The long-due second showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may finally happen after all, though it could just turn out as an exhibition match across the Pacific Ocean. On Saturday, Mayweather posted a short clip on Instagram, revealing to his followers that he’s currently working on staging an exhibition match with Pacquiao in Tokyo, Japan.

“Money May, Money May, Money May, Money May all day.

Betrnk.com that’s my team in Tokyo, Japan. TMT Tokyo and of course, I’m Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. What I’m working on right now is the Mayweather-Pacquiao exhibition right here in Tokyo, Japan stay tuned,” Mayweather said in the Instagram video.

Mayweather’s announcement has created confusion among boxing fans after South China Post reported earlier in the week about another exhibition match that would feature the undefeated American boxer fighting an unnamed Chinese fighter in Hainan, China this September.

The organizers of the event confirmed that a press conference will be held on September 18 in China to officially announce the match, which is aimed to promote Hainan as a must-go tourist spot and improve relations between the US and China through boxing.

Although the Hainan fight could still take place in 2020, Mayweather seems focused right now on arranging another big-money fight with Pacquiao, the reigning WBA (Super) welterweight champion.

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No big-fight feel

While there’s no doubt the MayPac Tokyo exhibition match would still generate tremendous numbers, it somehow lacks the big-fight feel befitting for the two biggest stars in boxing over the last 10 years.

The last time Mayweather and Pacquiao squared it off inside the ring, the world literally and figuratively stopped as millions of boxing fans in the United States and more abroad watched Mayweather cruise to a unanimous decision win.

The fight still holds the record for the biggest pay-per-view buys (4.6 million) and revenue ($410 million) in boxing, securing its place as one of the biggest sporting events in history.

MayPac I was indeed a commercial success, but critics labeled it as a major letdown because of the defensive nature of the bout. But despite the disappointment of the first match, a possible second match is still projected to earn as much as $200 million in revenue.

The fear of losing

Mayweather has built a legacy as the only pro boxer to finish his career with an unblemished 50-0 record, surpassing Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 slate.

This is the reason why Mayweather’s camp has always claimed that he’s deserving of being called “The Best Ever,” greater than Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and other boxing legends. Money May clearly wants to keep that record intact despite the risk of losing to a more active, still potent Pacquiao in Tokyo.

Obviously, Mayweather just doesn’t want to put his undefeated professional record on the line against Pacquiao, who’s still an elite-level fighter at 40, so he’s pushing their second match to be a no-bearing exhibition show.

Floyd understands that there’s always a 50-50 chance he’s going to lose to Pacquiao, now that he hasn’t fought a world-class boxer since 2015. His recent bouts against Conor McGregor and Tenshin Nashikawa were nothing more than glorified exhibition matches. Also, neither fighter would provide the kind of test a vindictive Pacquiao could give to him through 12 rounds.

Of course, Mayweather would train really hard to prove that he’s just too big, too good for his rival. However, fighting Pacquiao in an exhibition is worlds different from taking on Pacquiao in a professionally-sanctioned match. The exhibition nature of the planned Tokyo bout gives Mayweather the confidence, a safety net to take the Filipino head-on, regardless of the outcome of the match. It’s another clever move being orchestrated by Mayweather’s team, but again, it also shows how wary Money May is every time he steps inside the ring with the eight-division world champion.

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