Pacquiao whets fans' appetite for Floyd rematch

MANILA • Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has teased fans about a possible rematch with Floyd Mayweather, smiling as he gamely showed off a suit with pictures of himself and the American on the lining.

He posted on his social media accounts on Monday a photo of himself wearing the suit with his picture on the right side of the coat and Mayweather's on the left.

"Like my jacket?" Pacquiao, who was elected to the Philippine Senate in May, captioned the photo.

His post, which had received 215,000 likes on Facebook by yesterday, fuelled talk of "Pacquiao-Mayweather 2", which began after he won the World Boxing Organisation welterweight title from Jessie Vargas earlier this month.

The American had taken up an invitation from Pacquiao to watch the multiple world champion's Las Vegas comeback from ringside.

Pacquiao said after the fight that he was eager to avenge his loss to Mayweather, 39, last year in the richest fight - over US$410 million (S$579 million) in pay-per-view revenue - in history.

"Not only for myself, but the fans of boxing want the rematch, then why not? We can easily talk about that, it is not a problem," the 37-year-old said.

Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said last week a rematch was likely.

"I give it 75 per cent," he told ESPN. "Do I know it's going to happen? No. Do I know if Floyd wants the fight? No. I know nothing more than the public knows at this point and what I observed."

Pacquiao's camp said yesterday, however, that talk of a rematch could wait.

"Boxing is not yet in his mind right now," media relations chief Aquiles Zonio told AFP.

"He's focusing on his legislative work. It will be known by January when will be his next fight and who will be his next opponent."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2016, with the headline 'Pacquiao whets fans' appetite for Floyd rematch'. Print Edition | Subscribe