Column: Timing off in Pacquiao offer to Mayweather

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Beating Marquez for a third time in four fights won’t prove anything other than Pacquiao can still earn a big payday. Losing to him will mean two defeats in a row for Pacman, and almost certainly scuttle any chance of a Mayweather fight.

Mayweather has been uncharacteristically quiet since his release from jail in Las Vegas, where he was serving a sentence on a domestic abuse charge. He hasn’t revealed what his plans are, though it’s clear he won’t be fighting the rest of the year.

Assuming Pacquiao beats Marquez _ and that’s a big assumption _ the earliest the two could meet would be in the spring, most likely the first week of May. That’s also the last legitimate date for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight to mean anything, and if it passes, a chance to make boxing history will pass along with it.

Pacquiao’s offer to take less money does put the onus of making the fight squarely on Mayweather. He’s running out of excuses not to fight Pacquiao, and both his legacy and reputation will suffer if he doesn’t.

Any serious talk about a possible fight, though, will have to wait until Pacquiao fights Marquez.

Until then any offer Pacquiao makes is nothing more than a sales job for Dec. 8.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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