LAS VEGAS: Former world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather said Saturday (Sunday in Manila) he would face Manny Pacquiao later this year in a rematch of their 2015 superfight.
In a posting on Instagram, Mayweather said he would come out of retirement to fight Pacquiao, three years after scoring a comfortable points victory over the veteran Filipino.
“I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure payday on the way,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram. No further details were given.
A video accompanying the post showed Mayweather and Pacquiao talking to each other at an event but their exact exchange of words could not be heard clearly.
Mayweather earned an estimated $220 million from his first fight with Pacquiao, which finally took place after years of on-off negotiations.
Pacquiao earned around $100 million from the contest.
Mayweather retired later in 2015 after his 49th victory but returned to the ring last year for a lucrative victory over mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.
The 41-year-old’s announcement on Saturday comes as Las Vegas prepared to stage the biggest fight of the year, the middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
While Mayweather’s remarks on Saturday are the latest in a long line of mischievous social media postings hinting at a comeback. Speculation about a rematch with Pacquiao has rumbled for years.
Pacquiao, who claimed to have been hampered by an injured shoulder in his first fight with Mayweather, has long talked enthusiastically about a rematch.
“Mayweather? If he decides to go back to boxing then that is the time we are going to call the shots,” he said in July.
“I have the belt, so it’s up to him. If he wants to come back in boxing let’s do a second one.”
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 knockouts) made a return to the ring in July after a one-year absence, defeating Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum said he doesn’t want to be a part of the possible December rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather, saying it is up to boxing fans to see “two old men fighting.”
“I don’t know, you know if they want to fight. Then if the people want to watch two old guys fight, then people will pay money. If they don’t, they won’t,” Arum told The Manila Times on Sunday via overseas call.
Pacquiao is 39 while Mayweather is 41.
“Everybody has a choice. I would not get involved,” added Arum, who also said the legal threat from Pacquiao’s camp against Top Rank last Monday all stemmed out of a misunderstanding.
“It’s a misunderstanding and everything is fine now,” Arum assured.
In another video shot by international matchmaker Sean Gibbons at the Ultra Japan Music Festival, which he posted on Twitter on Saturday, Mayweather is seen shouting at Pacquiao, “I’m coming back in December. No more shoulder excuses, let’s set it up.”
“I’m going to get that (World Boxing Association) belt and I’m going to get that payday. It’s going to be easy work,” added Mayweather, who scored a unanimous decision win over Pacquiao in their May 2015 fight.
AFP WITH REPORT FROM JOSEF T. RAMOS
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