Set your PVRs.....
And if we're lucky, we might get Mayweather-Malignaggi in the same month.
What a wondrous time to be a fight fan.
Now, as of Friday Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach conceded that the door hadn't completely closed on a Mayweather matchup but he didn't sound like he wanted to spend much more time thinking about it, either.
So unless something dramatic happens Monday, Pacquiao's moving with all deliberate speed toward a showdown with Clottey, who couldn't handle the guy Pacquiao dismantled in November.
Again, you're forgiven if you can't muster much excitement over this one.
I realize that Pacquiao's most rabid fans would pay 50 bucks to watch him fight a traffic ticket, but the rest of us need a more compelling reason to part with that type of pay-per-view money. A bout with Clottey -- who could have had this fight last November if he could have closed the show against Cotto -- doesn't provide it. As a peace offering to fans HBO needs to keep this bout on its cable network.
But at least Clottey's a welterweight -- and a strong one. He might not win, but he'll make Pacquaio work.
What can Malignaggi do against Mayweather except run, take punches and crumble in the late rounds?
If HBO airs Pacquiao-Clottey on semi-free TV, then they need to offer a rebate to any subscriber who watches Mayweather-Malignaggi.
While each of these fighters moves on toward less lucrative, less interesting and less risky fights, folks are still trying to figure out just who is responsible for the short-circuiting the biggest boxing event of a generation.
A lot of commenters on the last post felt I tried too hard to vindicate Mayweather and place blame for the failed fight on Pacquiao.
I'm simply aware that, as my friend Will Strickland says, there are two sides to every story, and three when you include the truth. And the truth here is that both parties could have done more to make this fight happen.
I never intended to let Mayweather off the hook. I didn't have to because Pacquiao already did it.
Mayweather's win over Oscar de la Hoya was a genuine gamble, but like everyone else I've noticed that Mayweather has been *ahem* very carefully matched since moving up to 147 pounds four years ago. It's a matter of public record that Zab Judah is the biggest welterweight name on Money May's resume.
Would have loved to see Mayweather against Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto, but strangely, none of those fights happened.
And the drug testing hurdle he erected in front of Pacquiao, combined with this bizarre desire to face a non-factor like Paulie Malignaggi tell me that Mayweather is more concerned with preserving his perfect record than defending it.
So if, as Pacquaio's camp insists, Mayweather called for extra blood tests because he hoped to force a cancellation (thereby avoiding an epic beating and his first pro loss), I can understand how they reached that conclusion.
Still can't understand Team Pacquiao's reaction to it.
As this drug test drama has unfolded, Team Pacquiao and their fans have protested that no fighter should be able to dictate those kinds of terms to another, and that Pacquiao isn't obligated to roll over and give Mayweather whatever he wants.
But if you believe that Mayweather is petrified and desperately wants a back door out of the fight, why give it to him? Instead of Mayweather dictating the terms on which the fight will happen, he's dictating the terms on which it won't happen, and Pacquiao's team allowed him to do it.
Is that any better for the fighters and their fans?
So if you're Pacquiao, why not say yes to the test?
If you really think Mayweather has a sinister plan to avoid facing you, and you realize that this plan only works if you say no to extra drug testing, just say yes.
Say, "Yes, you can test me up to 14 days out from the fight, and no you're not getting out of this beating," then sign the contract and watch Mayweather squirm once he realizes his luck has run out.
Say yes and seize a clear victory in the psychological sparring that precedes every big bout. Imagine what it does to your opponent's mind when he sees that the one thing that was supposed to spook you -- extra blood testing -- doesn't even slow you down.
Say yes, and if Mayweather still balks you've won the public relations war, exposed the extra drug testing as a smoke screen, and made clear exactly who spoiled the fight of the century.
Instead, Pacquiao said no, leaving plenty of questions about exactly what went wrong, leaving the sporting public with a pair of bouts nobody asked for, and leaving Mayweather as the only person who got what he wanted in the end.
If a way out was really what he wanted.