Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather would begin negotiations on a mega blockbuster fight within the next 24 hours, USA Today newspaper reported today. Mayweather told the paper that he wants to fight Pacquiao and it disturbs him that the Filipino will not admit he wants the fight as well. "Manny Pacquiao is the fighter and every time someone asks him if he wants to fight me, he says it is up to his promoter, he's going to take a vacation, whatever the answer is," the newspaper quoted Mayweather saying.
"I have yet to hear him actually say, 'yes I want to fight Mayweather.' We are the fighters and if one fighter is talking about fighting another fighter, then they should just come out and say it. "Manny Pacquiao doesn't say anything directly about fighting me because he might just know it's not a fight he can win." Mayweather's challenge comes just days after Pacquiao's systematic demolition of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.
After a close first couple of rounds Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) switched to his up tempo style and pummeled Cotto for several rounds before the referee stepped in and stopped the one-sided bout. The victory validated newly-crowned World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Pacquiao as the greatest Asian fighter in history. It also helped raise his status, along with Mayweather, as two of the best current pound-for-pound fighters in boxing.
It was also the seventh world title in as many weight classes for Pacquiao, something even the American Mayweather cannot claim. "Tell Manny Pacquiao to be his own man and stop letting everyone, including his loudmouth trainer (Freddie Roach), talk for him," said Mayweather. "I am my own boss, speak for myself and tell it like it is. If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight me, all he has to do is step up to the plate and say it himself."
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said he wants to make a deal but hopes egos do not get in the way. "All you have to know is that my fighter and his trainer Freddie Roach have gone on record saying they're happy to fight Mayweather," said Arum who used to promote Mayweather. "Hopefully we'll be able to put this together. From our side, we're willing." In his last fight Mayweather got the decision against Juan Manuel Marquez in September. Before that, he took a two-year hiatus from boxing. He has a reputation of being someone that is difficult to deal with.
"Maybe I prefer not to deal with him. But if your fighter wants a fight, you deal. Mayweather is not one of my favourite people and I'm sure I'm not one of his. What difference does that make?" Arum said. Pacquiao said he is comfortable fighting at the welterweight division and would like to it again. * AFP