SINGAPORE - He is the world's hottest boxing property and barely five hours after touching down at Changi Airport on Friday, Manny Pacquiao (picture) said he is keen to stage his biggest fight in Singapore. His preferred opponent: The much vaunted Floyd Mayweather Jr of the United States.
But Mayweather himself has to say yes. Nothing was said about the doping and blood test issue, which had hampered previous discussions between the two fighters' camps.
Experts predict a clash between two of the world's best boxers could create one of the biggest purses in the sport's history, with each earning at least US$60 million ($81.5 million).
In an exclusive interview with Media-Corp at Vanda Boxing Club in Havelock Road, the 31-year-old Filipino superstar said he will speak to his boxing promoter, Bob Arum, to help make the event happen.
"I will talk to Bob Arum to stage one of my fights in Singapore, maybe next year," said Pacquiao.
His clash with the unbeaten Mayweather would be the one of the most anticipated world championship bouts.
Pacquiao, also known as "Pacman", is the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion and the only boxer ever to win nine titles in seven weight divisions.
Mayweather, the former World Boxing Council welterweight champion, owned nine championship belts in five divisions.
A face-off between the two was on the cards in March this year but was called off following unresolved arguments over blood testing for drugs.
Pacquiao, who will next fight Mexico's Antonio Margarito on Nov 13, said: "I want to fight Mayweather because people are excited about it. I will ask Bob Arum if this is the match that can be staged here."
Last year, Pacquiao fought at the 16,800-capacity MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. His last bout was against Ghana's Joshua Clottey in March at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas in front of 40,000 fans.
Boxing aficionados feel the Marina Bay floating platform could be an ideal venue - with a seating capacity of 27,000 and a stunning backdrop made famous worldwide after two successful Formula 1 races and the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games last Saturday.
"This is something we will support and do whatever we can to help make it a success," said Mr. Justin Chew, STB's executive director for hospitality, F1 and sports.
Listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s sixth highest-paid athlete with a total annual income of S$54 million, Pacquiao is due to return to the ring in November to take on Mexican Antonio Margarito for the World Boxing Council super-weight title.
Pacman shares his thoughts on the much awaited fight.