By NICK GIONGCO
Manila, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao said in a television interview in New York on Thursday (Friday in Manila) that he has softened up his stand about the purse split concerning a proposed blockbuster battle with Floyd Mayweather.
Before, Pacquiao was firm in his belief that he deserved nothing less than 50-50 with Mayweather but the Filipino star, in an effort to finally lure Mayweather into a megabuck matchup, said he is willing accept a 55-45.
The issue on drug testing, another major factor before, has apparently been resolved since Pacquiao has said many times this year that he is willing to be tested.
Efforts have failed to put Pacquiao and Mayweather together since 2009 and ringsiders are still hoping that they’ll eventually meet in the ring before they hang up their gloves.
Pacquiao is pushing 34 while Mayweather is 35 and is also in the twilight of a stellar career.
But before Pacquiao could drool over a Mayweather duel, he has to get past Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao and Marquez are in the final stage of their three-city promotional tour and will size each other up again in Marquez’s lair in Mexico City.
After the gig, Pacquiao will head back to Los Angeles to catch the late-night flight to Manila.
Pacquiao will spend a few weeks in the country to get things done with his legislative work and some other personal stuff before flying to Los Angeles to start the eight-week grind for his fourth fight with Marquez.
Pacquiao, a 4-1 betting favorite, has vowed to silence his critics with a knockout victory this time, a feat that will be extremely difficult to achieve considering that all their three fights were very close and controversial.
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