NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Besides the urgings of boxing fans around the world eager for Manny Pacquiao to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacman said yesterday he was feeling pressure closer to home to settle the argument over who is the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer.
“My oldest kid (Emmanuel Jr.) is 11 years old and he said, ‘Daddy, I want you to retire, but before you retire I have one request. You fight Mayweather, you beat him and then you retire,’“ the WBO welterweight champion told a news conference.
“I want that fight to happen,” admitted Pacquiao.
The much-discussed mega fight will have to wait until at least November, as Pacquiao first has a date in the ring with undefeated junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas, and Mayweather is fighting Miguel Cotto there on May 5.
Pacquiao, who has won titles in eight different weight divisions, said satisfying his son’s wish was still possible but that time was running out.
“I have maybe two, three more fights,” the 33-year-old Pacquiao said about his boxing future. “Hopefully he will fight before I retire. I’m hoping for a November fight.”
Pacquiao said Mayweather made a telephone call to him in the Philippines last month to discuss possible terms.
“I told him, ‘let’s make the fight happen. I’m happy with 50-50 and whatever your request for the blood testing,” Pacquiao said, referring to Mayweather’s demands for blood-testing before their bout, which previously was a deal breaker.
“He said, ‘I’ll give you this amount, but no pay per view for you.’“
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz said he met with Mayweather’s camp three times after the phone call to try to finalize a deal.
“The final offer that Manny gave was $50 million guaranteed and a split of revenue 45 to 55 percent,” said Koncz. “Manny said, ‘let’s make it a prize fight, so the winner gets an extra 10 percent.”
First things first, and coming up for Pacquiao (54-3-2) is 28-year-old Bradley (28-0), whose aggressive style is made to order for the Filipino.
“Tim Bradley loves to fight toe-to-toe, he keeps coming inside,” Pacquiao said at a news conference promoting the bout. “Tim Bradley is undefeated. He’s strong, he can punch. I think we can give a good fight.”
Bradley showed his gratitude for getting the big-money bout by interrupting his remarks to shake Pacquiao’s hand.
“Thank you for this opportunity,” said Bradley. “I waited for this moment, this breakout moment. I’m up for the challenge. I’m not just here for a paycheck. I’m here to win this fight. That night is going to be a war.”