After defeating Chris Algieri in a lopsided welterweight title fight Sunday in Macau, Manny Pacquiao singled out his next target: Floyd Mayweather.
Pacquiao won Sunday's fight with ease, knocking down Algieri six times to win a lopsided 12-round decision. He failed to get his first knockout in five years, but Pacquiao was confident enough to call out Mayweather, the world No. 1 opponent he's been linked to for years.
“I think it’s time to make that fight happen,” Pacquiao said of the long-discussed match with the unbeaten Mayweather. “The fans really deserve that fight. It’s time to say, yes, so people can prepare for early next year.”
Strong words also came from Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach.
“I think that anybody, whoever reads about Mayweather or Manny will say, ‘Why didn’t these guys fight each other?’” Roach said. “It’ll always be a question mark. Let’s face it. The best should fight the best. They’ve been the best guys out there for over three years. Usually, the best does fight the best somewhere along the line. This is something that will haunt them forever.”
Mayweather has long been reluctant to face Pacquiao. According to USA Today, Roach's involvement could be critical in bringing the long-awaited fight to fruition, as he was a "central figure" in setting up a meeting between Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum and CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves, who controls the Showtime network. Mayweather is four fights into a six-bout deal worth around $250 million with Showtime, and Arum and Moonves have held "advanced discussions" about Mayweather and Pacquiao finally getting into the ring together.
- Mike Fiammetta