Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao came face-to-face in Los Angeles on Tuesday night as rumours continue to swirl over a potential 2019 rematch between the pair.
With both men in attendance at the Staples Center to watch the LA Clippers take on the Charlotte Hornets, 41-year-old Mayweather and 40-year-old Pacquiao greeted each other and shook hands before Pacquiao left the arena at half-time.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019
This, of course, is not the first time such a stunt has occurred, with both men meeting in similar circumstances at a Miami Heat game in January 2015 ahead of their long-awaited ‘Fight of the Century’ in May of that same year.
Despite their first fight – in which Mayweather cruised to a routing unanimous decision win – attracting criticism for a perceived lack of action, talk of a rematch has picked up pace in recent months, with eight-division champion Pacquiao signing with long-time Mayweather advisor Al Haymon.
Though Pacquiao is slated to face controversial American four-weight champion Adrien Broner on January 19 in Las Vegas, it would appear that the PR offensive ahead of a possible return bout with Mayweather is well-and-truly underway.
Grossing a reported $400m, their first bout was a commercial smash, shattering pay-per-view record with a staggering 4.6m buys. Should the two men square off inside the ring for a second time, the revenue generated – while thought to be significantly smaller – would still see both men pocket sizeable pay-packets.
Following the conclusion of their first contest, Pacquiao would blame a shoulder injury for the underwhelming nature of his performance. However, when questioned recently at the Pacquiao-Broner announcement press conference, ‘Pac-Man’ was resolute in his willingness to prove he is the better man – provided he is fully-fit and firing.
“I am fighting in January, so a big possibility after that we will discuss a rematch [with Mayweather].” he said.
“My thinking is to have a rematch and to make a clear decision on who will win the fight because in the last fight that we had it wasn’t clear who won the fight because he didn’t throw a lot of punches and he won the fight.
“I had a shoulder injury – but this time, if this rematch happens there are no excuses, no alibis.”