“Whoever I have to fight the rest of my career, I’m happy and satisfied with what I’ve done. I don’t need somebody else to be satisfied with what I’ve done.
I don’t need to be looking for, or chasing, a fight. I want the fight, but I cannot force him to take it. He has to show he wants to fight me.” — Manny Pacquaio on Floyd Mayweather.
“If Sergio Martinez can get to 147 pounds, why not? We can negotiate a weight. I really don’t know anything about Bradley’s style, but I’ll fight him. OK? Have a nice day.” — Pacquiao on Sergio Martinez and Tim Bradley.
“I wouldn’t want that to happen, but Pacquiao is running out of opponents and Pacquiao and Amir [Khan] would sell. Someone from [Pacquiao’s camp’] asked me not to let them spar for this camp…I wouldn’t want to see that fight happen, but if that fight ever happened I would be in Manny’s corner. Manny is my guy,” Trainer Freddie Roach on the potential for Manny Pacquiao to fight Amir Khan.
Will a coveted bout between THE RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten WBC welterweight titleholder and the magazine’s No. 2-rated pound-for-pound Floyd Mayweather Jr.(46-0, 26 KOs) ever come to fruition?
Would Pacquiao ever face friend, training stable mate and WBA/IBF 140-pound beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs), THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight ?
What are the chances that the eight-division beltholder from the Philippines challenging THE RING’s No. 3-rated pound-for-pound middleweight champ Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) in a clash of southpaws, given that Martinez has indicated a willingness to drop to 150 pounds to match up with either Pacquiao or Mayweather?
Is another possibility for Pacquiao WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs), who faces former four-time titleholder Joel Casamayor on the undercard of Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight defense opposite RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12?
RingTV.com broached these questions with Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, in this Q&A, which follows an interview Pacquiao gave to The Los Angeles Times during which Pacquiao addressed Mayweather and Martinez.
Koncz also discussed the notion of growing tension between Pacquiao and Khan, with whom he has sparred in the past.
Both Pacquiao and Khan have expressed reluctance to face each other in the ring. But their mutual corner man, five-time Trainer of The Year Freddie Roach, told BoxingScene.com that he believes their potential for fighting is a possibility.
Koncz also disputes the frequency of sparring between Pacquiao and Khan, although their mutual strength and conditioning guru, Alex Ariza, says that the duo has faced off more often than Koncz indicates.
“Very rarely do I train Amir and Manny together any way. Amir is a 5 a.m., 5:30 a.m. guy, and Manny’s a 6 to 6:30 guy, so as far as that goes, they’ve never really worked together,” said Ariza.
“But as far as their sparring, that’s happened several times. They’ve sparred a lot together for sure. But as far as training, their running days and everything are different and on different days.”
Koncz said that Pacquiao is rightfully focused on his upcoming bout with Marquez.
Pacquiao has battled Marquez through a draw and a split-decision in May of 2004 and March of 2008, respectively, when they competed first for Marquez’s WBA and IBF featherweight titles and then his WBC junior lightweight belt.
RingTV.com: Can you elaborate on exactly what testing conditions did Pacquiao agree to during the negotiations with Mayweather?
They can reach me or Bob. But I’m not going to start giving points and details into the media because that never helps any type of negotiations.
So I’m not going to negotiate a Floyd Mayweather fight in the media, especially a fight such as that.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on Pacquiao’s assertion that he can’t force Mayweather to fight him?
MK: That’s an accurate statement. How can you force anybody to fight? But again, we’re not focused on Floyd either.
RingTV.com: Given where you have been in the negotiations, if a fan walked up to you and asked you if, deep down, you thought that a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao will ever be made, what would you tell him?
So I truly wish that the fight could be made, and I know that the fans want that fight to be made. But Manny doesn’t need the fight. Manny has done more for boxing than anyone has, I believe. Manny’s legacy is cemented.
RingTV.com: What has to happen for the fight to happen?
RingTV.com: Khan and Pacquiao have said that they are friends and will never fight, but what are your thoughts?
RingTV.com: Your thoughts on reports by Khan that there has been tension between his camp and that of Pacquiao’s leading to them not sparring lately, etc.?
That includes everybody. Julio Cesar Chavez comes in earlier. There’s nothing brewing or going on. Don’t read between the lines. There’s nothing there.
RingTV.com: Would Pacquiao truly face Martinez as a welterweight, which is a prospect that seems highly unlikely?
Manny’s not looking at Martinez, and we’re not focusing on Martinez. We’re not focusing on anything but this fight right now. It’s not an important statement.
It was a comment that was made during a line of questioning. But there was no focus on anybody but Juan Manuel Marquez. Not right at this time.
Photo by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com