THE rematch nobody wants between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao could still be on the cards for next year and could take place in Tokyo, Japan.
It was in Tokyo Mayweather launched TMT Japan in June, after announcing a partnership between management company Libera and Kyoei boxing gym, and it’s in Tokyo, as well as Cambodia, Singapore and China, a fleet of casinos will open next year.
You know what that means, don’t you? Casinos equal money, lots of it, and if there’s one thing we know about Floyd Mayweather it’s that he loves money.
“In Asia more and more casinos are setting up,” Hong Kong-based promoter Jay Lau told Jack Figg of SunSport. “Mayweather came to Tokyo to set up TMT Japan because of the Japan casinos that open in the next year.
“There are casinos opening in Cambodia, Singapore and China as well. It means boxing will get more and more popular.
“The Manny (Pacquiao) rematch is the biggest thing that can happen.
“I hope it does happen. It could be a big possibility that fight is the grand opening for the Japan casinos.”
Mayweather’s ambition is to create a casino hotel in Okinawa, which would allow him to stage further fights in Japan, exhibitions like the one against Tenshin Nasukawa last December. He said at the June press conference: “Negotiations are progressing. Although it is not yet official, my opponent could be a kickboxer or an MMA fighter.
“It’s natural that I come up with this idea, because I’m buying a house in Tokyo so I don’t have to repeat the long trips between the United States and Japan.”
Lau then revealed Mayweather had second thoughts about exhibitions and instead liked the idea of once again sharing a ring with Pacquiao, a fellow multi-weight champion he defeated in May 2015.
“Mayweather came two times to Hong Kong. He spoke with my son Jayson and we had communications but now he is focussing the Pacquiao rematch,” Lau said. “We were talking about an exhibition in China, a big event, but not a recorded professional boxing fight. Something like Mayweather vs. Tenshin in Japan.
“We spoke a bit about doing a special fight in China, but halfway through he turned to the Pacquiao rematch so we stopped.”
The lure of a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao rematch is certainly a stronger bargaining tool than that of Mayweather vs. an Asian kickboxer in an exhibition. But it remains to be seen whether Mayweather is simply dangling the possibility of a Pacquiao rematch in order to make more money without fighting or actually has the desire to once again step inside the ring, this time against a man who possesses the one thing he is currently without – a world title.
According to Joseph Parker’s manager, Dereck Chisora is one fight away from retirement and has zero interest in making his way towards a world title shot the hard, old-fashioned away.
Instead, David Higgins believes the fighter formerly known as ‘Del Boy’ is going to do away with the plan to fight Parker ahead of a potential world title shot and simply accept a thrashing – and sizeable payday – against former world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Higgins implored the people making the decisions for Chisora to stop “playing games with Chisora’s head” and “playing games for two years with the British public”. He then added: “Stick to your word, both of you, and give the fans what they want.
“Stop running away (from Parker), trying to take another option, because you think there might be a little bit more money. Chisora would probably lose to Usyk.
“He might make a little bit more money, but that’s like a retirement fight. When you take a fight you know you’re going to lose, for a bit more money, you’re basically saying, ‘I’m retiring.’
“My message is: if Chisora and (David) Haye choose to go with Usyk, they are putting up a white flag. Chisora is saying, ‘I’m finished with boxing and I just want to take the money.’”
Higgins has a point, no question, but the validity of his speculation depends on Chisora’s mindset – as opposed to his ability – when approaching a fight against Usyk, arguably the finest cruiserweight of all time.
At this point, only the Finchley slugger can say whether a fight against the Ukrainian is one he believes he can actually win – or at least try to win – or is simply a cash-out opportunity too good to refuse. If, however, history is anything to go by, we can probably say this with a degree of certainty: Chisora, an exciting perennial contender, might lose to the best heavyweights in the world but never does he go down without a fight.