Boxing: Pacquiao: Mayweather needs to challenge me
By HRVOJE HRANJSKI
Associated Press Writer
MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao is still open to fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., but is waiting for the challenge to come from the other side and for promoters to iron out a spat over drug testing.
“I came this far in my boxing career without Mayweather, so I see no need to call him out,” Pacquiao told reporters Monday. “He needs me to bolster his career.
“I am open to him fighting me anytime he wants to.”
Pacquiao returned to thousands of cheering fans in Manila to celebrate his latest victory over Joshua Clottey in Dallas. He’ll now focus on a bid to enter politics, campaigning for a seat in the Philippines’ House of Representatives in the May 10 national elections.
Mayweather’s insistence on Olympic-style testing was the primary reason negotiations fell through in January for a megafight against Pacquiao. Mayweather wanted blood tests up to 14 days before the fight, while Pacquiao claims he feels weak after drawing blood and would not agree to testing within 24 days.
The negotiations quickly deteriorated, and Pacquiao signed to fight Clottey while Mayweather turned his attention to welterweight champion Shane Mosley.
Mayweather will face Mosley in Las Vegas on May 1 after both agreed to undergo an unlimited number of unannounced blood and urine tests before and after the fight.
“He should win against Mosley. If not, Mosley and I will fight,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao is now concentrating on the national elections. His 2007 campaign fell short, but this time Pacquiao said he is better prepared.
“I have prepared for my political plans even before I faced Clottey last week,” he said. “I am ready to campaign.”
The two-month campaign starts later this week. Apart from running for his own seat in southern Sarangani province, Pacquiao is also campaigning for presidential aspirant Manny Villar, a senator and the richest politician in the country.
Villar raised Pacquiao’s hand after welcoming him at a hotel Monday, before the boxer headed for a church service and a courtesy call in the presidential palace.
Asked if he plans to retire from boxing if he wins at the election, the 31-year-old Pacquiao said he was undecided.
“My own mother asked me to stop boxing. We’ll talk about it,” he said.