Dubai: Floyd Mayweather has been spotted on Instagram visiting Dubai and Abu Dhabi this week prompting talk of secret negotiations for a UAE rematch with Manny Pacquiao in December.
Just last month 41-year-old Mayweather tweeted a video of himself confronting Pacquiao at a music festival in Tokyo, Japan, with a message that read: “I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another nine figure payday on the way.”
Pacquiao replied with a tweet saying: “50-1 #NoExcuses,” in reference to what Mayweather’s record would be, if he lost any potential rematch against the Filipino.
Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision in their long awaited May 2015 bout in Las Vegas to break Rocky Marciano’s record of 49 wins without loss.
That fight reportedly earned the American $220 million (Dh808 million), while Pacquiao picked up $100 million, even in defeat.
I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year. Another 9 figure pay day on the way @mayweatherpromotions pic.twitter.com/LxyNX7mWrw— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) 17 September 2018
Controversy surrounded the bout however, as Pacquiao seemingly failed to disclose a shoulder injury heading into the encounter, leaving his fans to consider what might have been if only he had been fully fit.
Now with a record of 60 wins, seven losses and two draws, 39-year-old Pacquiao is still active having just beaten Lucas Matthysse by TKO in Kuala Lumpur in July.
He had recently been linked to a possible match-up with Amir Khan later this year, but following the Mayweather Twitter exchange that speculation has taken a back seat, and Kell Brook has emerged as the new front-runner to face Khan next.
With Mayweather now in the UAE, all talk is now of Dubai or Abu Dhabi being scoped out and subject of possible negotiations for a rematch with Manny.
While here, Mayweather has visited Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Warner Brothers World in Abu Dhabi, before heading into the Dubai desert.
Could just be a holiday right? So then why was the CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe also here?
Jeddah in Saudi Arabia hosted the region’s first major world title boxing match between Callum Smith and George Groves last month. That fight got several voices in boxing, not least Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, suggesting that Dubai and Abu Dhabi could hold one next.
Could it be that Mayweather and Ellerbe are just trying to cash in on that recent regional interest or is there a genuine desire from the UAE to follow Saudi Arabia’s lead? Watch this space.