Floyd Mayweather Jr. told hosts of the BET network’s television show “106 and Park” recently that he was “looking for” Manny Pacquiao, adding “we want Pacquiao to take the test,” and, “we just want to give the fans and the people around the world what they want to see.”
The 34-year-old Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) announced on Thursday that he will make the first defense of the WBC welterweight belt he won in September by stopping Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) against an opponent to be determined on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) is THE RING’s No. 1-rated fighter pound-for-pound, and Mayweather, who turns 35 in February, THE RING’s No. 2-ranked boxer pound-for-pound.
Pacquiao has a defense of his WBO welterweight belt against THE RING ’s No. 5-rated pound-for-pound and RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs ), owner of the WBO and WBA belts, on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand.
Negotiations for a megabout between Pacquiao, who is promoted by Top Rank Inc., and Mayweather, who is handled by Golden Boy Promotions, have failed twice over Mayweather’s insistance on Olympic-style random drug testing.
Pacquiao has an ongoing lawsuit against Mayweather, accusing him of defamation and asserting that the fighter has continued to insinuate publicly that Pacquiao’s success over eight weight classes is the result of having used performance-enhancing drugs.
Asked by one of the hosts why he thought Pacquiao was on something, Mayweather responded: ”I never said that Pacquiao was on anything, it’s just that it’s not natural for any athlete to come from 106 all the way to 154 all natural and to compete with the best fighters.”
Prior to his past two victories over Shane Mosley and Ortiz in May of last year and in September, Mayweather required that his opponents undergo Olympic-style random drug testing of urine and blood that was conducted by United States Anti-Doping Agency.
“I never said that Pacquiao was taking anything. I’m the face of boxing, and I’m just trying to clean the sport up. I’m willing to take the test,” said Mayweather.
“We’re just trying to do random blood and random urine tests. I took the test. I’m not just picking on one fighter. Ortiz took the test. Mosley took the test. All I’m asking Pacquiao to do is take the test, and we can make it happen.”
Photo by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com