Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao is determined to fight pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather before he hangs up his gloves.
The two biggest names in boxing have so far failed to meet in the ring despite years of calls from fight fans for the pair to get it on to determine the undoubted number one in the welterweight division.
Now, ahead of his battle with the skilled Chris Algieri this weekend, live on BoxNation, Pacquiao has made clear his intentions in setting up the richest prize fight in boxing history against the majestic Mayweather.
“I do have one specific goal and that is to give the boxing fans the fight they have always asked for – I want the fight too” said Pacquiao, speaking on Mayweather.
“I believe good faith negotiations could produce that fight. But it is impossible to negotiate when you are the only one sitting at the table. Two fighters who want to fight each other have never been kept from fighting each other,” he said.
Top Rank Boxing chief Bob Arum, who promotes the current WBO welterweight champion Pacquiao, has cast doubt though on whether the fight will actually happen.
“As far as the Pacquiao fight is concerned with Mayweather, as much as a lot of people surrounding it would want it to happen, myself included and Manny included, Floyd is reluctant to fight Manny Pacquiao, period,” said Arum.
“If people don’t see that by now, they are never going to see it.”
The man who was voted ‘The Fighter of the Decade’, however, has more pressing issues to deal with as he gears up to face the slick Algieri who grabbed public attention with his gritty win over WBO light-welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov this summer.
Pacquiao has found his love for the fight game has increased as he prepares to do battle with Algieri and says he has no plans to retire just yet despite juggling his life as a boxer alongside a burgeoning political career.
“As I have said before, boxing is my passion and public service is my calling. As I approach my title defence against Chris Algieri I have found that my passion for boxing has increased. I do not feel old,” Pacquiao said.
“I feel great and I find I am able to train as hard as I always have and I enjoy it. More importantly, I still enjoy boxing – a lot. As long as my skills and my passion remain strong I want to continue my boxing career.
“When I retire, I want it to be on my terms. I do not want to spend my retirement regretting that I walked away from boxing before I was ready. I do not want to come back and fight after I retire.
“I have not set a date or determined an age when I will retire. As long as I can keep fighting at the level I expect from myself I will continue my boxing career – I want to finish as a world champion, winning my remaining fights,” he said.
The eight-division world champion will take on the undefeated Algieri at a catchweight of 144 pounds, and believes that the move down from welterweight could make him an even more lethal proposition.
“The reason we are fighting this fight at 144 pounds is because I wanted to see how I performed at a lower weight. If I do well, I could easily fight at 140 for my next fight. 140 is the weight I walk around at when I’m not training for a fight. So that is no issue and even 135 would be easy for me to make,” said Pacquiao.
“I could be faster than when I fought at welterweight and super welterweight and if my power remains the same, I may be able to score more knockouts at lower weights. I weighed 138 when I knocked out Ricky Hatton, 142 when I stopped Oscar De La Hoya and 144 when I scored a TKO of Miguel Cotto.
“Many people consider those fights some of my best, so why not go back down if that is where the bigger and better fights are going to be fought?,” he said.
Pacquiao vs. Algieri is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD, Virgin 546, TalkTalk 525) this Saturday night. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.