x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

After the eighth title, Pacquiao turns attention to Mayweather

Manny Pacquiao's trainer says the time has come for Floyd Mayweather Jr, the undefeated American, to decide if he will face the Filipino in the ring.

Manny Pacquiao, right, was in brutal mood at Cowboys Stadium against Antonio Margarito as he won the fight on all three judges’ scorecards 120-109, 119-109 and 118-110.
Manny Pacquiao, right, was in brutal mood at Cowboys Stadium against Antonio Margarito as he won the fight on all three judges’ scorecards 120-109, 119-109 and 118-110.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS // Manny Pacquiao's trainer says the time has come for Floyd Mayweather Jr, the undefeated American, to decide if he will face the Filipino in the ring.

Boxing fans have long savoured the prospect of a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown, if only to decide the mythical title of the world's best pound-for-pound fighter.

"He [Mayweather] has got to do something," Freddie Roach told reporters after Pacquiao won an unprecedented world title in eight different weight divisions by beating Mexico's Antonio Margarito by a unanimous decision.

"After this great performance by Manny, Mayweather just has to put up or shut up now and move out of the country.

"Let's face it. Manny's way above him at this point because I remember when [Mayweather] was ducking Margarito and he wouldn't fight him either. If he doesn't fight Manny now, we know this guy should retire."

Mayweather had been expected to meet Pacquiao earlier this year but negotiations collapsed over the American's demand for random drug testing.

Shane Mosley, another American, then stepped in to take the Filipino's place but he was outclassed by Mayweather in a non-title welterweight bout in Las Vegas in May.

That left Mayweather with an unblemished career record of 41-0 with 25 knockouts but even then he was reluctant to commit to a fight with Pacquiao.

"I'm not going out chasing fighters," said Mayweather, who surrendered his tag as the best pound-for-pound boxer to the Filipino during a 21-month retirement from the sport that ended late last year.

"If Manny takes the [blood] test, we can make the fight happen. If he doesn't, we don't have a fight. If Manny Pacquaio wants to fight, it is not hard to find me." Pacquiao deferred any talk of a Mayweather fight to the promoters after improving his own career record to 52-3-2 with 38 knockouts after his unanimous points victory over Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

"I'm not going to fight anybody as long as there is a problem with the decision of the promoter," the 31-year-old Filipino said. "That's my promoter's job. I'm just a fighter to do my job and train hard for the fight."

Pacquiao has indicated he will fight twice more before retiring from boxing to focus on his burgeoning career in politics.

"I am really happy for what I've done in boxing, and I don't want to get too overwhelmed right now because you have to balance responsibility," he said after claiming the vacant WBC Super Welterweight title.

"That's why I enter [the ring], because I want to help people by making good fights." Pacquiao's fight on Saturday was certainly a good one, and the most destructive performance by the "Pac Man" that Roach had ever witnessed.

Ringside punch statistics reflected Pacquiao's dominance, showing him landing 474 punches to 229 for Margarito. But it was not just the sheer volume of punches, but the power in which they came at almost every angle.

"It's the worst beating I have ever seen [by Pacquiao], accumulation-wise and the number of punches landed," Roach said.

"Margarito is a resilient guy, a tough guy and he has no quit in him. His corner should have saved him. He took too much unnecessary punishment for me. I would have stopped that fight. After eight rounds, it was over and it was just a matter of time."