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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Manny Pacquiao sets sights on Floyd Mayweather

It's clear who boxing's current pound-for-pound champion Manny Pacquiao is desperately seeking as his next opponent.

Pacquiao, set to clash with Ricky Hatton on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, already is looking ahead to a possible megafight matchup against Floyd Mayweather -- if and when the former pound-for-pound king emerges from retirement.

"I think (Mayweather) is going to fight again. He's not really retired," Pacquiao told MDS at FanHouse recently. "For me, if I'm Floyd, I would fight a tune-up and then fight me. That's for me, but I don't know what his plan is. He might want to fight me right away."

The rumors of Mayweather's return to the ring continue to proliferate.

The latest rumors place him in his own gym in Las Vegas, preparing for a July return, as a possible tune-up for a November HBO pay-per-view extravaganza. Of course, it's all just speculation.

Earlier, it seemed a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown might never happen.

His trainer, Freddie Roach, and his promoter, Bob Arum, have insisted there is no interest in a Mayweather fight because of Mayweather's "boring" defensive style. Arum upped the ante, claiming "Mayweather isn't a big enough box office draw" to make that fight happen.

All of a sudden, though, Roach seems to have warmed up to the idea.

"Business-wise, the biggest fights to be made are with Mayweather, if he's really coming back to the ring, or (Juan Manuel) Marquez," Roach told "Bottom line, though, Manny will fight anyone. He'd fight (publicist) Fred Sternburg if that's who we told him was next in line.

"He just wants to be a champion."

Roach predicted Pacquiao will dispense of Hatton in three rounds.

"Hatton is a guy who'll be right in front of you and he gets hit a lot. A lot of guys have hurt him, but no one's ever finished him when they had him hurt," Roach said. "Manny is a finisher. I think he's going to bust him up and stop him within three rounds."

Either way, the winner of Pacquiao-Hatton is expected to call out Mayweather.

"Oh yeah, either Mayweather will fight someone else and then fight me, or just fight me," Pacquiao said. Everybody knows that."


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