Manny Pacquiao hit NYC for a presser trumpeting his June 9 showdown with unbeaten Timothy Bradley, and the keyboard tappers all wanted to know one thing…
No, not whether he thinks the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will get made, although of course that came up at Chelsea Piers. No, they wanted to know if he met Knicks savior Jeremy Lin.
Turns out they didn’t connect as hoped yesterday, but the Congressman said he hopes he and Lin can connect when the Knicks head out west on their next swing. “I’m proud of him, he’s from Asia,” he said.
As for Mayweather, Manny took a pass when given a shot at whacking Floyd for his Jan. 13 Tweet, in which he said that Lin-mania has mostly to do with the baller’s race. Pacquiao, taking the high road, said that he prayed for Mayweather: “God bless him, I’ll pray for him.”
We’ve heard recently that he might retire soon. “I’m still hungry in boxing, I still want to fight,” the boxer said. He thinks he’ll glove up two or three more times.
Pacman said he thinks Bradley (28-0; age 28) will be a solid foe on June 9. “I think we can give a good fight,” he said. He did mention that he hopes Bradley’s penchant for headbutting won’t impact him come fight night, and said he doesn’t think he is deliberately dirty.
I expect Pacman, who is 33 and may be on the downside, as he now seems more prone to cramping and cuts, to be able to use his hand speed and accuracy to get past Bradley, who doesn’t possess great power at 140, and will likely have less at welterweight. He said he hopes him and Mayweather will clash sometime. “I hope we fight before I retire,” he said, to laughs, during a media roundtable. Pacman targets November, but noted that they’ll need to find a way to split revenues. “I want the fight to happen,” he said. “My kid is 11 years old and says ‘fight Mayweather before you retire.’”
Pacman chuckled when he recounted their phone call of a few weeks back. “No pay per view,” the Filipino said Mayweather told him, and he then guffawed. “There is hope we will fight someday,” he said. His promoter Bob Arum seems less hopeful. (See previous blog.)
But aren’t fans tired of the flirtation? “A million times I heard that, ‘when is the fight?’ I’m tired of answering that question over and over,” he admitted. He reiterated that he does want the fight, and refused to speculate in front of the media why Mayweather hasn't done more to prove he wants the mega-scrap.
Pacman also said Cotto will be tough for Mayweather when those two face off on May 5.
And what about another fight with Juan Manuel Marquez? "I don't think fans want to watch the same movie," he said, chuckling. "My concern is the fans. I don't want to lose the fans in boxing."
Pacman's recent deeper immersion into religion came up. He said, "Without God, we are not here in this world" in closing the roundtable.