is Pacquiao’s injury healing in timely fashion and for all the original negotiating teams to simply do what they have done before.
Commentary By Matthew R. Fellows