MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — It was a chance encounter that WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao and undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. turned into an unexpected media event to announce intent to do their much-awaited rematch in December.
Pacquiao and Mayweather happened to be in Tokyo for separate endorsement deals. They met up in an outdoor electronic music festival called Ultra Japan in front of over 100,000 revelers at the Odaiba Park yesterday.
The champions were in separate VIP areas enjoying the music until Mayweather walked towards Pacquiao with his Money Team in tow. Then, he called out Pacquiao, yelling “easy money, easy work” and pointing a finger at the Filipino icon. A source close to Pacquiao said the Senator asked, “why are you calling me out … I thought you’re retired.” Mayweather began to rant and finally, declared, “I’m coming back in December.” He turned a nasty look at Pacquiao and said, “no more shoulder excuses, let’s set it up.”
Mayweather later spoke with Las Vegas-based international matchmaker Sean Gibbons who fueled the fire by saying “why not go to 51-0,” referring to the 41-year-old fighter’s record. Mayweather shot back at Gibbons, saying, “you’re trying to set me up ‘cause you’re with Pacquiao” but made no bones in pronouncing what he wants. “I’m gonna get that (WBA) belt and I’m gonna get that payday,” said Mayweather. “It’s gonna be easy work.” Gibbons said, “let’s do this again, baby, let’s get the paperwork done.”
That wasn’t the end of the chance encounter. Pacquiao then went over to Mayweather’s VIP area and said he’s not backing down. “Let’s go, let’s do it tonight, right now,” he said. “No excuses.” Mayweather’s entourage started to taunt Pacquiao and his party as if to ignite the pre-fight fireworks even before negotiations begin.
What’s the next step to take in sealing the deal is a big question mark. “Let’s see what happens,” said a Pacquiao source. “But one thing’s sure, they both want a rematch. Mayweather thinks it’ll be an easy paycheck. Manny wants revenge. He wasn’t 100 percent for the first fight. This time, it will be a different story.”
In May 2015, Pacquiao and Mayweather broke the all-time record in pay-per-view buys with 4.6 million generating revenues of over $410 Million. Ticket sales at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas went over $72 Million. Mayweather took in more than $250 Million with Pacquiao earning at least $120 Million. Mayweather won on a unanimous 12-round decision but some sportswriters at ringside disagreed. Judge Dave Moretti saw it 118-110 while judges Burt Clements and Glenn Feldman had it 116-112, all for Mayweather. Pacquiao reinjured his right shoulder in the fourth round and fought Mayweather with one hand the rest of the way. The right shoulder was hurt in training a few weeks before the fight.