Pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr has finally broken his silence on who he wants to fight next by openly calling out long-time rival Manny Pacquiao in an interview broadcast on Showtime.
Speaking to the network on Friday night at the Erislandy Lara v Ishe Smith bout, Mayweather outlined his desire to face the Filipino multi-weight champion and end years of fan frustration at the clash failing to be signed.
Mayweather also pointed the finger at Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who had recently told WBN that he had held talks with CBS CEO Les Moonves over the possibility of allowing Showtime and HBO share the rights to the mega-fight.
“We are ready. Let’s make it happen. May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let’s do it,” said Mayweather.
“I would love to fight Manny Pacquiao. We tried to make the fight happen years ago; we had problems with random blood and urine testing,” Mayweather said. “I just want to be on an even playing field. Now he’s in a very, very tight situation. He’s lost to Marquez, he’s lost to Bradley and pay-per-view numbers are extremely low. He’s desperate. I wanted that fight a long time ago. I’m just waiting on them.
“Of course, we have to make the fight happen on Showtime pay-per-view, because ‘Showtime Championship Boxing’ is No.1 and will remain No.1. I’m the man. I’m here to stay.
“Floyd Mayweather is not ducking or dodging any opponent. Bob Arum is stopping the fight. We have been trying to make this fight happen behind the scenes for years now, but the fans and the people have been fooled because they have been listening to people just on one side. Now it’s time for us to talk. We want the fight.”
‘Money’ went on: “So let’s make this fight happen. Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum, you guys have been ducking us for years.
“We’re tired of you guys fooling the public, fooling the critics. You guys didn’t want to take random blood and urine testing, so that’s why it didn’t happen. Then I offered you $40 million (£25m), then you didn’t want to make the fight happen. You lost twice, now you coming back begging for the same money. That’s not gonna happen. Let’s make the fight happen for the people and the fans.
“Mayweather versus Pacquiao, May 2nd, Cinco de Mayweather,” he added.
Arum had also stated to World Boxing News that any fight between the pair would be more likely to go ahead in June, although it seems that Mayweather wants to be the one calling all the shots in any possible negotiations.
A fight between Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto is already said to be close to being agreed for the May 2 date that Mayweather is eyeing for his potential battle with Pacquiao, which means a sticking point needs addressing already.
One thing that is for sure though is the whole of boxing wants this fight to take place in 2015 after years of disappointment, and it is now up to Mayweather and Pacquiao to put any differences aside for the good of the sport.