Pacquiao on megafight vs Floyd Jr: Bring it on
HOLLYWOOD—There was one missing figure in the Manny Pacquiao team bus as it rolled away from the American gambling capital to this glitzy California district—Manny Pacquiao himself.
The pound-for-pound king, coming off a less-than-decisive victory over Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday, decided to stay an extra day in Las Vegas—taking his own sweet time before making the road trip here.
Pacquiao is expected to take a week off before plotting what could be a slam-bang 2012.
Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, said the Filipino ring icon would not make any decision yet despite saying he was open to a rematch with Marquez after yet another nondefinitive victory over his Mexican rival at the MGM Grand.
But what’s really starting to take shape is the fight everybody has been hoping for in the last two years.
Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the pound-for-pound title.
After not allowing himself to get reeled into calling for a fight with the undefeated American during a round-table with journalists last week, Pacquiao finally said after the Marquez bout that it was time to square off with Mayweather in the ring.
“Let’s make it happen on May 5,” Pacquiao said after the Marquez bout. “Let’s give the people a good fight.”
“Let’s get it on.”
It was the boldest statement yet by the eight-division champion on the possibility of fighting Mayweather. Previous to that, Pacquiao would only say his job as a fighter was to battle whoever his promoter puts with him in the ring.
In an interview with international journalists days before the Marquez fight, a reporter asked Pacquiao to call out on Mayweather.
“Good try,” he said, laughing. “But no.”
De La Hoya optimistic
A Pacquiao-Mayweather clash started taking shape again after two collapsed negotiations when both Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya said the fight could be held next year.
De La Hoya expressed optimism the fight would happen next year, with Golden Boy Promotions—the De La Hoya outfit that helps promote Mayweather—saying it had penciled a May 5 fight for money, hinting that it would be the biggest fight ever.
Pacquiao sued Mayweather after the latter alleged publicly that the Filipino had leaped through weight classes—collecting scalps and titles along the way—by using performance-enhancing drugs.
Mayweather has constantly ducked Pacquiao, using his allegation as a basis for not signing a fight contract.
The American is insisting on Olympic-style testing protocols while Pacquiao is insisting on using established Nevada Athletic State Commission rules.
It may be that both camps have overcome that obstacle.
In fact, Pacquiao admitted that the reason the fight contract hadn’t been signed yet was because both camps couldn’t agree on revenue sharing—a sign that both camps were indeed making informal negotiations even before Pacquiao-Marquez 3 became a storied chapter of ring history.
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