NEW YORK (Reuters) – Talk of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather must wait until after January’s WBA welterweight title defence against Adrien Broner, Manny Pacquiao said on Monday.
“Floyd, if he comes out of retirement, we will see after this fight,” said Pacquiao when asked about former champion Mayweather at a news conference to promote his Jan. 19 fight with Broner in Las Vegas.
“But we cannot underestimate Adrien Broner, we cannot underestimate this fight. I have to get through this fight first before we talk about the rematch with Floyd Mayweather.”
There has been speculation about a rematch ever since Mayweather scored a unanimous decision over Pacquiao, who later said he was hampered by a right shoulder injury, in a 2015 bout that was dubbed “The Fight of the Century” but never lived up to its billing.
American Mayweather, 41, retired in 2017 with a 50-0 record and said on Instagram in September that a rematch of the much-hyped 2015 fight would take place this year. The post included a video of Mayweather and Pacquiao talking to each other at a music festival in Tokyo.
Pacquiao, who turns 40 in December, shed some light on what was said during that encounter when asked about it on Monday.
“We talk and, you know, he said he want to come out of retirement to fight me and to challenge me but I told him: ‘I got the belt and you have to challenge me and come out from your retirement’,” the Filipino said.
“And I decided that… I said that, because in that situation he (was) trying to bully me or whatever.
Pacquiao (60-7-2) showed a return to form in July when he stunned defending champion Lucas Matthysse with a seventh-round knockout in Kuala Lumpur to claim the WBA welterweight title.
American Broner (33-3-1), who was once considered by some to be the apparent to pound-for-pound king Mayweather, is far from intimidated by Pacquiao and is fully aware that the southpaw can go down.
“He’s been knocked out three times. We know he can go out and go to sleep. He don’t need no NyQuil for that,” said Broner, 29. “We know he can go to sleep and I got the power to do it.”
(Drops word “heavyweight” in 2nd para)
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Frank Pingue; Editing by Clare Fallon)