Manny Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin on Wednesday that he is “willing to fight” Floyd Mayweather.
Finances and drug testing protocols have long been roadblocks to cementing an absurdly lucrative clash between the 36-year-old Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) and Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs).
Pacquiao earned a lopsided unanimous decision over Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios to capture the WBO international welterweight title last weekend at the CotaiArena in Macau.
Displaying elite footwork and the uncanny ability to deliver punches from all angles, Pacquiao peppered the 27-year-old Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) with brilliant combinations that left “Bam Bam” bruised, cut and swollen.
“Yes, I am willing to fight Floyd. It’s really up to him,” said Pacquiao, 34, who had previously been defeated in consecutive matches by Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. “This is not my time to retire and we will rise again. And that’s what happened. Thank God.”
Legendary trainer Freddie Roach wants Pacquiao to stay active in 2014.
“We should do two or three fights next year,” said Roach, 53, who has been voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by the BWAA.
“The Fighting Pride of the Philippines” is tentatively slated to scrap on April 12 against an unnamed opponent at a venue to be determined in the United States.
Meanwhile, as the reigning pound-for-pound king, Mayweather will face an unknown challenger on May 3.
A defensive virtuoso defying Father Time with an incredible work ethic, Mayweather seems destined to equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 mark and retire as an unbeaten titleholder.
Conversely, although a bit more cautious and reserved, the “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s remains an overwhelming force in the squared circle.
Considering there is no real impediment, for the sake of wrongly starved boxing fans, Mayweather and Pacquiao should finally throw fists.
Unfortunately, for ridiculous reasons, Floyd Mayweather will almost certainly not be one of Manny Pacquiao’s “two or three fights next year.”
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