Is Floyd next?
LAS VEGAS—Manny Pacquiao showed he still has plenty of energy by dominating Jessie Vargas in a WBO title fight on Saturday—and his rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. was there to see it with a ringside seat.
Pacquiao, who turns 38 next month, floored Vargas in the second round en route to a unanimous decision victory which allowed him to reclaim the World Boxing Organization welterweight title—for the third time—which both he and Mayweather held previously.
It is a title that Pacquiao surrendered when he lost last year to Mayweather in the richest fight in boxing history.
The retired Mayweather’s appearance at ringside Saturday, at Pacquiao’s request, will certainly stir talk of a Pacquiao-Mayweather 2.
“Yes I invited him to come tonight,” Pacquiao said of Mayweather.
Asked if he wanted a rematch with Mayweather, Pacquiao said, “We will see.”
Mayweather took his seat with his daughter just before the fight started. He watched attentively, then left before the fighters had cleared the ring.
There was brief eye contact between the two best fighters of this generation.
After the fight Vargas was asked if he wanted to see Pacquiao and Mayweather go at it again.
“Of course,” Vargas said. “I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. We are still very interested in seeing what could happen again.”
But both Pacquiao, and his promoter Bob Arum, were noncommittal about a second fight with Mayweather.
“Floyd Mayweather is retired. As far as we’re concerned he’s retired and we respect that,” Arum said at the post- fight news conference.
Pacquiao had to skip the event because of a cut from a head butt that needed 16 stitches to repair.
Arum did mention other potential Pacquiao opponents, including Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Keith Thurman.
Now 39, Mayweather caused a stir in boxing circles last week after it was leaked that he was back at sparring in his own gym here.
For another, chief trainer Freddie Roach said Mayweather dropped by his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood twice.
And just when the media were ready to pursue the angle that Mayweather will be Pacquiao’s next opponent, Arum shot it down. —AFP, Roy Luarca
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