Floyd Mayweather to Manny Pacquiao: 'Let's fight on May 2'
Unlike before when he spoke vaguely about wanting the fight, Floyd Mayweather sounded so certain about fighting Manny Pacquiao that he even mentioned a preferred date: May 2. Screen grab from Showtime

FLOYD Mayweather, Jr. went on another rant on television - but this time said the words that everybody in boxing wants to hear.

Breaking a long silence, the undefeated American champion said he is willing to fight Manny Pacquiao next year, calling out the Filipino in a television interview by saying, 'Let's make the fight happen.'

Unlike in the past when he talked vaguely about wanting the fight, Mayweather this time sounded so certain of fighting Pacquiao that he even mentioned a preferred date: May 2.

Pacquiao, 35, has stepped up his call for the Mayweather fight after beating Chris Algieri last November 23 and didn't get a firm response from his flamboyant rival until Saturday.

"Absolutely, I would love to fight Manny Pacquiao," said Mayweather in an interview during a break in a Showtime Boxing card at The Alamodome in Texas topbilled by the fight pitting Erislandy Lara against Ishe Smith.

Mayweather made it clear that he wants the fight done by Showtime pay-per-view and not by HBO Boxing and Top Rank of Bob Arum, Mayweather's estranged manager and Pacquiao's longtime handler.

"I've been wanting that fight a long time ago. I've been waiting on them," Mayweather added as he accused Arum and Pacquiao of fooling the public into believing that it was he who was dodging the fight.

"Floyd Mayweather is not dodging any opponent; Bob Arum is stopping the fight," he said. "We have been trying to make this fight happen behind the scenes for years now, but the fans and the people have been fooled because they have been listening to people from one side.

"Now is the time for us to talk. Let's make it happen (on) May 2. Let's do it."

Of course, no Mayweather interview is complete without some bashing of the 'Pacman.'

"We tried to make the fight happen years ago, we wanted random blood testing and everything. Like I said, I just want an even playing field," he told Showtime commentator Steve Farhood.

"Now he's in a very, very tight situation. He's lost to (Juan Manuel) Marquez, he's lost to (Timothy) Bradley, pay-per-view numbers are down, extremely low, so he's desperate."

Mayweather was asked why all of a sudden he's coming out to say he wants the fight, on whether it was for the money, for the fans, or to bolster his claim as the best fighter of his generation.

He responded: "A little bit of everything."


Mayweather continued: "I know he (Pacquiao) is not on my level. The fans want to see the fight, (and) I want to go out with a bang."

In a final rant, Mayweather said Pacquiao can't expect to get US$40 million for the fight - the guaranteed money he claimed he offered the Filipino icon when they first negotiated for the fight years ago.

"You guys didn't want to do random blood testing that's why it didn't happen. Then I offered you $40 million, and you didn't want to make the fight happen," he said.

"You lost twice, now you're coming back begging for the same money. That's not gonna happen.

"Let's make this fight happen for the people, for the fans. Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao, May 2. See you."

Here's the video of the interview from Showtime:

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos