The combative sports world was abuzz yesterday.
The news of… no, not Chris Weidman’s rib injury, which has sidelined him indefinitely. Sure, Weidman’s bout with Vitor Belfort next month at UFC 184 was well-anticipated — so sure, it’s disappointing. We’ve actually been expecting Weidman vs. Belfort to happen since May of last year (when it was originally scheduled, before Belfort’s synthetic testosterone use was banned), so it’s not like we’ve been waiting six years for it or something.
The UFC Middleweight Champion Weidman will be back, and so will post-testosterone Belfort. Hopefully.
No, the buzz was really about that oracle of our time, TMZ, and their revelation that boxing legends Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao had finally come to terms.
Mayweather vs. Pacquaio Deal Done: Fight Set reads the headline, and yes, we all read it. “Two sides to make an announcement in the coming days,” says TMZ Staff.
We’d like to believe it, of course — and maybe, this time, it’s even true. After all, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter Bob Arum had said an announcement was forthcoming recently. (Again.) This weekend’s Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event on the North American calendar; so maybe we’ll find out then. It would be an appropriate time to begin promoting what may be the biggest fight of all time. Maybe, it’s all lining up.
Of course, that’s not what the biggest names in boxing journalism are saying.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael weighed in:
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) January 31, 2015
Oh, and this from Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports:
My information from multiple sources is that the TMZ report about Mayweather-Pacquiao being done is inaccurate. Close but not done
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) January 31, 2015
But hey, sometimes you’ve got to believe. Just think, again, of the Super Bowl. When my hometown Seattle Seahawks began their season 3-3, few expected them to win nine of their last ten. A few big wins later, including an unlikely come-from-behind victory against Green Bay (which featured a daring trick play on a critical fourth down) and they’re in the Super Bowl. Yep, that 3-3 team is back in the Super Bowl. They’re the first team in a decade to accomplish back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.
They’re ready to make history.
Maybe, finally, so are Mayweather and Pacquiao.