Manny Pacquiao rebuilt his reputation within 36 minutes in the MGM Grand ring Saturday night, beating WBO welterweight champ Timothy Bradley convincingly — and now Pacquiao says he’s just waiting for a call from Floyd Mayweather to make their mega-fight.
“The line is open 24 hours, seven days a week,” Pacquiao said after defeating Bradley. “If he wants to fight, the fight will be on.”
A Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight appears to be the most desired, anticipated fight in the sport since Muhammad Ali first battled Joe Frazier 43 years ago. A Pacquiao — Mayweather fight would almost certainly be the richest in boxing history as well.
But in previous negotiations, of which there have been three serious rounds, there has always been a stumbling block. First, Mayweather accused Manny Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs and demanded that both fighters submit to a rigorous drug testing program, including taking blood samples.
But Manny Pacquiao objected to having his blood taken shortly before a fight.
The purse split was the next issue — but now Manny Pacquiao has conceded on both of those issues, so the last remaining holdup is Mayweather himself, it appears. Though a long-festering feud between Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum and the Oscar De La Hoya-led Golden Boy Promotions that handles Mayweather’s fights has also thrown up roadblocks to getting the fight on the books.
Arum said that he plans for Pacquiao to next fight the winner of Pacquiao’s four-time opponent Juan Manual Marquez and Mike Alvarado. But arrangements for what would likeley be Pacquiao vs. Marquez V are not complete, and won’t be for a few weeks.
“That’s a lot of time,” Arum said following the Manny Pacquiao conquest of Timothy Bradley. “If they (Golden Boy) told me they’d sit down and wanted a serious meeting, then I’d delay (the other fight) till whenever.”
Mayweather is next scheduled to fight on May 3 against heavy-punching Argentine Marcos Maidana. But Mayweather is a wide favorite against Maidana who though he is a solid puncher is expected to have an impossible time hitting the defensively supreme Mayweather at all.
“The only people who can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public if they boycott the nonsense on May 3,” said Arum. “There’s not a downside to sitting down and trying to make it (Pacquiao vs. Mayweather) happen. Any excuse for it not happening is just posturing.”
As for Pacquiao, he appeared weary of the whole Mayweather spectacle.
“It’s really hard to talk about that,” said Manny Pacquiao. “How many years have we talked about it and it hasn’t happened?”