Pacquiao focuses on Margarito, not Mayweather rant
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao dismissed a derogatory online video posted by Floyd Mayweather Jr., calling it an “uneducated message” and choosing to instead focus on his upcoming fight with Antonio Margarito.
In the widely circulated video, Mayweather goes on an expletive-filled and sometimes racist rant against Pacquiao, the newly elected Congressman from the Philippines who faces Margarito on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium near Dallas.
Mayweather said during the video, which appeared this week, that he’s on vacation “for about a year” and would easily defeat Pacquiao after that.
“I just heard about that, but I didn’t see the video,” Pacquiao said Friday, at the final stop of a three-city tour to promote his fight. “But it’s an uneducated message.”
Mayweather, at times interacting with fans by phone on the video, claims Pacquiao “can’t speak no English” and has “never seen a contract he didn’t like.” There are also suggestions that the Filipino sensation has used performance-enhancing drugs, assertions raised previously by the Mayweather camp that resulted in a defamation lawsuit that is still pending.
“It’s a really cheap low blow, but again, consider where it came from,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. “We tried to fight him. He said no. He doesn’t want to fight.”
Roach said he hadn’t seen the Mayweather video.
Mayweather’s chief adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, did not return messages left by The Associated Press. His publicist, Kelly Swanson, said in an e-mail that she had seen the video but had not been in touch with Mayweather or Ellerbe and couldn’t comment.
Fans have been calling for Mayweather to fight Pacquiao, but negotiations have repeatedly broken down for what could have been the richest fight in boxing history.
When a deal wasn’t reached in January, Pacquiao instead fought Joshua Clottey, defeating him in March at Cowboys Stadium. When negotiations broke down again this summer, Pacquiao turned his attention to Margarito, whom he’ll fight for a vacant junior middleweight title.
It is unclear when the Mayweather video was made, but it appeared online this week when Pacquiao and Margarito were in the midst of their promotional tour. After stops in Beverly Hills and New York, the media tour wrapped up Friday at Cowboys Stadium – in an end zone plaza instead of on the field, which was being prepared for a college football game.
When asked about the possibility of a Mayweather bout Friday, Pacquiao responded: “I’m not looking for that fight. I’m satisfied with what I’ve done in boxing already.”
Pacquiao said he’s only planning a couple of more fights before retiring, though he gave no indication of who the opponents might be. The seven-division champion said earlier this week that he would still face Mayweather if he accepted the fight.
Todd duBoef of promoter Top Rank said he had heard about the Mayweather video but “probably” didn’t have any interest in seeing it. Mayweather used to be a Top Rank fighter.
DuBoef also said he doesn’t want to hear Mayweather asking to fight Pacquiao, especially after his team denied that the second round of negotiations even took place this summer.
“It’s sad,” duBoef said. “You hope that people are a little more mature than things like that. … We’ve tried this twice (to make the fight). We tried it twice and you denied there were negotiations. Enough of that.”
DuBoef said that Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) was ready to fight and not interested in waiting any longer on a bout with Mayweather, who is 41-0 after a unanimous decision in May over Shane Mosley. Mayweather took that fight after the Pacquiao deal fell through.
That was Mosley’s first fight since beating Margarito in January 2009, and the last time that Margarito fought in the United States. He was suspended for one year because a plaster-like substance was found in Margarito’s hand wraps before his bout against Mosley in Los Angeles.
Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) was denied an application to fight in California and had another application tabled in Nevada before the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation last week approved his application. That cleared the way for another high-profile boxing match at Cowboys Stadium, the $1.2 billion showplace built by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
When Texas licensing executive director William Kuntz spoke Friday, he said Jones paved the way for major boxing events in Texas. While he didn’t address Margarito’s license issue, duBoef applauded the decision by Texas regulators.
“They did a terrific job. They did research, they didn’t rush to judgment,” duBoef said. “They didn’t listen to hype, they didn’t listen to hyperbole.”
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in New York contributed to this report.