MIAMI (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. allowed a deadline for striking a deal on a superfight with Manny Pacquiao to pass without saying anything.
A day later, Mayweather indicated that his stance wouldn’t be changing any time soon.
“I’m not interested in rushing to do anything,” Mayweather told The Associated Press.
Appearing in Miami on Sunday, July 18 as a coach at a charity basketball game hosted by Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning, Mayweather happily fielded questions about the NBA. But when talk turned to boxing – and Pacquiao in particular – the fighter known as Money simply wouldn’t respond.
Mayweather’s camp did not respond to a deadline early Saturday, July 17 put in place by Pacquiao promoter Top Rank for exclusive negotiations, which has put what could be the richest fight in boxing history in doubt. Mayweather and Pacquiao are clearly the two biggest stars in the sport, but have not signed a deal despite months of negotiations.
“I’m not really thinking about boxing right now,” Mayweather said. “I’m just relaxing. I fought about 60 days ago, so I’m just enjoying myself, enjoying life, enjoying my family and enjoying my vacation.”
Mayweather has appeared at the event Mourning founded known as the Summer Groove in past years, plus has grabbed courtside seats at Heat games during previous trips to Miami. But there was a certain irony to his appearance Sunday: Mayweather was a coach on the bench that the Heat occupy, sitting in the seat that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra uses during games.
Spoelstra is of Filipino descent, and is a huge Pacquiao fan.
“I’m supporting all basketball players because I’m a fan of basketball,” Mayweather said.
Pacquiao already has agreed to an equitable split of the earnings from the megafight, along with extensive drug testing. The two sides nearly came to terms earlier this year, but the fight didn’t happen then because Pacquiao was reticent about blood testing close to a fight.
Pacquiao ended up routing Joshua Clottey before about 50,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium in March, while Mayweather easily defeated Shane Mosley in May.
Although he hasn’t spoken directly to Mayweather, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said he believes the former pound-for-pound champion might be reluctant to fight this year because of the legal woes of Roger Mayweather, his uncle and longtime trainer.
Roger Mayweather will go on trial in Las Vegas next month on assault charges stemming from an altercation with a female boxer last year.
If the fight with Mayweather doesn’t happen, Pacquiao could fight recently crowned junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, whom he’s already defeated, or former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito. Arum said that Pacquiao plans to fight Nov. 13 regardless of the opponent.
As for Mayweather, well, only he seems to know.
“Like I said, I’m just supporting my family and relaxing,” Mayweather said. “That’s what I’m doing right now.”
File Photo. Floyd Mayweather Jr.