(Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao took up Floyd Mayweather Jr’s shout-out that the boxers finally book a long-awaited clash on May 2, the Filipino insisting money was no object and that they owed it to the sport to fight each other.
Mayweather, in remarks to Showtime TV last Friday, said Pacquiao was not worthy of a 50-50 split in his proposed showdown, which would likely become the highest grossing pay-per-view bout in history if the match were made.
Eight-division world champion Pacquiao appeared ready to accommodate the undefeated American.
“Mayweather can get the amount he wants. As early as January this year, I challenged him to a charity fight. Until now, he has not agreed to it. So, money is not the issue in our fight,” Pacquiao said on his official website.
“This fight is about legacy, this is about making the fans happy and, above all, this is for the good of boxing.”
The two champions, boxing’s top drawing cards, have danced around a possible clash for roughly five years, with disputes over purses and drug-testing preventing a match being made.
“We are ready. Let’s make it happen. May 2. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Let’s do it,” the 37-year-old American, who fights at welterweight and light-middleweight, said.
As befits their familiar verbal sparring, Pacquiao promised he would deliver an exciting fight despite the supreme defensive skills so often displayed by Mayweather (47-0).
“He has reached a dead end. He has nowhere to run but to fight me,” Pacquiao (57-5-2) said. “I will try my best to make this a thrilling and entertaining fight.
“But I doubt if he’s gonna engage me in a slugfest. You all know his fighting style. Most of his previous fights, if not all, induced us to sleep.”
The 35-year-old Pacquiao dominated Chris Algieri in November to retain his WBO welterweight title in his last bout, while Mayweather won a unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana to retain his twin WBC titles in September.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by John O'Brien