Floyd Mayweather Jr. is fighting Victor Ortiz in September at the MGM Grand, but Manny Pacquaio was once again the big topic of discussion Tuesday during a promotional tour stop between Ortiz and Mayweather in New York.
Mayweather said that he never claimed Pacquiao was using steroids, despite the pending defamation lawsuit by Pacquaio that alleges Mayweather accused him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
The outspoken Las Vegan also says he’s not ducking the Filipino sensation despite the fact the two fighters have failed multiple times to make arguably the richest fight in boxing history over the past few years.
“I want to fight the best they got out there, not just him, the best they got out there,” Mayweather told the Associated Press in an interview from the Hudson Theater, “and if he’s on the list as one of the best guys, then absolutely.”
The biggest point of contention for the last failed negotiations between eight-division champ Pacquiao and the unbeaten Mayweather was protocol surrounding the timing of blood and urine testing.
“It’s not just Pacquiao, it’s sports, period,” said the 34-year-old Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs), who said he was willing to fight Pacquiao if there is random blood and urine testing — which is stricter than most state athletic associations utilize.
“If you look at sports in the Olympics, they’re cheating. Everyone is cheating. And I never once said Manny Pacquiao was cheating, only thing I said was this: Me and any other opponent I face must take the test.”
The 24-year-old Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) — a southpaw from Garden City, Kan., who claimed the WBC welterweight crown when he defeated Andre Berto in a thrilling fight in April — said he has no problem with either the random testing, or the biggest test in his career in Mayweather.
“I’m supposed to be a piece of nothing, I’m not supposed to be here, according to the statistics,” said Ortiz, whose parents abandoned him and his five siblings when Ortiz was a young boy. “I’m tired of, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that.”’