Mayweather-Pacquiao II Is Probably Happening Whether We Want it or Not

Would you pay to see a 2017 sequel to their first mismatch?

The speculation began again on Saturday night. In Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring for a fight with Jessie Vargas. Sitting ringside was Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao reportedly invited him and Mayweather’s decision to show up has led many to believe that he will soon give Pacquiao a chance to avenge his blowout 2015 loss to the man they call “Money.” 

Now, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is saying that the odds are very much in favor of the rematch happening. “Like everyone else, I’m guessing there will be a rematch. He did come to the fight,” Arum said. “I give it 75 percent.”

But before the fight is made, Mayweather would have to come out his 14-month retirement. And on Saturday, that possibility looked more real than ever as Pacquiao and Mayweather exchanged a couple cute moments that indicated a potential reunion in the ring.

Arum says that the flirting between the two fighters doesn’t signal much, but it does indicate an end to the animosity that delayed their first fight for more than five years. (Boxing fans still wonder what would have happened if Mayweather fought a prime Pac-Man back in 2009 or 2010, though the outcome would likely have been the same.)

“It doesn’t mean the rematch will happen, though, but it means the tension is gone,” he said. “The bad words are not there. If the fight does happen it will be easier to make.”

If the fight is made, it’ll be a big deal because of the fighter’s names but it’s hard to imagine these two aging superstars putting on much of a show. Their first fight was an absolute snore and it’s hard to imagine that more than a year of retirement for Mayweather and months of senatorial duties for Pacquiao would do much to increase the entertainment value of a rematch.

Not that they’re very concerned about that. If this rematch does go down it won’t be because the fans are clamoring of it. It’ll be becuase these guys want to get a monster payday one last time.