By Ronnie Nathanielsz
MANILA—Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is confident he will face Floyd Mayweather Jr. sometime next year—even if the latest condition set by the undefeated American looks like yet another reason to dodge the Filipino ring icon.
“I will fight Mayweather next year,” said the Sarangani congressman, who plans to fight two or three more times before hanging up his gloves.
Pacquiao made the statement in an interview with BoxingScene.com/Inquirer and Australia’s KO Boxing television host and promoter Peter Maniatis at the Sofitel Hotel on Thursday evening.
Pacquiao, who was special guest and inducting officer at a Manila Rotary Club District 101 event where Liza Elorde was installed as president, is confident his promoter, Top Rank chief bob Arum, can successfully negotiate an eagerly awaited megabuck fight between two of the sport’s biggest stars.
Previous negotiations had collapsed over the insistence of the Mayweather camp on random, Olympic-style drug protocols.
But Pacquiao and Arum have now made public statements that they will agree to the tests demanded by the Mayweather camp, eliminating what has been the only stumbling block to the fight.
Or so, Team Pacquiao thought.
Arum, however, revealed that Team Mayweather has set yet another condition for the fight to push through.
“Mayweather’s crazy father (Floyd Sr.) says ‘yes’ but he (Pacquiao) is not allowed to train in the Philippines. This is bizarre,” Arum said.
“We are certainly not the impediment for that fight to happen,” Arum had earlier told the Inquirer. “We will do whatever we can to make that fight happen. But you can’t chase this guy because if you do, you’ll accomplish nothing.”
Pacquiao could be done with the sport in the next two years and has set his sights on concentrating on his duties as a congressman.
Pacquiao said he expects another difficult fight in his trilogy with Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas.