x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Manny Pacquiao will 'step up' to challenge from Floyd Mayweather Jr

Accepts fight from the American after Twitter taunts, 'this is the fight the world wants,' the Filipino fighter says.

Manny Pacquiao, right, will train with Freddie Roach, left, for a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Manny Pacquiao, right, will train with Freddie Roach, left, for a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

MANILA // Manny Pacquiao yesterday accepted arch-rival Floyd Mayweather Jr's provocative challenge for a showdown of the world's top pound-for-pound boxers, though sticking points to the fight remain.

The unbeaten Mayweather dared the Philippine icon this week on Twitter to "Step up Punk", attempting to entice Pacquiao into a May 5 bout in Las Vegas, a fight that boxing fans have wanted to see for years.

Mayweather and Pacquiao, 33, previously saw a fight derailed by the US fighter's demands about blood testing, with both boxers accusing the other of running scared.

"I want to fight him. This is the fight the world wants," Pacquiao said at a news conference in the Philippines with his US promoter Bob Arum.

Pacquiao, 54-3 with two draws and 38 knockouts, said if the 34-year-old Mayweather, 42-0 with 26 knockouts, can find a promoter who would give him a guaranteed purse, the fight would be on.

Arum said he favours a showdown in late May and previously told The Los Angeles Times he could secure more money with the construction of a temporary venue in Las Vegas that would allow more spectators.

"Mayweather wants a guaranteed purse so what he has to do is get a promoter who can give him the guarantee," Pacquiao said.

"I don't have problems getting a guarantee because I have a promoter who will give me my guaranteed purse."

"If he gets a guarantee, then we are going to share the revenue on a 50-50 basis," Pacquiao added, referring to the money raised from pay-per-view television, gate and broadcast rights.

Arum said: "There is no problem on our part - the problem is on Mayweather's. Mayweather needs somebody on his side that's going to guarantee his purse."