by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Well known Australian promoter Peter Maniatis believes that the fight boxing fans have longed for over the past four years between “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao and undefeated pound-for-pound No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr has to happen to save boxing.
Maniatis told BoxingScene/Manila Standard/Viva Sports that both Pacquiao and Mayweather “both realize the fight has to happen” in the face of a major downswing in pay-per-view numbers with a showdown between the two biggest names in boxing certain to boost the sport as well as the PPV numbers.
He said fight fans are no longer that interested in boxing with “so many other sports competing for attention such as MMA, UFC and basketball.”
Maniatis said that “nobody wants Pacquiao and Mayweather to agree to fight at a time they’ll have to enter the ring in wheelchairs. The time is now.”
Mayweather faces Argentina’s Marcos Maidana in a rematch on May 13 and has said he will make a surprise announcement on his next fight which is expected to take place in May next year.
After he announced the Maidana rematch Mayweather kept fans guessing when he said “I’m fighting in May (2015) and I’m going to have a big surprise for you all.” The speculation has centered around a much-awaited fight against Pacquiao.
Maniatis noted that Pacquiao who defends his WBO welterweight title against light welterweight champion Chris Algieri in Macau on November 22, “is fighting a guy who is lanky, much taller but doesn’t have much power.”
However, the Aussie promoter noted that he is “resilient and Ruslan Provodnikov nearly put him away in the first couple of rounds but he (Algieri) came back and won the fight. Not many fighters can get beaten up that badly, have their face swollen and eventually win.”
Maniatis said Algieri is undefeated in 20 fights “while Manny has had a lot of hard fights” and it may not be as easy as some fight fans believe.