Hopes that a blockbuster bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could finally take place in 2014 appear to have been extinguished, with the latter having dismissed claims that such a fight is on the agenda.
Speculation over a bout between two of boxing's biggest stars first surfaced in 2009, but, much to the disappointment of fight enthusiasts across the globe, it never materialised due to various disputes about blood and drug testing.
However, anticipation and excitement over the possibility of a future bout was rekindled last week, when a report suggested that it was guaranteed that the duo would meet in the ring in 2014 and that it has already been agreed.
"All the stories you hear about Pacquiao is a lie. It’s a lie. It’s not true," the 36-year-old told fighthype.com in an interview that was quoted by The Metro.
"If it didn’t come from Leonard’s [Ellerbe] mouth, my mouth, or Al’s [Haymon] mouth, it’s not true."
With this latest news seemingly dashing any chance of a 2014 meeting, fans of the respective fighters must surely now accept that the fight that everyone wants to see will, most likely, never come to pass.
Mayweather, a five-division world champion, remains unbeaten with a glittering record of 45 wins from 45 fights. His last victory came against Saúl Álvarez in Las Vegas back in September.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has a record of 55 wins, five defeats and two draws from his 62 professional bouts.
His career looked as if it was drawing to a close following consecutive defeats at the hands of Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, yet the Filipino bounced back to beat Brandon Rios in November.