Manny Pacquiao is currently doing media events for his upcoming fight against Brandon Rios. Typically, the Filipino star’s pre-fight press conferences all follow the same general formula. You get a few questions about the fight he’s there to hype up. Then you get a few questions about what comes next, with the underlying assumption being that his opponent has no chance. And finally, sooner or later, you get the inevitable Floyd Mayweather Jr. questions. The substance of the questions varies, but their intended goal does not – get Pacquiao to say something noteworthy about his arch rival.
This week, Pacquiao sat down with Bob Arum at a massive media interview that was transcribed by Boxing Insider. Most of the information revealed was mundane and not particularly newsworthy, but there was one bit that stuck out. After doing the customary song and dance regarding whether Rios posed a threat to Pacquiao, yada, yada, yada, a reporter stepped in and asked he former champ whether he watched Timothy Bradley fight Juan Manuel Marquez or Mayweather fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Pacquiao dismissed the first bout entirely, because apparently he, like everyone else, doesn’t clear his schedule for Timothy Bradley fights.
“I didn’t watch the fight between Bradley and Márquez but I heard what happened,” he said. “I had predicted that Bradley would win the fight so I am not surprised at what happened.”
His comments on Mayweather-Alvarez, however, were very telling.
“The fight between Mayweather and Canelo, I know Canelo told the press he would fight like the style of Manny Pacquiao but he didn’t do that,” Pacquiao said. “Floyd is faster than him and quicker than him so the fight ended different.”
There are a number of interesting things at work here. Pacquiao clearly still thinks he can beat Mayweather – hence the he didn’t fight him like I would have fought him attitude. Moreover, he chose to pick apart Alvarez’s weaknesses rather than just give due credit Mayweather for being a superior boxer. Alvarez’s lack of speed wasn’t any more of a factor in his defeat than it was in the case of Mayweather’s prior opponents. Mayweather was just better, all around. It’s also clear that Pacquiao still wants to fight Mayweather – badly.
It will be interesting to see what Bob Arum has in store for Pacquiao when Pacquio-Rios inevitably underperforms financially. An international stinker might be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to making the Top Rank boss understand that Mayweather-Pacquiao needs to happen. And once Arum gets on board, the fight will be as good as made.