By Dan Charest @dannyacharest on August 24, 2014
The 70s had Ali and Frazier, the 80s had Sugar Ray and Roberto Duran, the 90s had Holyfield and Tyson and the present day could have had Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Now, well into the 21st century's second decade, the superfight between boxing's still biggest stars and arguably best pound-for-pounders is still all in the imagination.
Pacquiao turns 36 this December and Mayweather will be 38 next February. By the time their television contracts run out, the former will be 38 and latter will be 40. It's likely Mayweather will still be fighting at that age, due to his ability to roll punches and avoid big shots, but Pacquiao has been in some brawls during his career. Flash forward two years and Pacquiao should be retired for good.
Mar. 13, 2010, was going to be the night these two would finally face off. However, the sides could not agree on the methods of drug testing, and in January of 2010 the fight was canceled. Mayweather's camp wanted random testing by the USADA, but Pacquiao refused to be tested within a month of the bout. More madness ensued when Mayweather's camp claimed Pacquiao took PEDs and Pacquiao's camp filed for defamation followed by a 2012 settlement.
Are their legacies tarnished for not facing one another? Sure, but the two fighters of their day are still going to be in the Boxing Hall of Fame and would not have been considered the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all time anyways. They are still their network's top PPV star and have net worths of $ 280 million (Mayweather) and $ 100 million (Pacquiao), according to celebritynetworth.com.
Boxing fans have been toyed with for the last half decade about a possible Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Now, when whispers of the two finally settling their differences for a superfight to appear, they are brushed off with a gasp and a shrug. After they could not get a date set when they both at their primes, a fight now would seem empty, a clear reminder to what could have been — boxing's next great rivalry.
HBO and Showtime's rivalry is holding back all the finest fights from happening, and Mayweather-Pacquiao would be smack in the middle of it. This would be pay-per-view gold, with both pugilists predicted to add $ 50 million to their bank account before PPV buys. Yet it takes cooperation from both sides (see Hopkins-Kovalev) for fighters to swap networks for the best matchup. And judging from past negotiations these two sides don't mutually agree.
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