Floyd Mayweather hasn’t spoken much about the fight everyone has wanted for years: a super-fight with Manny Pacquiao… until Friday night (Dec. 12).
During an interview with Showtime Boxing, the boxing star said he wants to fight Pacquiao and wants to fight him on May 2 — on Cinco de Mayo weekend when he regularly fights.
“I would love to fight Manny Pacquiao, we’re trying to make the fight happen. Years ago, we had problems with random blood and urine testing. I just want to have an even playing field.”
According to Floyd, it was never him holding up the fight and ducking Pacquiao, as widely perceived. Instead, he blames his rival’s promoter Bob Arum for stalling talks. “Floyd Mayweather is not ducking or dodging any opponent. Bob Arum is stopping the fight,” he said. “We have been trying to make the fight happen, behind the scenes, for years now. The fans and the people have been fooled because they have been listening to people on just one side. Now it’s time for us to talk, we want to fight. Let’s make it happen. May 2, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, let’s do it.”
In the days leading up to and after his fight with Chris Algieri, Pacquiao has called out Mayweather, both in interviews and on social media. On late November, he said: “Stop throwing punches on Instagram and let’s get in the ring!”
Mayweather had not responded until this Friday. He claims Pac-Man is desperate after suffering back-to-back losses in 2012, despite him dominating his last three fights.
“He’s in a very, very tight situation with his loss to (Juan Manuel) Marquez and his loss to (Timothy) Bradley. His pay-per-view numbers are extremely low, so he’s desperate. I’ve wanted that fight a long time ago,” he said during the Showtime interview. “I’m just waiting on him; we have to make the fight happen on SHOWTIME PPV because SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is No. 1 and will remain number one.”
Floyd failed to mention that Pacquiao agreed to be randomly tested long ago. He also failed to mention that while Pacquiao’s pay-per-view figures have been down in recent fights, his own figures have plummeted as well. Three of the four fights that he’s had in his six-fight contract with CBS/Showtime failed to reach even 900,000 buys, according to ESPN.
As for why he finally wants to make the fight happen, Mayweather — who has two fights left on his contract with Showtime, after which he is expected to retire — says he wants to go out with a bang.
“It’s a little bit of everything that makes me want this fight because he’s not on my level,” Floyd explained. “The fans would love to see the fight, and of course, I want to go out with a bang. So let’s make this fight happen.
“Let’s make this fight for the people, for the fans. Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao May 2, Cinco de Mayweather,” he concluded.
Pacquiao and Arum have been pushing to make the fight happen in recent weeks. Arum has reportedly held talks with CBS president/CEO Leslie Moonves in an effort to work out a deal to produce the fight in a joint effort between Showtime (where Mayweather has a deal) and HBO, which has Pacquiao under contract. The networks did it once before, when they put on the 2002 heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis (who was signed to HBO) and Mike Tyson (who was with Showtime).