LOS ANGELES: While unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to pound the idea that he’s this generation’s best fighter, the nemesis he’s never fought, Manny Pacquiao, is happily proceeding with his life and career.
Yes, he’s still without the super-fight, but on his current worldwide tour to promote his November 22 welterweight title defense against unbeaten Chris Algieri in Macao, Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 knockouts) is clearly having a good time.
He has met Sandy Koufax, thrown out first pitches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, laughingly gone along with a Fox Sports 1 request for him to sing a lame ode about the NFL’s return, and is excited about coaching a new pro basketball team in the Philippines.
“I want to give the people what they want, the fight with Mayweather, but what can I do if he doesn’t want to fight?” Pacquiao said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), when he and Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) held a news conference in Century City on the west side of Los Angeles.
“My concern is for the fans. For me, as a boxer, it’s a shame that he claims he’s pound-for-pound champion, that he’s undefeated.
“He’s ducking another opponent, and it’s known all over the world who he should fight. So . . . I feel sorry for him. What he needs is . . . to know how to communicate with people. That’s why I’m so happy and have peace of mind.”
Mayweather’s next bout is a September 13 rematch with Argentine Marcos Maidana, who has five losses but gave the champion (46-0) all he could handle in their May bout, which one judge scored a draw.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said he believes there can be cooperation between Pacquiao’s pay-per-view network, HBO, and Mayweather’s, Showtime, to jointly air a mega-fight in 2015.
It’s believed Arum’s suggestion was received well by Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS Corp.—of which Showtime is a subsidiary—and HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler. Pacquiao said he won a super-bantamweight world title on the undercard of a similar venture in 2002, when there was a dual broadcast for the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson heavyweight title fight.
“Maybe next year,” Pacquiao said. “I always think positively.”
All that’s missing is for Mayweather to do the same.