Manny Pacquiao Q&A: 'I Want to Fight Mayweather Very Badly'
Pacquiao was reached while he and Koncz were traveling at 2:20 AM ET on Saturday -- and at approximately 3:20 PM in the Philippines, according to Koncz. Pacquiao shared his thoughts for about five minutes.
Koncz was also with Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) on Thursday when they had what he called a favorable, two-hour meeting with his promoter, Top Rank's Bob Arum, during their negotiations for the megafight with the unbeaten Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs).
Mayweather had agreed to terms prior to Arum's 15-hour, Dec. 1 flight to the Philippines, but had not formally signed a contract for their historic bout.
Koncz said that while Pacquiao has also agreed to terms for their matchup, "we haven't signed anything, although we think that that is a formality. But that won't happen until the end" of negotiations.
Koncz said that he and Pacquiao decided, with Arum, that the clash would be fought on March 13, with eight ounce gloves, and at the welterweight (147-pound) level rather than at catchweight.
Mayweather was fined for coming in at two pounds over the 144-pound contracted weight for September's one-sided victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, and Cotto fought Pacquiao while competing at a weight of 145 pounds -- also the required maximum for their bout.
Arum told FanHouse early Friday morning that he had hoped to finalize the megabout between Mayweather, a five-time world champion, and Pacquiao, a seven-division titlist, next week.
This would all be done, said Arum, after meeting with Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, who is negotiating on behalf of the 32-year-old Mayweather.
Site considerations for Mayweather-Pacquiao include Las Vegas, the Dallas Cowboys' stadium and the New Orleans Superdome. Arum, Schaefer and HBO's Ross Greenburg are expected to meet with Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones on Thursday, according to a source.
Las Vegas is also building a 30,000-seat outdoor stadium in the hopes of landing Mayweather-Pacquiao, and the gambling city's MGM Grand and the Thomas & Mack Center may also be considerations.
FanHouse: Did you officially sign the contract?
Manny Pacquiao: No, because there are still some things that need to be negotiated. That would be premature and foolish. Nobody ever brought us a contract to sign.
We agreed to everything in principle, but there are still some finer points that need to be negotiated.
Bob is going to take all of this back to Floyd Mayweather and then, hopefully, it will be all worked out. We believe that the deal will get done.
FH: So how badly do you want this fight?
Pacquiao: Of course, I want to fight Floyd Mayweather very badly. It's the fight that everyone wants to see.
And, of course, that's the fight that I want.
FH: How important are the eight-ounce gloves?
Pacquiao: That's a very important aspect of the negotiations to me. I really want to use the eight-ounce gloves.
FH: Are you concerned that your running for congress, a bid you lost in 2007, could affect your preparation or otherwise be a distraction for the March 13 fight?
Pacquiao: No. The first day that I can legally begin campaigning is March 26, and the fight -- being March 13 -- it will be over by then.
I'm going to be very focused for this fight.
FH: Are you confident that your filming the movie will not affect your ability to get into the gym and train for a quality amount of time?
Pacquiao: Yes, I am. I'm not worried about that. The filming of the movie will be completed on Dec. 9, and the movie is scheduled to be released on Christmas.
FH: Given your ruptured right eardrum and your reportedly broken right hand, your trainer, Freddie Roach, is concerned that the March 13 date may be too soon after fighting Miguel Cotto the Nov. 14. Will you be healed well enough to both train properly and be healthy to fight on March 13?
Pacquiao: I am fine. I will be healthy. My hand was only bruised, but there is not going to be a problem with it.
Also, my ear will not be a problem. I know my body, and I would never do anything to seriously jeopardize my health.
FH: Is there anything else that you would like to say about the negotiations, the fight, or to your fans?
Pacquiao: Just that I want to say thank you to all of the boxing fans, and I want to let them know that they should come out to see the fight.
I hope that if they can't be there at the fight, that everyone watches the fight [somewhere]. I really appreciate all of their support.