Manny Pacquiao has confirmed that ‘negotiations are ongoing’ for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
Oscar De La Hoya, sensing Mayweather-Pacquiao II really may be in the offing this time, makes his blocking move by teasing Floyd Jnr with the vision of an alternative rematch – against Canelo Alvarez ‘worth $1.5billion.’
Quite a conundrum for the man who calls himself Money, as Mayweather juggles his latest retirement against yet another comeback.
A second spin around the Las Vegas ring with Pacquiao would bring him somewhat less than the minimum $68m he banked from their first encounter – but would also offer a better chance of Mayweather retaining his precious 50-0 unbeaten record.
The risk with Canelo is that although he would put more loot on the table, he is now a more mature boxer than first time around and has grown mentally as well as physically into fighting manhood. He is a full-blown middleweight now, while Mayweather boxes at welterweight.
Even if Alvarez and his Golden Boy promoter agreed to a catchweight compromise somewhere between 160lbs and 147lbs, Mayweather would still be giving away not only significant weight but 14 years in age.
And in addition to the heightened danger of defeat, Mayweather will have to pin down precisely what exactly the carrot being dangled by De La Hoya is really worth
In both the US and UK now, a billion is defined as 1,000m. Oscar is probably thinking about $150m, of which Mayweather would no doubt expect $100m.
But that scale of investment would have to come from DAZN, the subscription streaming network to which Canelo is contracted, while Mayweather works with Showtime’s pay-per-view channel.
It is nearly six years now since Mayweather, now 42, outpointed Canelo, then just 23, and four since a similar decision over Pacquiao, who is 40.
In the equation of cash versus age, it makes more sense for Mayweather to go again with Pacquiao. That match is also easier to make for television.
With Gennady Golovkin also joining DAZN, it has to be more likely that he and Canelo will complete their trilogy later this year with GGG hoping for either fairer judging in Las Vegas or an alternative venue, such as New York.
Furthermore, Alvarez is fighting Danny Jacobs in May, while the whispered dates for Money-PacMan II are in June, July and August.
Not every boxing fan will be looking forward to a second helping of Mayweather vs Pacquiao, following the disappointment of the first fight, but the casual viewers will be there in sufficient numbers around the world to add a large number of noughts to both their bank accounts.
The sales pitch has begun with a reminder that the Pac-Man carried a torn shoulder into their first fight. Freddie Roach, his fabled trainer, says: ‘I wanted to pull Manny out then but there was too much money at stake and too much pressure on him not to do that.
‘I firmly believe now that a fully fit Manny beats Floyd.’
There is also a body of opinion that Canelo could lose to Jacobs in Vegas on May 4, which would turn the boxing world upside down.
That is unlikely even though Jacobs, a cancer survivor therefore known as the Miracle Man, ran Golovkin close when they fought.
Mayweather could resume pocketing single-figure millions with exhibition matches in the Far East against smaller kick-boxers. But that will seem to him like small change with the prospect of between $50-100m in the offing.
In boxing’s sometimes bewildering financial maze the odds right now are on Mayweather-Pacquiao II this summer, then Canelo- Triple G III in September.