World Boxing Council welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. said recently he will voluntarily hand over his title to Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao if that is what it takes to avoid facing the Filipino boxing icon inside the ring.
“He can have the belt. A belt doesn’t make me,” Mayweather said in a recent media interview.
The pound-for-pound king said he would rather vacate his WBC title than fight the Filipino.
This came after the WBC bosses declared Pacquiao as the No. 1 contender for the division, making him the mandatory challenger for the title now being held by the undefeated American.
But Mayweather refused to cooperate and said he would rather give up his belt than fight Pacquiao, saying the Filipino boxer is not worthy of the shot at his crown.
He questioned the WBC decision to put Pacquiao ahead of American Timothy Bradley and Mexican boxing superstar Juan Manuel Marquez, who both won against the Filipino boxer.
Bradley won by a decision while Marquez knocked Pacquiao out in the sixth round.
“Now, all of a sudden, he’s the mandatory for my title?” Mayweather asked.
He pointed out the disparity of their fight records. The American said that while he is undefeated in 45 fights, Pacquiao had lost two of his last three bouts.
Mayweather said Pacquiao is “finished goods” after he got knocked out by Marquez, hence, does not deserve to be given the opportunity to grab the title from him.
The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao has long been a dream match among boxing aficionados worldwide. Pundits believe Pacquiao has the skills and power to bring down Mayweather and hand him his first defeat due to his speed.
They said the two must settle once and for all the long-running debate on who is the better boxer between them.
The Filipino boxer recently won a lop-sided victory over former champion Mexican-American Brandon Rios and is set to return to the boxing ring on April 12 next year.
Pacquiao will face either Rios again, his Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez for the fifth time or his good friend Russian boxing champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
Among the three, only Bradley was bold enough to admit he wanted to fight Pacquiao again in order to prove that his last victory against him was no fluke.
Marquez, however, was not keen on facing Pacquiao again, saying he would rather do a rematch with Bradley, who earlier beat him.
Provodnikov said he would rather not fight Pacquiao because they are friends.
[Updated 12-19-2013 with video below]
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