It seems that we are likely to see Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao battle everywhere but in the boxing ring. They have sparred on the podium at press conferences, and they are set to duke it out in the courtroom soon. Getting into a boxing ring seems to be the hard part for these two great champions.
But now Mayweather says he is open to fighting Pacquiao in the ring. Of course, they will have to get through the pesky little lawsuit Pacquiao has filed against Mayweather for accusing him of using steroids. That steroid issue derailed the last anticipated fight between the two best pound-for-pound fighters out there.
"I want to fight the best they got out there—not just him, the best they got out there," Mayweather said in New York on Tuesday while promoting his welterweight fight against Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17. "And if he's on the list as one of the best guys, then absolutely."
The belief among many, however, is that Mayweather is doing whatever he can to avoid fighting Pacquiao and possibly blemishing his record. The steroid accusations sounded ridiculous then and they are ridiculous now, although Mayweather now denies accusing Pacquiao of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"I've never said that Manny Pacquiao was taking steroids, I never said he was taking enhancement drugs," Mayweather said.
But Mayweather went on to say he would welcome the fight, which could break box office and pay-per-view records, if Pacquiao would agree to random blood and urine testing that goes beyond what most states require. Apparently, Pacquiao’s camp has declined such testing in the past.
"It's not just Pacquiao, it's sports, period," said Mayweather, who is returning to the ring for the first time since defeating Shane Mosely in May 2010. "If you look at sports in the Olympics, they're cheating. Everyone is cheating. And I never once said Manny Pacquiao was cheating, only thing I said was this: Me and any other opponent I face must take the test."
Information used in this article was obtained from ESPN.com and Associated Press.
(Photo: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)