Despite the impressive victory that eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao scored on Saturday against American boxer Timothy Bradley, boxing experts doubt if the dream bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr would still happen at all.
Besides citing several reasons why it is an almost next to impossible dream, National Post writer Rory Barrs warned that it could actually turn out to be a nightmare instead of a dream match because by the time both camps agree, they are just one step from retirement.
"The fight will not happen. And, if it were to be signed, the result would most likely be a diluted stepchild of the modern-day dream match now five years past its best due date," Barrs wrote.
He cited the so-called dream matches between an ageing Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard in April 1987 which should have been done in October 198s after Hagler's bout with Fulgencio Obelmejias. After five years and the bout took place, it "lacked the substance to match the pageantry," Barrs said, citing a quote from former Ring magazine editor-in-chief Nigel Collins that "Both fought well and at a high skill level, but neither was at his best, especially Hagler."
He said the proposed Pacquiao-Mayweather fight should have been held in 2009. He pointed out that while the 35-year-old Pacquiao proved he should still not retire yet, he was "not the same whirling dervish of fists and balletic footwork that made easy work of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto."
Bleacher Report agreed that the Saturday rematch proved that the Filipino congressman is a well-rounded fight "who can win with more than just the speed of his punching flurries."
It also stressed that Pacquiao's win over Bradley should not be taken lightly "since it is something that nobody else has done."
Money May, two years older that Pacman, has a defensive brilliance that is still largely intact, but his shoulder roll appears to be no longer impenetrable, observed Barrs who stressed that boxing is a young man's game, and Mayweather's place is boxing's Hall of Fame.
In the event that the dream bout would still happen, Barres foresees it still being a good fight "But time has swallowed the one that would have been great."
Age issues aside, there are other unresolved matters between the two pound-for-pound kings such as Pacquiao being in the stable of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum whom Mayweather would not deal with, blood tests and who gets the higher purse.
In the case of Pacquiao, there is the disincentive of subjecting his face and body to extreme physical pain during each bout, only to have the Philippine tax agency run after his wealth for alleged tax deficiency, and which later be misused by corrupt Philippine legislative and executive officials.