LAS VEGAS // Floyd Mayweather was reluctant to commit to a mega-fight with Filipino Manny Pacquiao after embellishing his unbeaten record by outclassing fellow American Shane Mosley in a welterweight bout. Boxing fans have savoured the prospect of a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown, if only to decide the mythical title of the world's best pound-for-pound fighter. Mayweather had been expected to meet Pacquiao earlier this year until negotiations collapsed over the American's demand for random drug testing. Mosley then stepped in to take the Filipino's place.
"If Manny takes the (blood) test, we can make the fight happen," Mayweather told a news conference after completing a unanimous points victory over Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. "If he doesn't, we don't have a fight. If Manny Pacquaio wants to fight, it is not hard to find me." "I'm not going out chasing fighters," added Mayweather, who surrendered his tag as the best pound-for-pound boxer to Pacquiao during a 21-month retirement from the sport that ended only in September.
"If the fans want to see that happen, I want to make it happen but we have to have a level playing field. If every athlete is clean in the sport of boxing, take the test." Mayweather did, however, express interest in another possible opponent in a higher weight class - light-middleweight and middleweight champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina. "I thought about that," said Mayweather, who improved his career record to 41-0 with 25 knockouts. "As of right now, I don't know what I'm going to do. All I want to do is go home and relax."
Mayweather has certainly earned quality relaxation time with his family after delivering two surprises for the boxing fans at the MGM Grand yesterday. Known for his flamboyant showmanship, Mayweather produced the first with a spectacular arrival in the ring before providing the second with an aggressive style of boxing very rarely seen from him before. After a lengthy build-up to the fight, Mosley, wearing a black robe with blue and white trim, approached the ring with Eminem's "Till I collapse" as his musical accompaniment.
Mayweather, who is nicknamed 'Money", then followed in his trademark dramatic style. While the O'Jays classic "For the Love of Money" was sung by four men walking ahead of him, he advanced to the ring wearing black fur and red leather with fireworks going off and costumed clowns on stilts showering the fans with money. "I love to give the fans something different," said the 33-year-old, who is boxing's biggest box office draw. "I always like to have something different up my sleeve."
Renowned as the best defensive fighter of his generation, Mayweather went on to surprise the sell-out crowd, and Mosley, with a much more aggressive strategy than had been expected. "There was a point to prove, to see who was the best welterweight out there," Mayweather said after dominating 11 of the 12 rounds. "Everyone was talking about how Mosley is stronger, how Mosley is faster. I rocked him more than he rocked me.
"After a while I think Mosley went into survival mode. All he was trying to do was survive." * Reuters