Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Floyd Mayweather Jr.: ‘Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao … let’s do it.’

Photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally broke his silence regarding a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao, calling out the Filipino boxer to make the long-delayed fight on May 2 and firing a few shots in the process.

The five-division titleholder Mayweather addressed the “800 pound gorilla in the room” in an interview with Steve Farhood during Friday night’s Showtime special, putting the delay of the fight on Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum.

“I would love to fight Manny Pacquiao,” said Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts). “We tried to make the fight years ago. We had problems with random blood and urine testing. Like I said, I just want to be on an even playing field. Now he’s in a very tight situation. He’s lost to (Juan Manuel) Marquez, he’s lost to (Timothy) Bradley. Pay-per-view numbers are down, extremely low. So he’s desperate.

“I know that [Pacquiao] is not on my level, the fans would love to see the fight and of course I wanna go out with a bang. So let’s make this fight happen. Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, you guys have been ducking us for years.”

Mayweather, 37, of Las Vegas wrapped up a year in which he defeated Marcos Maidana twice while Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) avenged his loss to Bradley and dropped Chris Algieri six times en route to a shutout decision win.

Mayweather’s comments confirm reports that Pacquiao and Arum have been engaging in negotiations. Leading up to last month’s Algieri fight, Arum had revealed he had been in talks with Leslie Moonves, CEO of Showtime’s parent company CBS, to make the fight with Mayweather.

The deal is complicated by network alignments: Mayweather with Showtime and Pacquiao with HBO. The rival networks worked together once before for a pay-per-view event in 2002, when Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson met in what was to that point the highest grossing pay-per-view in history.

Also complicating the deal is the fact Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto are negotiating to fight on May 2, although it was not immediately clear how a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on that date would affect the plans of Alvarez and Cotto.

Pacquiao and Arum had been on the offensive in recent months, calling Mayweather a “coward” and placing the blame on Mayweather for the fight having not taken place. Mayweather returned the favor, faulting the other party.

“Floyd Mayweather is not ducking or dodging any opponent. Bob Arum is stopping the fight. We have been trying to make this fight happen behind the scenes for years now but the fans and the people have been fooled because they have been listening to the people on one side. Now it’s time for us to talk. We want the fight. Get ready. Let’s make it happen, May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao, let’s do it,” said Mayweather.

Pacquiao was quick to respond to Mayweather’s remarks, telling “He should just do it. Not all talk. Sign.”

Mayweather’s outspokenness on the fight doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to concede anything in negotiations. A week after a report surfaced on that Mayweather would want a two-thirds share of purse money to face Pacquiao, he suggested that Pacquiao’s losses in 2012 have hurt his bargaining position.

“Before we tried to make the fight happen, you didn’t wanna take random blood and urine testing. So that’s why the fight didn’t happen. Then I offered you $40 million, then you didn’t wanna make the fight happen. You lost twice, now you coming back for the same money. That’s not gonna happen,” said Mayweather.

Betting lines have already opened up in Las Vegas for the fight, with one parlor offering 3-1 odds in favor of Mayweather with all bets to be returned if the fight doesn’t happen by May 31.