PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Before the year ends, the showdown which everybody wants to see will most likely take place.
Yes, world welterweight king Manny Pacquiao fighting American Floyd Mayweather, Jr in a bout pitting two greatest fighters of their era is highly expected to happen late this year despite controversies that led to the cancellation of their encounter originally set on March 13.
“I believe it (fight with Mayweather) will happen some other time,” said Pacquiao, talking to reporters during a press conference to promote his coming fight with Ghana’s Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys stadium in Dallas on March 13.
‘It will happen,” the Filipino ring hero added.
In the same press-con, the 31-year-old Pacquiao talked lengthily about the failed talks for a Las Vegas confrontation with the undefeated Mayweather, which could easily go down as one the the biggest, richest bouts of all time.
An Olympic-style, random blood testing between him and Pacquiao was what Mayweather had demanded, something which is not required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Defiant, Pacquiao said testing too close to the fight would interrupt his buildup and make him weak for the bout.
“I am honest, and a clean fighter,” Pacman said, adding that Mayweather’s demands made him a suspected cheat in the sporting world.
“It’s not true. He’s accusing me,” Pacquiao said. “I want to clear my name because I’m a very honest person. I’m very disappointed for what he accused me of. I’m clean. I’m not cheating. I’m a very honest fighter.”
Pacquiao, who won the welterweight crown from Miguel Cotto in November to become the first boxer to win titles in seven different weight classes, said he hoped to get in the ring with Mayweather before the year was out.
“I’m still hoping the fight will be pushed through, maybe by summer time,” he said. “It would be a good fight if it happened.”
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, shared the fighter’s optimism that a Mayweather fight could still be arranged.
“I think it’s going to happen,” Roach told reporters. “I think it’s likely. Maybe Mayweather is up to doing this to get more press, I don’t know.”
Roach said Mayweather’s camp had accepted a compromise that would allow for blood testing up to 14 days before the fight and immediately afterwards, but that Mayweather had rejected that.
“We’re not going to sit around and wait for this guy,” Roach said.
“Manny was really excited about that fight,” said Roach. “Hopefully it will happen some day.”
Pacquiao will carry a 50-3-2 record into the Cowboys Stadium bout against the 32-year-old Clottey, who is 35-3.