Even a week before his upcoming fight with Chris Algieri, Manny Pacquiao still has Floyd Mayweather Jr. on his mind. Preparing to defend his WBO Welterweight championship on Nov. 22, the Filipino icon reiterated his desire to get a shot at the undefeated boxer.
"I do have one specific goal, and that is to give the boxing fans the fight they have always asked for," Pacquiao said this week, via ESPN. "I want that fight [with Mayweather], too."
After beating Marcos Maidana for a second time in 2014, Mayweather has yet to decide upon his opponent for the first of his two fights in 2015. A win for Pacquiao against Algieri would make him a likely candidate, but Mayweather hasn’t given much of an indication that he’ll ever agree to the mega-fight. Amir Khan appears to be the favorite to take on Mayweather, who said he doesn’t think about Pacquiao, at his post-fight news conference in September.
The fight almost was agreed upon in 2009, but the two sides haven't been close since. Pacquiao has been unable to hide his frustration over never getting his shot at Mayweather, and pins the blame on the 37-year-old.
"I believe good-faith negotiations could produce that fight," Pacquiao said. "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."
Conflicts over drug testing and the split of revenue have kept boxing biggest stars from meeting, but other factors in recent years have prevented the bout from happening. Mayweather has stated that he won’t do business with former promoter and current Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who currently represents Pacquiao. However, Arum believes Mayweather simply doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao.
"How can I talk for Mayweather? 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," Arum said during a recent teleconference. "If people don't see that by now, they are never going to see it."
A fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao would likely set PPV records for boxing. It’s estimated that the bout could gross $300 million, shattering the record of $150 million for the Sept. 2013 fight between Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez.
Pacquiao lost twice in 2012, but his last two fights have re-energized the idea of a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout. He defeated Brandon Rios in Nov. 2013, and followed it up by reclaiming his title over Timothy Bradley in April. A victory over Algieri would only strengthen his case to challenge Mayweather.