By Steve Kim
It's been speculated that as part of the recent lawsuit settlement, between Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum and powerful adviser/manager Al Haymon, that there was an understanding that negotiations would begin for a rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
The two boxers fought last May in what was the most financially lucrative event in the history of boxing. Arum promotes Pacquiao, while Haymon advises Mayweather.
Since last year's financial blockbuster, both Mayweather and Pacquiao have announced their retirements from the sport.
But just how true is this rumor of a rematch? Is this speculation just from the media?
The question was posed to Stephen Espinoza, the Executive V.P. and G.M. of Showtime Sports and Event Programming, who stated - "Obviously, I wasn't involved in the settlement discussions but from what I've heard from both sides is that the possibility of Mayweather-Pacquiao II was not a factor in settling the lawsuit.
"Certainly if that fight heats up, the fact that the lawsuit is out of the way is definitely positive but the possibility or the potential of a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch was certainly not a motivating factor from what I've heard At this point we still have two guys, while they may drop hints here and there, are for the time being very much retired."
As for Mayweather - who had a supposed farewell fight last September versus Andre Berto, to move his record to 49-0 - how close is he to returning to the ring?
Espinoza states - "There's things out there that pique his interest like the Conor McGregor fight but simultaneously he is very much retired. He has not said to us that he's definitely coming back. To the contrary, he's said - 'I'm very much retired now. I'll let you know when that changes.'
"So I do think there are things that catch his eye and are intriguing but it hasn't gotten him over the hump, he is still very much a retired boxer."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.