By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Manny Pacquiao isn’t concerned consumers’ remorse will limit interest in a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao told a group of reporters Monday in Manhattan that he feels fans want to see him box the 41-year-old Mayweather again. Their first fight was the most lucrative event in boxing history, but it mostly drew the ire of casual and hardcore boxing fans alike because their 12-round welterweight championship bout lacked action.
Pacquiao also angered dissatisfied fans that paid $100 to watch it on pay-per-view, as well as people that shelled out much more money to watch it live, because he revealed he injured his right shoulder during training camp prior to that May 2015 fight.
Three-and-a-half years have passed since that anticlimactic extravaganza, but Pacquiao’s knockout of Lucas Matthysse four months ago has sparked speculation regarding their rematch. Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) must defeat Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) in their Showtime Pay-Per-View bout January 19 in Las Vegas for a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch to remain viable.
“I don’t think they don’t wanna watch the fight,” Pacquiao said Monday. “I think they’re excited to watch the fight to see who’s gonna be the winner, especially [because] I’m physically 100-percent OK and prepared. I mean, I still believe that the fans want to watch this fight if the fight will happen again.”
The Philippines’ Pacquiao emphasized that he’s not certain Mayweather will come out of retirement for the third time to fight him again.
“That question, I cannot answer it because that’s his decision,” Pacquiao said. “It’s up to him. As long as I’m still here in boxing, it depends on him, if he comes out of his retirement. But right now, my focus is to fight with Adrien Broner. I know we cannot underestimate Adrien Broner. He is also a fast boxer and he moves fast, and of course, he’s a good boxer. So I have to make sure I’m 100-percent conditioned in the fight.”
Mayweather and Pacquiao discussed fighting again in September, when Mayweather posted a video to his Instagram account of them playfully arguing at a music festival in Tokyo.
Pacquiao continued to contend Monday that he doesn’t think he lost to Mayweather when they fought at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather comfortably defeated Pacquiao on all three scorecards – 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 – in a fight that drew a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and generated more than $600 million in overall revenue.
“It’s good to have another fight with him because I don’t believe he won that fight we had, the last fight that we had,” Pacquiao said. “I still can’t believe and am surprised at that decision. I can say it’s good to have another one in the future, if he’s coming out of retirement.”
This time, Pacquiao promised, the outcome will be different.
“I think the second fight, it will be different because there’s gonna be no excuses,” Pacquiao said, referring to his surgically repaired right shoulder. “Especially the last fight, I got a problem with my shoulder, with a rotator cuff. The operation was very good, so I’m ready to fight again with him in the future – if he’s coming out of his retirement. But my focus right now is Adrien Broner.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.