Pacquiao: I want to fight Mayweather

Posted at 01/10/12 3:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao will tell his promoter, Top Rank chief executive officer Bob Arum, that he wants to fight undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. next.

Pacquiao and Arum are set to meet Tuesday in Sarangani to discuss the Filipino boxer's next fight, reportedly scheduled for June.

"I've said this over and over before, and I'm saying this again. I want Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be my next opponent," Pacquiao said in an interview with PhilBoxing.com's Eddie Alinea.

"I haven't changed my choice despite recent developments," he added.

Pacquiao confirmed late last year that negotiations were ongoing between the two boxers' camps, but those discussions were put on hold after Mayweather was sentenced to 90 days in jail for a 2010 domestic violence charge.

The American's jail sentence was postponed until June, however, so he can fight on May 5 against a yet to be announced opponent.

But Mayweather is no longer included in Arum's list of potential opponents for Pacquiao. The Top Rank boss had instead put Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson and Timothy Bradley, Jr. in the shortlist.

Pacquiao said he will "insist that the fight with Mayweather be given the preference than the four others in the list."

He earlier said that there are no more problems from his camp regarding Mayweather's demands of random blood and urine testing.

"I will abide by his demand for drug testing. I am even agreeable to getting a lesser purse, just so the fight would push through," Pacquiao said.

"In other words, as far as my side is concerned, there will be no problem."

Not ducking anyone

The Filipino fighter denied that he was "ducking" any fighter, after some boxing observers noted that he was also partly to blame if his fight against Mayweather - long thought to be the richest fight in boxing - will not push through.

"It's not really fair for some quarters to blame me if in the long run, the fight wouldn't push through," Pacquiao told Alinea. "I have also been saying many times before, I fight for the fans. I want the fans to be happy."

"Whoever says I'm ducking this fighter or that fighter doesn't know me, or just wants to put me in bad light," he added.

"I never dodged from fighting anybody. If I did, I won't be where I am now."

Arum's job

At the end of the day, Pacquiao said his job is to fight and his promoter's job is to choose who he fights.

"Whoever the fans want me to fight, I will face him atop the ring. I don't choose the fight. It is my promoter who does (that) because it's his job," Pacquiao said. "My job is to fight, everybody must realize that."

Pacquiao emphasized that he will insist on facing Mayweather, but it will be Arum's job to negotiate with the Mayweather camp.

"If we agree that I will face Mayweather, then my promoter will talk to his counterpart in the Mayweather camp," Pacquiao said. "When Arum sits in the negotiation table, he will be laying on the table all the conditions we want."

But Pacquiao warned that negotiations may once again hit a snag, since Mayweather "has no promoter."

"He negotiates by himself. So if the fight won't be realized, it's no longer because of me," he said.

Mayweather works with Golden Boy Promotions to promote his fights, but he is not under contract with GBP.

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