The 36 year-old, who currently holds a 44-0 record going into his clash with the Mexican superstar, was urged by hoards of fans to make a fight with the Filipino for years, although his recent statement looks to have distanced him more than ever from a lucrative Pacquiao encounter.
Pacquiao, 34, was knocked senseless in his previous outing against Juan Manuel Marquez and now faces a make-or-break fight with Brandon Rios as he attempts to salvage what is left of his career following two straight losses.
“Pacquiao’s a has-been, his career is over, (but Juan) Manuel Marquez is a legend (and) I commend him,” Mayweather stated bluntly this week.
Politics has long been blamed for the two failing to be brought together in the ring at the height of their powers, although Mayweather would tell you that his $40million offer made twice over the past two years should have been the catalyst to making the fight.
The refusal by Pacquiao to accept the offer and subsequent call for a 50/50 split didn’t sit well with Mayweather at all and veteran Marquez then put the final nail in the coffin of the contest with his crunching right hand at the MGM Grand.
An impressive knockout win over Rios for Pacquiao could conceivably re-ignite a deal with Mayweather for 2014, although the ‘Pacman’ would have to agree to any terms laid down by ‘Money’ and possibly negotiate a switch to Showtime to make the deal happen.