Feature | May 02 2019

LONG READ On the trail of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao

Four years ago today Floyd Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao. John Dennen was on the trail
Floyd Mayweather
Floyd-Mayweather  |  Esther Lin/Showtime

I hadn’t expected to be writing about Floyd Mayweather on a Sunday morning in Macau. When I’d started working for Boxing News, five years previously, Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao was an obvious match to make. But with boxing doing as boxing does, every laboured effort to bring about The Big One collapsed into nothing more than verbal barbs, seasoned with the odd lawsuit. It had gone on for so long that there seemed little more to add to the tale of The Best Fight that Never Happened. Once Pacquiao had lost a controversial judgement against Tim Bradley and a single, stunning blow from bitter rival Juan Manuel Marquez had knocked him cold, the Mayweather fight slid almost completely out of sight.

Yet Pacquiao had struck out for the Far East, rebuilt and suddenly, with the blood from his last fight scarcely washed off his gloves, he stood in front of the world to declare baldly what everyone had longed to hear. He called out Floyd Mayweather.

“I think it’s time to say something,” he announced in his soft voice. “The people deserve that fight. The fans deserve that fight. I think it’s time to make that fight happen.