Floyd Mayweather, left, and Manny Pacquiao are shown in a combination of file photos from 2009, the last time they were in serious negotiations to meet in the ring. Apparently, Pacquiao was hanging out with Mario Lopez in those days. (Associated Press)

We waited. Then we waited some more. Then we just kind of gave up. So now, of course, is the perfect time to offer renewed hope for a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, right? Well, better late than never, I guess.

Pacquaio, trainer Freddie Roach and longtime fight promoter Bob Arum visited The San Francisco Chronicle today to sell the boxer’s Nov. 22 battle with Chris Algieri for the WBO welterweight title. It was there that Arum said he was “very optimistic” that Mayweather-Pacquiao would finally happen. From The Chronicle:

“Both networks [HBO for Pacquiao and Showtime/CBS for Mayweather] want this fight to happen,” Arum said. “All signs seem to point to the fight happening early next year.”

The question is, will anyone care at that point? Well, yeah. But the fight won’t have nearly the luster that it would have had in 2009, when a tentative arrangement was derailed after Mayweather insisted on stringent drug-testing protocols. Since then, Pacquiao has lost, with varying degrees of controversy, to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Márquez. Mayweather had preserved his undefeated record but has struggled to drum up major interest in his fights.

Both boxers are already past their primes, with Mayweather 37 years old and Pacquiao 35, but they remain the only opponents their respective fan bases really want to see.

“Everyone would have liked to see the fight have happened earlier,” Roach told The Chronicle. “But it’s still the biggest fight out there, and there is still a huge audience that wants to see it. I think Mayweather is a little shot, and we have a better shot now.”