Manny Pacquiao says he could finally step into the ring with arch-rival Floyd Mayweather next year.
Boxing fans have been hoping for a showdown between the unbeaten Mayweather and eight-division world champion Pacquiao – two of the greatest boxers of their generation – for years.
Pacquiao, speaking during a promotional trip to Hong Kong, said: “I’m crossing my fingers – hopefully that fight will happen by next year.
“Right now my mind is already set to focus on my next fight with Chris Algieri. I think the time to talk about that issue is after the fight.”
The two regularly exchange taunts with “Money” Mayweather recently posting pictures of Pacquiao’s losses, and the Filipino last month telling his rival to stop “blabbing” and fight him.
Pacquiao, 35, said he had a “couple of years” left before retiring, which would seemingly leave ample time to secure a money-spinning fight – if the two sides’ promoters can settle their differences.
Journey goes on
“I’m not thinking yet about retirement. I will continue my boxing career, the journey will continue in my boxing career and we’ll see what happens,” he said.
The Filipino great’s immediate focus is his WBO welterweight title defence against ex-kickboxer Algieri on November 23.
Pacquiao previously dismissed the American as only an “okay” fighter, and this month he took a break from training to make his professional basketball debut in the Philippines’ domestic league.
But he denied underestimating Algieri (20-0) and said he had been training to face a taller fighter. Algieri is about nine centimetres taller than Pacquiao.
“No, absolutely I’m not taking this fight lightly because I know his hunger and he’s young and he wants to win the fight, but I will not let that happen,” Pacquiao said.
“I’m not thinking about the knock-out because it will make me confident and careless,” he added. “If the knock-out comes it will come but my focus is to make sure that 100 percent condition and killer instinct is there, the aggressiveness is there, so that’s my focus in training.”
Source: Sky Sports');