Manny Pacquiao tried to keep the burning embers of a potential fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr alive yesterday, by telling his American rival that he needs to step into the ring with him to boost his own career.
The "Pac Man", who returned to the Philippines yesterday as he attempts to win a seat in the House of Representatives in his country's national elections on May 10, said he was waiting for Mayweather's camp to lay down the challenge and return to the negotiating table to iron out a row over drug testing.
"I came this far without Mayweather, so I see no need to call him out," said Pacquiao, who also revealed his family have asked him to retire from boxing.
"He needs me to bolster his career. I am open to him fighting me anytime he wants to." Pacquiao returned to thousands of cheering fans lining the streets of Manila yesterday to celebrate his latest victory over Joshua Clottey in Dallas last week.
Mayweather, a six-time world champion in five different weight divisions, is insisting on Olympic-style drug testing ahead of any showdown with Pacquiao, himself a seven-time champion in as many weight classes.
Mayweather wants blood tests up to 14 days before the fight, while Pacquiao claimed he feels weak after drawing blood and would not agree to testing within 24 days. Pacquiao has never failed a drugs test in any of his previous 56 fights.
Negotiations to host what would easily be the fight of this or any other year quickly deteriorated in January, and Pacquiao instead signed to take on Clottey for his WBO welterweight title, while Mayweather turned his attention to Shane Mosley, the WBA welterweight champion. Mayweather will face Mosley in Las Vegas on May 1 after both agreed to undergo an unlimited number of unannounced blood and urine tests before and after the fight.
"He should win against Mosley. If not, Mosley and I will fight," Pacquiao said before beating Clottey. * With agencies