What Floyd Mayweather being ringside at Pacquiao-Vargas means
By Daniel Zaldivar
November 7, 2016
LAS VEGAS - It what can only be looked at as the beginning of the marketing campaign for the rematch, Floyd Mayweather showed up to the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas for the Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas bout on Saturday, November 5.
This is seemingly reminiscent of the when both Mayweather and Pacquiao met up at a professional basketball game in Miami last year. Only this time, it was on common ground within the confines of boxing. Mayweather, 39, arrived during the WBO featherweight world title bout between Oscar Valdez and Hiroshige Osawa. He took a seat just behind the pay-per-view commentary team and watched, in what can essentially be described as scouting, Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) knock Vargas down in the second round en route to a unanimous decision victory in front of over 16,000 fans. Mayweather kept quiet during his time in the building, but Pacquiao did tell ESPN's Bernardo Ozuna that he did personally invite him to the bout.
Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) has been retired since his win against Andre Berto in September of 2015, while Pacquiao has maintained his activity by defeating Tim Bradley Jr. and Vargas throughout 2016. The 39-year-old Mayweather initially stated that he is happy being on the sidelines, but has recently shifted his stance into expressing his openness to a return.
Top Rank CEO and Founder, Bob Arum, was asked if he knew of the undefeated fighter's impending arrival and stated he only became aware when Mayweather showed up to the arena and Todd Debuff, president of Top Rank, informed him of the invitation. However, as mentioned earlier, Pacquiao revealed that he gave out the invitation to Mayweather, which contradicts with Arum's version that Mayweather called Debuff and asked to come to the event.
Whatever the case may be, everything points in the direction of a second mega-fight between the two. The rematch would not be expected to do the huge buy rates that the original produced, but still maintains the high probability of at least doing 1-2 million in pay-per-view sales. Sometime in 2017 could be the target date and Showtime would most likely carry the event in a solo capacity since HBO has seemingly severed their ties with Pacquiao. Mayweather, as always, will be running the show. The countdown clock has [un]officially begun for the rematch of the century.
Daniel Zaldivar is a Senior Editor for Frontproof Media and also contributes to page2sports.com. He is the founder of Z-BoxingNews (a partner with Frontproof Media), a YouTube channel that delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter @DannyZ_Boxing.
(Feature photo: Christian Peterson/Getty Images)