Sen. Manny Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather rematch talk persists
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Even as there is media frenzy over the July 20 WBA welterweight unification championship showdown between “super” titlist Keith Thurman and “regular” beltholder Sen. Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, talk of a rematch with undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains a hot topic whenever the press interviews the Filipino ring icon.

During the media tour to hype the Pacquiao-Thurman bout in New York and Los Angeles this week, the fighting senator disclosed information that Mayweather is “thinking” of staging the much-awaited rematch in the Middle East. 

“I heard (Mayweather) is talking about a promotion in the Middle East area, Saudi Arabia or Dubai,” said Pacquiao in an appearance on the Fox Sports show “Undisputed” with hosts Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe and Jenny Taft the other day. “People asked me if I’m willing to fight Floyd. Anytime. I’m still in sports, I’m active. I have no problem with that.”

Pacquiao said he’s chasing the rematch to settle once and for all who’s the superior fighter considering the doubts surrounding the outcome of their 2015 meeting where he hurt his shoulder in the fourth round but still stood his ground to push Mayweather to the limit. Mayweather won by a unanimous 12-round decision.

“People have a question mark in their minds,” said Pacquiao. “It’s really important for me to fight Mayweather especially since some fans are doubting who was the winner. I believe I won the fight. Mayweather didn’t throw punches. But I respect the judges’ decision. It’s done and that’s why I want the rematch.”

Pacquiao, 40, took a swipe at Mayweather’s ego when he said the man called Money, who’s now 42 and retired, is scared of a rematch and “keeps avoiding me.” Pacquiao said when he beats Thurman, the more Mayweather may want to stay retired. “But you never know,” he said. “Maybe, he’ll come back.” Mayweather has a long history of un-retiring so if he un-retires once more to fight Pacquiao in a rematch, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Curiously, Mayweather Promotions is involved in putting up the Pacquiao-Thurman fight with MP Promotions and TGB Promotions. “Pacquiao is currently the biggest name in the sport and Thurman is a young, skilled undefeated fighter in the prime of his career, making for a compelling matchup,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe.

Focusing on the Thurman fight, Pacquiao said he’s motivated to win. “I don’t like my opponent telling me he’ll send me to retirement,” he said. “I have a couple of fights left. This fight is going to be fun.”

Thurman, 30, said Pacquiao is “beatable” and he’ll put an end to his boxing career and make him a full-time senator. “For me, his boxing tactics are predictable,” said Thurman. “He fights in spurts and you have to take advantage of that. You have to be respectful of his power. But I believe my movement, athleticism and ring knowledge will be able to present him something he’s not seen in all his years of boxing.” Thurman vowed to send Pacquiao into retirement like what the Filipino did to Oscar de la Hoya in 2008.

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said, “Fans have always enjoyed watching Pacquiao and Thurman compete in the ring and we are confident they will, once again, give boxing fans world-wide everything they’re expecting and more,” said Gibbons. “Manny is fighting in the biggest fights on a global scale and it doesn’t get any more global than Fox Sports pay-per-view. Senator Pacquiao is thrilled to be back in Viva Las Vegas, fighting in the best venue for boxing, the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This is where the Pacquiao vs. Thurman world welterweight championship belongs.” Tickets are now on sale for the fight in five prices – $300, $500, $750, $1,000 and $1,500.

KEITH THURMAN MANNY PACQUIAO
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