After Floyd Mayweather’s second consecutive victory over Marcos Maidana last week, the pool of potential opponents has grown smaller.
Still, the 37-year-old pound-for-pound best fighter in the world remains noncommittal on a fight with Manny Pacquiao, which boxing fans and media have called for since Mayweather’s return from a brief sabbatical in 2009.
"We don't know what the future holds, as of right now," Mayweather told ESPN UK. "Anything is possible.”
When asked about a fight with Pacquiao, 35, of General Santos City, Philippines, the undefeated five-division champion echoed a familiar tune - it’s my way or the highway.
"If the Pacquiao fight does happen it has to happen on Showtime pay-per-view only and Mayweather Promotions have to do the fight,” said Mayweather. Pacquiao’s fights are televised by rival network HBO. He last fought on Showtime in 2011, defeating Shane Mosley by decision before returning to HBO.
This comes as Pacquiao has renewed his challenge to Mayweather, telling Agence France-Presse: "I'm tired of his alibis. If he really wants to fight me, he knows how to reach me. We can fight anytime, anywhere."
Mayweather and Pacquiao had previously argued over a number of issues, including pre-fight drug testing and purse splits.
Mayweather only recently obtained a promoter’s license in July despite associating the name Mayweather Promotions with his events for several years. Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 knockouts) fights under Top Rank, which promoted Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) until splitting acrimoniously with the Las Vegas-based fighter.
Mayweather is advised by Al Haymon, who has been adversarial towards Top Rank and its CEO Bob Arum, while receiving promotional support from Golden Boy, which has thawed its icy rivalry with Top Rank in recent months since the departure of former CEO Richard Schaefer.
Pacquiao too has struggled with finding opponents that the public could get excited about. His November 22 opponent, WBO junior welterweight titleholder Chris Algieri of New York, is largely unknown to the public despite holding an unbeaten record.
Pacquiao will face Algieri in his second fight in the Chinese region of Macau after Arum expressed his disgust at the MGM Grand over perceived favoritism of Mayweather.
Prior to Pacquiao’s previous bout, a unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley to avenge a 2012 defeat, the property prominently promoted Mayweather’s first bout with Marcos Maidana, plastering a banner on the side of the building with Mayweather’s face that read “Home of the champion,” while hosting a Maidana press event the week of the fight.
"At the moment I want to go home, have a break, spend some time with my children and then see who's next in May. Hopefully it's Manny Pacquiao,” said Mayweather.
"Manny needs to focus on the guy that's in front of him. Once he gets past that task we'll see what the future holds."
Before considering his next opponent, Mayweather must first address a panel of Nevada boxing officials to answer questions about a program that ran on Showtime prior to the Maidana rematch. In the program, women are seen allegedly smoking marijuana in the gym, while in another scene two heavyweight boxers sparred as Mayweather and his associates bet on the action.
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