HOLLYWOOD—Like it or not, the sequel to the mega-rich fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is fast taking shape.
Sources privy to the rematch said on Sunday that all parties were on board for a July date either in Russia or London. But Las Vegas is still not out of the equation.
The unbeaten Mayweather, supposedly on retirement now, is scheduled to visit Manila anew soon, according to the same sources.
The flamboyant American fighter and promoter is also expected to be at ringside when Pacquiao stakes his WBA regular welterweight crown against Adrien Broner this Saturday (Sunday, Philippine time) at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.FEATURED STORIES
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That would be the third time the two global boxing superstars will meet since bumping into each other in Japan in September last year when Mayweather, in an Instagram post, said he would face Pacquiao that December.
Just recently, the two fighters were at a Los Angeles Clippers game at Staples Center.
But the supposed rematch fell through and Pacquiao signed up with Premier Boxing Champion, which is in alliance with Mayweather.
His first opponent for the outfit turned out to be Broner, a 29-year-old four-division world champion who is sometimes called “Mayweather-lite.”
“There’s got to be a reason why Floyd has been on TV, he wants the world to know he’s still there,” said Pacquiao consultant Freddie Roach on Saturday.
But Pacquiao remained mum and said their previous meetings “were not planned. It was just coincidence. We just happened to be at the same place at the same time.”
Mayweather has since fought 19-year-old mixed martial arts fighter Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition match in Japan on New Year’s Eve, expectedly won by the American.
Pacquiao and Mayweather clashed in 2015 with the Filipino legend—suffering from an injured shoulder—finding it very difficult to chase the slippery counter-punching champion.
That match has set a record as the richest ever for the sport of boxing with a reported revenue of $600 million.
On Sunday night, Pacquiao entertained his team at his LA mansion by singing a famous Freddie Aguilar ditty.
Another Filipino folk singer, Florante, was also around.
Florante, now based in the United States, joined about 100 Team Pacquiao members and supporters who gave an audience as Pacquiao held a “mini-concert” on the eve of his traditional caravan to Las Vegas.
At 40, Pacquiao is taking on a different approach in training. He now allows himself longer breaks to recover.
On Sunday, he didn’t work out at all.
Instead, he attended church service with his family in the morning. Then, he treated his followers to a Japanese lunch by booking for the entire afternoon the trendy Kabuki Restaurant located at the corner of Vine Street and Hollywood Boulevard.
In the early evening, Pacquiao played the guitar and piano at the living room of his mansion along Plymouth Boulevard.
Afterward, he watched NBA games and, like he did every single night of his training camp here, handed out dollar bills to Team Pacquiao members who correctly guessed the winning team.
Clearly, Pacquiao is in relaxed mood ahead of his fight against Adrien Broner on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila).