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Pacquiao on Mayweather: 'I want that fight'

Whenever Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather are getting ready for a fight, talk of a long-awaited, long-denied showdown between them inevitably is raised. This occurs even though few believe it will ever happen after years of public demand, failed negotiations and a whole lot of lame excuses for why they haven’t fought in what remains easily the biggest fight in boxing.

Nonetheless, the prospect of the fight has come up again -- shocking, right? -- as Pacquiao winds down his preparations for a welterweight title defense against junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri on Nov. 22 (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao in Macau, China.

First, flash back to September when, following his second victory against Marcos Maidana, Mayweather was, of course, asked about finally fighting Pacquiao at the postfight news conference.

As usual, Mayweather, who is more to blame lately than Pacquiao for there being no fight, was noncommittal.

“We don’t know what the future holds for Floyd Mayweather,” he said. “As of right now, I will enjoy my time off. We don’t know who we gonna be fighting next. I don’t even think about Pacquiao. I don’t even know him actually. But I wish him nothing but the best. But that’s not my focus. I could care less about what Pacquiao does. I don’t wish anything bad on the man. I try not to focus on no one else’s business.

“If it happens, it happens. You guys can keep asking the same questions over and over. I move when I want to, where I want to, and how I want to.”

Eventually, Mayweather got into a slight bit of detail when he said that should the showdown ever take place, it would have to be on Showtime PPV (where he is under contract, while Pacquiao is signed to HBO) and promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

“Hopefully, it's next,” Mayweather concluded.

Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum have been more outspoken lately about wanting to make the fight. Arum even claims that HBO and Showtime can work together on a joint pay-per-view in a similar manner as how they did for the 2002 heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis, then under contract to HBO, and Mike Tyson, then with Showtime.

Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division titleholder, has accomplished so much in his career, but there is one more thing he wants before he retires: a fight with Mayweather.

“I do have one specific goal and that is to give the boxing fans the fight they have always asked for,” Pacquiao said. “I want that fight [with Mayweather] too.”

But, Pacquiao said, it is hard to make a fight when only one side is trying to make it.

“I believe good-faith negotiations could produce that fight,” he said. “But it is impossible to negotiate when you are the only one sitting at the table. Two fighters who want to fight each other have never been kept from fighting each other.”

Arum voiced similar sentiments on a teleconference this week promoting Pacquiao-Algieri.

“How can I talk for Mayweather? As far as the Pacquiao fight is concerned with Mayweather, as much as a lot of people surrounding it would want it to happen, myself included and Manny included, Floyd is reluctant to fight Manny Pacquiao, period,” Arum said. “If people don’t see that by now, they are never going to see it.

“In as far as if Chris Algieri wins the fight against Manny Pacquiao, then there is a provision in the contract for a rematch. If he beats Pacquiao then beats Manny in a rematch and Floyd wants to fight him, that’s not my business -- that’s up to [Algieri promoter] Joe DeGuardia and it’s up to the Mayweather camp.”