Manny Pacquiao has called on long-time adversary Floyd Mayweather Jr to come out of retirement and face him in a rematch following his brutal stoppage of Lucas Matthysse.
The Filipino fighter scored his first knockout in nine years in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday when he sent WBA Welterweight champion Matthysse of Argentina to the canvas three times before the referee called a halt to proceedings in the seventh round.
Buoyed by a performance that conjured up the Pacquiao of old, full of devastating power and speed that for over a decade earned him a rightful claim to the best "pound-for-pound" fighter on the planet, the "Pac-Man" now wants to take on Mayweather, who won their May 2015 fight by unanimous decision, a second time.
"Mayweather? If he decides to go back to boxing then that is the time we are going to call the shots," an effervescent Pacquiao told reporters at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur after his stunning win.
"I have the belt, so it's up to him. If he wants to come back in boxing let's do a second one," he grinned.
Victory over Matthysse opened a glorious new act in a 23-year career that has seen Pacquiao become the only man to move up through eight weight divisions and win world titles in all of them.
Pacqiuao, whose record now stands at 60 wins against seven losses and two draws, is still bitter about dropping the decision to Mayweather in their Las Vegas bout in one of the richest fights in boxing history. Pacquiao needed surgery on a damaged shoulder that he claimed had restricted his movement and punching power during the fight.
Mayweather retired from boxing after the fight, which generated over US$600 million (Dh2.2 billion) in a bout billed as the "Fight of the Century", although it failed to live up to it. The unbeaten American was lured back to the ring for a one-off fight against UFC superstar Conor McGregor last August, beating the Irishman in a mismatch that took Mayweather to 50 victories.
Pacquiao is already considering the options for his next fight, which could take place as early as November or December.
The Filipino, 39, who is also a senator in the Philippines government, also identified British former light welterweight world champion and former sparring partner Amir Khan as a potential opponent.
"My next fight, I want to defend my belt," Pacquiao said.