LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - It took just minutes after Floyd Mayweather Jr had scored a dominant win over Argentine Marcos Maidana on Saturday before the undefeated welterweight champion faced the inevitable question.
Will Manny Pacquiao be his next opponent?
Still in the ring, still covered in sweat, Mayweather had barely time to catch his breath following a bruising 12-round battle with the hard-hitting Argentine when he was asked about the fight that has fascinated and obsessed the boxing world.
Mayweather’s unanimous decision over Maidana that improved his perfect record to 47-0 immediately renewed speculation about a long-awaited super-fight between the 37-year-old American and the Filipino great.
“I got to go back and talk to my team, I‘m not ducking or dodging no opponent,” Mayweather said from the ring. “If a Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen.”
A duel between the defense-minded Mayweather and the aggressive Pacquiao, the biggest drawcards of their generation, has long been savored by boxing fans, if only to decide the mythical title of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.
Filipino Pacquiao lost some of his appeal after successive defeats to American Timothy Bradley and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, prompting talk of his possible retirement, though he has since bounced back with two impressive wins.
Five-division world champion Mayweather had been expected to meet Pacquiao in 2010 until negotiations collapsed over the American’s demand for random drug testing.
Mayweather, who has hinted at illegal methods by often questioning how Pacquiao could have won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight classes.
“I don’t think about Pacquiao, I don’t even know him. I wish him the best but that’s not my focus,” said Mayweather. My focus is Floyd Mayweather that is how I got to where I got to.
”I try not to focus on anyone else’s business.
”If it happens it happens. You guys can keep asking the same questions over-and-over and I will give you the same answers.
”That’s not my focus.
“My business model is I am my own boss. I call my own shots.”
Mayweather announced last week that he will retire in 2015 when his Showtime contract ends in two more fights.
His next fight is expected to come in May but Mayweather said no date has been set and would consider a number of opponents, including Pacquiao.
”We don’t know what the future holds for Floyd Mayweather,“ said the champion. ”What realistic is I am 47-0.
”As of right now I want to enjoy my time off. We don’t know who we going to be fighting.
”We’re not in a rush. We take our time that’s how we got to where we got to.
“We not sure what the game plan is.”
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly