ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach issued a challenge to Floyd Mayweather on Saturday, saying the time had come for the undefeated American to decide if he would face the Filipino in the ring.
Boxing fans have long savoured the prospect of a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown, if only to decide the mythical title of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.
“He (Mayweather) has got to do something,” Roach told reporters after Filipino Pacquiao won an eighth world title in an unprecedented eighth weight class by beating Mexico’s Antonio Margarito.
”After this great performance by Manny, Mayweather just has to put up or shut up now and move out of the country.
“Let’s face it. Manny’s way above him at this point because I remember when he (Mayweather) was ducking Margarito and he wouldn’t fight him either. If he doesn’t fight Manny now, we know this guy should retire.”
Mayweather had been expected to meet Pacquiao earlier this year until negotiations collapsed over the American’s demand for random drug testing.
American Shane Mosley then stepped in to take the Filipino’s place but he was outclassed by Mayweather in a non-title welterweight bout in Las Vegas in May.
That left Mayweather with an unblemished career record of 41-0 with 25 knockouts but even then he was reluctant to commit to a mega-fight with Pacquiao.
“I‘m not going out chasing fighters,” said Mayweather, who surrendered his tag as the best pound-for-pound boxer to the Filipino during a 21-month retirement from the sport that ended late last year.
“If Manny takes the (blood) test, we can make the fight happen. If he doesn‘t, we don’t have a fight. If Manny Pacquaio wants to fight, it is not hard to find me.”
Pacquiao deferred any talk of a Mayweather fight to the promoters after improving his own career record to 52-3-2 with 38 knockouts after his unanimous points victory over Margarito at Cowboys Stadium.
“I‘m not going to fight anybody as long as there is a problem with the decision of the promoter,” the 31-year-old Filipino said. “That’s my promoter’s job. I‘m just a fighter to do my job and train hard for the fight.”
Whichever opponents are lined up going forward, Pacquiao has indicated he will fight twice more before retiring from boxing to focus on his burgeoning career in politics.
“I am really happy for what I’ve done in boxing, and I don’t want to get too overwhelmed right now because you have to balance responsibility,” he said after claiming the vacant WBC super welterweight title.
“That’s why I enter (the ring), because I want to help people by making good fights.”
Pacquiao’s fight on Saturday was certainly a good one, and the most destructive performance by the Filipino Roach had ever witnessed.
”It’s the worst beating I have ever seen (by Pacquiao), accumulation-wise and the number of punches landed,“ he said. ”Margarito is a very resilient guy, a tough guy and he has no quit in him.
“His corner should have saved him. He took too much unnecessary punishment to me. I would have stopped that fight. After eight rounds, it was over and it was just a matter of time.”