PACMAN  CAMP  EYES  MAYWEATHER  IN  OCTOBER

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Floyd 'Pretty Boy Floyd' Mayweathwer, Jr.]

LAS VEGAS, MAY 5, 2009 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao is begging for some time to enjoy his latest victory, and should be ready to return to the ring by October, possibly against former pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“It’s hard to think of my next fight,” said Pacquiao the day after he rewrote his personal history with a second-round victory over Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas.

“I will probably fight Mayweather, but I’m ready to fight whoever my promoter wants me to fight,” Pacquiao said.

The Filipino ring icon knocked out Hatton with a devastating left hook in the second round for his 10th straight victory and claimed the Briton’s International Boxing Organization (IBO) junior welterweight world crown, equaling a record of six weight titles.

“Maybe in October I can fight again. And I don’t have any idea whom to face next. It depends on the weight, although I think I can fight at 145 or 147 pounds.”

But not at 150 pounds, throwing cold water on a challenge hurled by undefeated light middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. who dared him to fight at 151 lbs.

“Malabo yang 150. Masyado nang mataas yan (Not at 150. It’s too heavy for me),” he said.

Among those being lined up as Pacquiao’s next possible opponent are Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico, Mayweather, or his old nemesis, Juan Manuel Marquez.

Actually, Pacquiao said he could still fight at 135 lbs. as a lightweight, because in this camp, he realized he could still make the weight and probably reclaim the title he once owned.

At 135, there’s Edwin Valero, the undefeated knockout specialist from Venezuela who may be considered a good fight.

Pacquiao said he found no difficulty weighing in at 138 lbs. for his 140 lbs. contest with Hatton. He said on the eve of the weigh-in, he managed to enjoy a full meal and had three boiled eggs hours before he tipped the scales.

“Puwede pa ako sa 135 (I can still make 135),” he added.

Mayweather next?

Pacquiao will get some fresh air the next two days in Los Angeles before he flies home on Friday.

Once he gets home, it’s time to be with his four kids, two boys and two girls.

They plan to visit Australia, New York or even London, although he is expected to keep an eye on the outcome of the Mayweather-Marquez bout on July 18, which serves as Mayweather’s comeback fight, with the winner being groomed as the next Pacquiao opponent.

But trainer Freddie Roach suggested that a big-money showdown with Mayweather, the former pound-for-pound king, will not happen anytime soon unless the American comes down to 140 pounds, where the Filipino fighter is the current king.

For many, the Pacquiao-Mayweather face-off has all the trimmings of a mega-fight that is expected to bring in huge pay-per-view profits for both fighters and decide who is the true pound-for-pound king.

But while there is hope that the Pacquiao-Mayweather duel can happen by the end of the year, Mayweather must first handle Marquez.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, said his ward will wait until Miguel Cotto fights, also in July, before deciding on a next opponent.

A potential foe for both men before they meet is US veteran Shane Mosley.

“He knows he is at the end of his career and he wants to make some big money off me,” Mayweather said.

Pacquiao’s trainer-coach Freddie Roach had a considerably higher opinion of Mosley.

“The most dangerous guy out there for Manny right now is probably Shane Mosley,” Roach said. “They both like to fight and his pace is dangerous.”

Another issue will be weight. Marquez, a star at 135 pounds, and Mayweather, a force at 147, have yet to settle on a catch weight for their fight, likely to be at 144 pounds.

A similar size issue will come into play during Pacquiao-Mayweather talks.

“At the right weight? No problem. At 147? Forget it,” Roach said. “Manny doesn’t need it. Manny’s best weight is 140.”

Mayweather has feigned non-interest in fighting the winner of the Pacquiao-Hatton slugfest, saying he was taking his daughter bowling rather than watching the fight.

“I’m not worried about that,” Mayweather said. “I don’t have to call fighters out. They are all calling me out.”

But it’s safe to say that the loud-mouthed son of the equally cocky trainer of Hatton may have heard about Pacquiao’s domination of the British brawler and the punishing left hook that sent Hatton flat on his back.

“If Mayweather wants a piece of the ‘little Filipino,’ be my guest,” Arum said.

All about money

But weight may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Dividing the money will also be troublesome, with both men likely to want the lion’s share of the profits from the rich pay-per-view spectacle.

Pacquiao made $12 million against Hatton, who made $8 million.

Mayweather played the loudmouth to lure a record 2.4 million purchases against Oscar de la Hoya and one million more against Hatton, saying he pushed the numbers even though his rival’s fan base drove creation of the fight.

With Pacquiao as Asia’s super fighter, a new untapped market could test Mayweather’s moneyspinner skills.

Another factor will be pay-per-view numbers for Mayweather’s comeback and Pacquiao’s victory.

Should tough economic times hold down profits, it could push organizers to delay a showdown for financial conditions to improve.

Meanwhile, on June 12, Pacquiao is expected to be in New York to receive his 2008 Fighter of the Year award from the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Roach will receive his own Trainer of the Year award, and the following day, on the 13th, they should be at ringside to watch Cotto fight Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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