Boxing: Manny Pacquiao denies imminent showdown with Floyd Mayweather

Manny Pacquiao (right) of the Philippines, fights Brandon Rios (left) of the US during their World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International 12-round welterweight boxing title fight at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macau on Nov 24, 2013. Pacquiao ha
Manny Pacquiao (right) of the Philippines, fights Brandon Rios (left) of the US during their World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International 12-round welterweight boxing title fight at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macau on Nov 24, 2013. Pacquiao has dismissed reports that he and American Floyd Mayweather are to hold talks about fighting each other, questioning whether a bout will ever happen. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (AFP) - Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has dismissed reports that he and American Floyd Mayweather are to hold talks about fighting each other, questioning whether a bout will ever happen.

Manila newspapers were abuzz with talk over Christmas that a September 2014 date had been set, but Pacquiao, 35, told the website Philboxing.com that a deal is not imminent.

"I have no plans to go to the United States to talk to Floyd. That's not true," he said. "If it's a done deal already, how come I do not know anything about it?"

The boxer-turned-congressman convincingly beat American Brandon Rios in Macau in November, after successive losses to American Tim Bradley and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez. The comeback win sparked renewed speculation of a long-awaited Mayweather bout.

In late 2009 and early 2010, Pacquiao and Mayweather were considered the world's top pound-for-pound fighters and record profits were expected from a showdown between them.

But a disagreement over pre-fight blood testing scuttled talks, with Mayweather vowing never to do business with Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum.

Arum has set an April 12 fight for Pacquiao, but the boxer told Philboxing.com the identity of his opponent has not been finalised. Mayweather, who has won 45 straight professional fights with 26 knockouts, is also set for a May 3 fight against a yet-unnamed foe in Las Vegas.

"Floyd himself has been telling the whole world he does not want to fight me.... But if he changes his mind, (it's) okay with me," Pacquiao told Philboxing.com.

"Floyd has also been saying, he will only fight me if I separate from (US promoter) Top Rank and Bob Arum, but that's impossible because our contract is still valid until this year. That means, if I do not renew (the contract), we will only be able to start talking (with Mayweather) next year about a fight."

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