- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Other than a brief interview with a British television outlet, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been awfully quiet in the aftermath of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao's impressive 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto to win a welterweight title on Saturday night.
But now Mayweather is talking, even if it is basically a lot of tired, old hot air.
The former pound-for-pound king, who returned from a 1½-year retirement in September to dominate the much smaller Juan Manuel Marquez, on Monday night issued a statement regarding a potential fight with Pacquiao.
Mayweather, of course, looms as the obvious next opponent for Pacquiao. No other fight in the sport is bigger, and a Pacquiao-Mayweather pairing figures to shatter pay-per-view records.
"Manny Pacquiao is the fighter, and every time someone asks him if he wants to fight me, he says it is up to his promoter, he's going to take a vacation, whatever the answer is," Mayweather said. "I have yet to hear him actually say, 'Yes, I want to fight Mayweather.' We are the fighters, and if one fighter is talking about fighting another fighter, then they should just come out and say it. Manny Pacquiao doesn't say anything directly about fighting me because he might just know it's not a fight he can win."
If you ask me, Mayweather is full of it, because he has never come out and said he wants to fight Pacquiao, either. He said after the Marquez fight he would also take a vacation, etc. -- the typical stuff most fighters say after a fight.
But Mayweather, forgetting that, I guess, went on.
"He said during an interview he did leading up to his fight that he didn't think I wanted to fight him and that boxing for me was just a business and I wasn't interested in a good fight," Mayweather said. "But again, he never said during that interview that he would fight me. Why is he talking about what I won't do instead of what he wants to do? Plain and simple, it's because he knows he can't beat me under any circumstances.
"Less than an hour after his fight Saturday night, the talk turns back to me. Their whole promotion was just a Mayweather sweepstakes. They know it and anyone could figure that out. Why, because my name kept coming up and I didn't even say anything? Even when he was interviewed on ESPN by Brian Kenny, he was asked about fighting me and what did he say? Not: 'Yes, I want to fight Mayweather' or 'Bring it on.' But no! He said, 'Hum, ahh, well, talk to my promoter.'
"The world is much more intrigued by the thought of someone fighting me who can beat me. That is what everyone wants to see, and the boxing world is trying to find that guy. Manny Pacquiao's people have done a good job of creating an image of him to be this unbelievable fighter and now the so-called guy to beat me. But like all the rest, he's not the one. There is boxing and then there is me. The rest are just falling in line behind me or are trying to get in line to fight me. And that includes Manny Pacquiao, too.
"Tell Manny Pacquiao to be his own man and stop letting everyone, including his loudmouth trainer [Freddie Roach], talk for him. I am my own boss, speak for myself and tell it like it is. If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight me, all he has to do is step up to the plate and say it himself."
Mayweather is hilarious. While Pacquiao tears through guys bigger than him with ferocity -- remember, Pacquiao was a junior lightweight until last year and has fought only four times at heavier than 130 pounds -- Mayweather has avoided the top challenges, for the most part, in recent years. That's why he never fought Cotto or Antonio Margarito or Paul Williams or Shane Mosley.
While Pacquiao has destroyed the bigger Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton (with a single punch in the second round) and David Diaz in his last four fights, Mayweather picked on the much smaller Marquez, needed 10 rounds to get rid of the smaller Hatton and escaped with a split decision against De La Hoya.
One guy (Mayweather) talks about fighting the best, but has yet to face a prime welterweight. The other guy (Pacquiao) takes on the best guys who are bigger than him and does it in an exciting fashion.
Does anyone actually believe Mayweather's nonsense that Pacquiao is afraid to fight him? Obviously, it's all posturing for the business deal that I believe will eventually be made to match them.
Why not save us all some time and just make it a 50-50 deal and be done with it? There is no other opponent who can make either guy close to the kind of payday Pacquiao and Mayweather can make with each other, so why quibble over a few points here or there when you're talking about tens of millions of dollars and maybe the most anticipated fight since the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns showdown?