Floyd "Money" Mayweather finally did it. He finally proved himself to a doubting public. He fought a game, bigger, all-time great fighter and came out on top. The Pretty Boy came through despite facing adversity early to put on a show last Saturday night in Las Vegas. He cemented his legacy as one of the top two fighters of his generation and solidly put himself among the top 25 men to ever lace up a pair of gloves.
But he still has one fight left to take.
While slapping Shane Mosley around a ring in the desert showed every doubting expert just what Mayweather is capable of, the one fight everyone wants to see was the elephant dominating the room at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night. Mayweather needs to come to the table with real intentions of putting a fight together with current pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
The two best fighters of their generation need to enter a ring together and they need to do it fast. Boxing is currently dying a slow, painful death. A lack of star power and name-recognition has pushed the sweet science to the back of the public's mind. It has been years since we've had a fight to stop the presses. Mayweather's bout with an aging, declining Oscar De La Hoya was a pay-per-view draw, but it wasn't anything that will go down in boxing history.
Right now the sport needs a headline grabbing, marquee matchup like Ali-Frazier I, Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns, or even a clash of the proportions of Meldrick Taylor vs. Julio Cesar Chavez in 1990. Mayweather and Pacquiao have a duty to put this fight together, not just for the fans, but for the health of a sport that has given them so much.
While Mayweather insists that drug testing is the only thing keeping the biggest fight in boxing history from happening, Pacquiao has reportedly softened his stance on the type and timing of the tests he is willing to take. Once Pacquiao's race for a Filipino congressional seat is over, he will go on vacation with his family, then sit down to talk about his next move. There's only one direction he or Mayweather can possibly go now.
Both fighters have taken on the only remaining pugilists capable of generating any public interest in their weight range. While Pacquiao's latest victim Joshua Clottey and Mosley are good fighters, they are not in the same league as Manny or Mayweather. Heck, no one is close to that league right now. For both Pacman and Pretty Boy the time to make the biggest money fight in boxing history is now.
Top Rank (who represents Pacquiao) and Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions (who represent Mayweather) need to immediately sign the deal, get it locked in for some time this fall, pack the undercard with some of boxing's most exciting young talent and make this the sporting event of the year.
A matchup of the unanimously recognized top two boxers on the planet could just save the sport. A protracted, drawn out negotiation with both sides airing their dirty laundry could turn the public off once and for all.
The fighters know what needs to happen for their sport. Here's hoping they step to the plate and make it work.