After half a decade of strained negotiations, social media sparring, racial slurs and break-ups over drug testing protocols, it appears that boxing’s two most prized assets may finally be prepared to trade in their intolerable courting for a one-night, dysfunctional marriage of fistic brilliance. Notice the choice of the modal verb ‘may’; quite simply, the certainty of a ‘will’ or a ‘must’ has seemed and still seems a tad fanciful in the context of a Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao landmark bout.
Why the renewed optimism for the premiere bout being launched then? Well, coming into 2015, widely acknowledged pound for pound kingpin, Mayweather, is entering the final year of his lucrative contract with US television network Showtime which guarantees him two further fights this year. With the ripened age of 38 less than a month away, Mayweather has admitted for some time that 2015 will be his last rodeo; one in which he hopes to deliver a brazen exclamation mark to his protestation that he is the greatest fighter of all-time. With his perennial rival Pacquiao, battle hardened at 36 and with a myriad of bruising encounters lining his recent history (not least a knock out loss at the hands of Welterweight Juan Manuel Marquez in 2013), then the marketability and plausibility of the mega-fight are all reaching an apex at this juncture. With this in mind, the projected date of May 2nd, or never, is the forecast for the fight amongst the boxing intelligentsia.