Don’t let anyone tell you that Manny Pacquiao doesn’t want to face Floyd Mayweather Jr.
For weeks now a potential showdown between Pacquiao and Mayweather has appeared more imminent than it had at any point over the last two years. Between the Filipino champion’s controversial -- and in some people’s eyes questionable -- victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, and Mayweather’s equally suspect sucker punch win over Victor Ortiz, it felt like this was the ideal time for these guys to reaffirm their legitimacy.
Sensing the general tenor of the public, both men opted to make gestures that indicated they were interested in a prospective dream match.
Mayweather, for his part, came out on the week that Pacquiao was due to fight Marquez and presented an unofficial offer to his arch rival – a fight in May 2012. Then, following the events of November 12, Pacquiao realized that the time had come for him to prove that he was the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter. He sent a number of his representatives to speak with Mayweather’s people and, as recently as two weeks ago, told the media that an agreement was “80 to 90 percent sure to take place on May 5 next year and only a few more details are being ironed out before contracts are finalized.”
Since then, both camps have been quiet about the progress being made. The only real person to speak out has been Top Rank boss Bob Arum, whose disdain for Mayweather makes him far more of a hindrance than asset to this whole process. Predictably, his contributions were entirely useless and didn't shed any light on where the top two pound-for-pounders in the world stood when it came to fighting one another.
Well, on Saturday, finally, there was some movement.
While speaking to reporters from his home in General Santos City, Pacquiao made it clear that fighting the undefeated Mayweather was in fact important to him. That, regardless of whether or not Mayweather really wants to fight him, he’d make sure that his American rival would be left with no excuses this time around.
As per Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin:
Pacquiao is willing to take the smaller piece of the pie as long as the dream fight takes place.
“Walang problema kahit pa mas maliit ang premyo ko,” said Pacquiao, who turned 33 on Saturday. “Ang importante ay matuloy lang ang laban.”
Pacquiao’s pronouncement that he is giving Mayweather the lion’s share of the pot only puts credence that he is moving heaven and earth to make it happen.
The subject of random blood testing is apparently a non-issue now since Arum had mentioned many times in the past month or so that Pacquiao has agreed to Mayweather’s demands
This latest gesture by the Filipino champion is absolutely huge. It goes a long ways in proving that he isn’t concerned with wasting his time on inconsequential, meaningless bouts that won’t do anything for his legacy anymore. Rather, Pacquiao’s sole focus has been shifted to giving the public what they’ve longed for since 2009 – a match between the two biggest and brightest stars the sport has to offer.
Pacquiao has officially done his part. He’s sought out Mayweather and made some impressive concessions. Now, so long as Arum doesn’t do anything to mess this progress up, Mayweather should have no excuse but to quickly jump up and agree to fight Pacquiao.
And, of course, if he doesn’t – then we’ll know who’s really ducking who here.