Manny Pacquiao has made a statement that, well, most fans will love regarding a potential fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr in an interview at PhilBoxing.com.
Here's that part of what he said about fighting Floyd on May 5:
"I‘ve said this over and over before and I’m saying this again, I want Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be my next opponent and I haven’t changed my choice despite recent developments. ... I am meeting with my promoter, Bob Arum on Tuesday and I will insist that the fight with Mayweather be given the preference (over) the four others in the list [Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson] I will fight next."
That part is nice. Yay, Manny! Take control of your career and put your foot down!
But there's more, and it's pretty damn important.
"It’s not really fair for some quarters to blame me if, in the long run, the fight wouldn’t push through. As I have also been saying many times before, I fight for the fans. I want the fans to be happy always."
"Whoever the fans want me to fight, I will face him (in) the ring. I don’t choose (who to) fight. It is my promoter who does because it’s his job. My job is to fight, everybody must realize that."
So basically what you have here is Manny Pacquiao hanging Arum out to dry and putting everything firmly on Bob Arum for now. Maybe some will think that this is him shifting blame to the Mayweather camp, but it's not. He's very clearly saying three things:
- "I am going to demand this fight, because you, the fans, want this fight."
- "If it doesn't happen, don't blame me. I can only demand. I don't make the fight. Bob Arum makes the fight."
- "I don't really have that complete control that Bob Arum says I have."
Manny makes very clear: The drug testing is fine, no issue, he'll do it. He'll take a smaller portion of the split if that has to happen. He wants the fight.
It's on Bob Arum and Team Mayweather now. The Mayweather camp has given the indication that they're ready. Manny says it's time to do it.
Are you there, Bob? It's us, boxing fans.