It was the "news" that every boxing fan has waited so long to hear -- that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao may finally be poised to step into the ring. You know, at the same time.
Mayweather's trusted advisor Leonard Ellerbe insisted on Thursday that his fighter wants the "best fight out there ... the little guy," when he next sees competitive action on May 5, sending the pugilistic world into a minor frenzy.
Beware though, because we have been here before. Back in 2009 it seemed as if a fight would get made between the sport's biggest names and pound-for-pound titans, only for it to fall apart thanks to a dispute over drug testing.
Perhaps sensing that Mayweather, as ever, could be loath to back up words with actions, Pacquiao took the remarkable step of invading Pretty Boy Floyd's own turf, and heading to the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas to issue a direct challenge.
Except that, in this case, Pacquiao was not Pacquiao himself, but a remarkable lookalike. Allan Rivera Manuel (pictured below; the real deal is to the right) and his uncanny likeness to the champ was chronicled on Yahoo! Sports earlier this year and has since seen his own popularity skyrocket.
Rivera was this week invited to join Pacquiao on Jimmy Kimmel Live, ahead of the Pacman's showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 12.
"We heard that Mayweather wants to fight so we thought we should go down there and lay down the challenge officially," said Rivera's manager Michael Pablo. "This is the match-up that everyone wants to see."
However, a few choice words from Ellerbe does not a fight make and there is surely still some endless wrangling, chest-puffing and brow-beating before the Fight of the Century can get inked.
The mutual dislike between the two camps -- Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions, and Pacquiao and Top Rank's Bob Arum -- could grind the process to a frustrating halt once more.
And let us not forget that Mayweather has a history of trying to upstage Pacquiao in the days and weeks before his biggest fights. Indeed, Mayweather announced his comeback bout against Marquez on the same day that Pacquiao fought Ricky Hatton in 2009.
For now, boxing fans are starting to dream of a magical meeting between two living legends. Let's hope in turns into reality.
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