Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn’t want there to be any doubt: he is ready to fight Manny Pacquiao. For years, the main question that has dogged him as he has won one fight after another is whether he truly wanted a bout against his Filipino arch rival. For all the big talk about how he did, his actions didn’t really reflect that stance.
Make no mistake about it, Mayweather always had a good reason for not fighting Pacquiao. First Pacquiao didn’t want to submit to stringent performance-enhancing drug tests. Then he did, but only when Mayweather had moved on. Then Pacquiao wanted an ‘unfair’ amount of money. When he finally relented, Mayweather offered him less.
Again, there is no debating that Mayweather had justifiable reasons to turn down Pacquiao. The real question has always been how much he truly wanted the fight in the first place. Because if he had really wanted it, no matter what Pacquiao did, he could have made it happen.
Speaking to reporters recently, Mayweather made it clear that he wanted to and still wants to fight Pacquiao. He just refuses to do it on anyone’s terms but his own.
"I offered Manny Pacquiao the fight before," he told the press. "We didn't see eye to eye on terms. Years later we come back and I try and make the fight happen again. I offer him $40 million. He said he wanted 50-50. So we didn't make the fight happen.”
He continued: "All of a sudden, he loses to Timothy Bradley, he loses to Marquez ... he has tax problems now. So, two losses and tax problems later, now he all of a sudden want to say: 'You know what? I'd do anything to make the fight happen,' when he's really saying: 'Floyd, can you help me solve my tax problems, get me out of debt?'"
So now the problem, apparently, is that Mayweather doesn’t like Pacquiao’s reason for seeking out a fight.
Here is where we currently stand: neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao has a match scheduled for 2014. The former has hinted that Amir Khan will be his next opponent. The latter insinuated that he is leaning towards a rematch with Timothy Bradley. But to date, nothing has been confirmed. At the same time, these two have really ramped up the trash talk over the past month. Make of that what you will.