MANILA, Philippines – Floyd Mayweather Jr. is known for his lightning fast punches, but boxing’s consensus pound-for-pound best fighter sure knows how to kick them when they’re down, too.
Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts), who simultaneously holds the WBC’s welterweight and junior middleweight titles, took aim at Pacquiao’s tax woes and back-to-back losses in 2012 in an interview with Ben Thompson of FightHype.com. Mayweather asserts that Pacquiao is begging for a fight with him so that he can rise out of debt with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines.
“He’s got 68 million problems and he wants me to solve them,” said Mayweather, referring to the reported $50 million Pacquiao owes in the Philippines and $18 million owed in the US.
“He’s willing to do anything now after his career done took a major setback. First he wanted 50/50; now he’s like, ‘Floyd, give me anything. Throw an old, desperate dog a bone.'”
Coincidentally, it was the IRS that compelled Mayweather to break a 21-month retirement in 2009. Two months before his September 2009 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, the AP reported that Mayweather owed the IRS $6.4 million in taxes.
The Sarangani congressman Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) had previously held the unofficial title of boxing’s pound-for-pound best boxer, but a controversial decision loss to Timothy Bradley and a sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 set his career back.
Pacquiao rebounded last November with a dominant points victory over former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios in November, but Mayweather wasn’t particularly impressed.
“They say Manny Pacquiao is back? Why? Because he beat a blown-up lightweight?,” asked Mayweather.
Despite the losses, a bout between the 5-division champion Mayweather, 36, and 8-division champion Pacquiao, 35, is the biggest fight that can be made in boxing today. The fight doesn’t appear to be any closer to fruition than it was four years ago when talks first heated up, as Pacquiao is looking at an April 12 date against either Bradley or Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov.
Mayweather is rumored to be looking at former junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan and WBA welterweight titleholder Marcos Maidana for a May 3 date in Las Vegas.
Mayweather’s most recent victory – a one-sided drubbing of Saul Alvarez in September – sold 2.2 million pay-per-views and generated a record $150 million in revenue, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, making it the second highest-selling fight of all time. Mayweather’s 2007 fight against Oscar de la Hoya holds the top spot with 2.5 million buys.
The same writer reported that Pacquiao’s fight with Rios sold 475,000 pay-per-views to generate $30 million.
Mayweather claims he had offered Pacquiao a $40 million flat-rate to fight but that Pacquiao rejected it and demanded financial parity.
“I offered Manny Pacquiao $40 million and he said he wanted 50/50…You could care less if you win; all you want to do is fight Floyd Mayweather to clean up a tax bill basically. He’s got a $68 million tax problem now. He couldn’t put ten fights together and make $68 million, so now, who is he chasing?
“He don’t need to be focused on Floyd Mayweather. He needs to be focused on that tax business,” Mayweather tells Thompson. “I don’t knock him for doing it, but all the cards are in my hand.” -Rappler.com
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