Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been making a lot of very bold moves as of late.
Over the course of the last few weeks, Mayweather has found time to sign on to fight Victor Ortiz, shirk his required appearance at the defamation suit Manny Pacquiao filed against him, and he's stuck his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion.
While at a news conference for his September 17 bout against Ortiz, the noticeably calmer and cooler undefeated brawler did not hesitate when it came to speaking on Pacquiao.
"Do I want the Pacquiao fight? Absolutely," Mayweather said.
"I can't overlook Victor Ortiz. He's the world champion," Mayweather added. "Floyd Mayweather don't duck or dodge anyone. I want to thank Victor Ortiz for stepping up to the plate, and taking the test."
That last bit about Ortiz agreeing to take the test, of course, was a low-key shot at Pacquiao, who initially refused to take the performance-enhancing drug (PED) tests that Mayweather was seeking out. Later on, the Filipino superstar reportedly agreed to the initial demands, though Mayweather and his team still insisted that Pacquiao has not truly committed to PED testing as they were outlined.
Later in the day, Mayweather’s comments regarding Pacquiao weren’t nearly as coy as the first ones.
"We only want to fight the biggest and the best out there, and Manny Pacquiao, yes, you're next," Mayweather said.
The long and storied history of negotiations between all parties involved is a part of boxing’s more unfortunate lore, at this point. Via these latest comments, however, Mayweather may have unintentionally opened himself up to more scrutiny.
By essentially admitting that he wants Pacquiao so long as he takes the tests demanded of him, Mayweather -- knowingly or not -- has backed himself into a corner. If Bob Arum or Pacquiao can show the public that they have agreed to all of Mayweather’s demands in legal, approved writing, then any attempts by the undefeated superstar to avoid the fight would be construed as a clear, undeniable sign of ducking.
So now is the time for Manny Pacquiao and his legion of loyal fans to step forward. This is it, Manny. If you really want Mayweather, the time is now.
Here is Mayweather discussing his legal woes, Pacquiao, Ortiz and more with ESPN: