Filipino veteran Manny Pacquiao revealed Monday he has spoken with Floyd Mayweather about a possible sequel to their 2015 superfight, but said no decision would be taken on a rematch until the New Year.
Speaking in New York to confirm details of his January 19 fight against Adrien Broner, Pacquiao said he had discussed a rematch with Mayweather during a recent trip to Japan.
“When I met up with Floyd in Japan, we talked and he said he wants to come out of retirement to challenge me,” Pacquiao said.
“All I know is fighting in the ring and entertaining people. That’s my job. Floyd has come out of retirement and we’ll see after this fight.”
Mayweather scored a unanimous victory over Pacquiao in 2015’s “Fight of the Century”, which was largely regarded as a let-down despite being the highest-grossing fight of all time.
Since then, speculation about a possible rematch between the two welterweights has flickered, with Mayweather saying in September he was ready to fight Pacquiao.
“I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram.
Meanwhile Pacquiao, who will be fighting in the United States for the first time in two years in January’s bout, said Monday he remained solely focused on Broner before any return with Mayweather.
“We cannot underestimate Broner and this fight,” Pacquiao said. “We will discuss anything with Floyd Mayweather after that.”
Pacquiao, 39, will face Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao holds the World Boxing Association’s regular welterweight crown, a step below US unbeaten WBA ‘super champion’ Keith Thurman, after stopping Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in July at Kuala Lumpur.
“I have missed fighting in Las Vegas. It has been a second home to me,” Pacquiao said. “Returning to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to defend my world title against Adrien Broner is an exciting way to stage my homecoming.”
Pacquiao, 60-7 with two drawn and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, turns 40 in December while American Broner is 33-3 with one drawn and 24 knockouts.
Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, has continued fighting after reversing a decision to retire in 2016.
Early Manny retirement?
Broner, however, said Monday he planned to send Pacquiao into permanent retirement.
“I have paid my dues in this sport, and now it’s time for me to get mine,” Broner said. “I get more views than everybody when I fight. A lot of people are going to see me pack off Pacquiao into retirement, and without his belt.”
Last month, Pacquiao signed with adviser Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions group after being promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Haymon’s main rival, for the past 14 years.
The move ensures Pacquiao will have chances to fight the best in the welterweight division as Haymon’s fighters include Americans Thurman, 28-0 with 22 knockouts; World Boxing Council champion Shawn Porter, 29-2 with one drawn and 17 knockouts, and International Boxing Federation champion Errol Spence Jr., 24-0 with 21 knockouts.
© Agence France-Presse