MANILA, Philippines - Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao is stepping up to Floyd Mayweather Jnr's challenge, saying he is willing to fight the undefeated American boxer at the end of May.
Mayweather called out Pacquiao on his Twitter account, telling the Filipino icon to "Step up punk."
"Manny Pacquiao I'm calling you out let's fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see," Mayweather tweeted. "My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk."
Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, said in a text message to ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo, that the fighting congressman will rather fight Mayweather at the end of May instead of May 5. "Be your own boss Floyd and fight at the end of May, for the economic reason of earning the extra income from the bigger stadium... the earliest this can be constructed is the end of May," Koncz said.
Castillejo confirmed that Koncz's message was endorsed by Pacquiao.
Pacquiao himself confirmed through a separate text message that he is willing to fight Mayweather at the end of May.
The "bigger stadium" that Koncz referred to is an outdoor stadium that can seat 45,000 to 50,000 people. Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum said in a previous interview that holding the fight at the temporary stadium will mean a difference of around $40 million.
If the Pacquiao-Mayweather mega-fight is held on May 5, it will most likely be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which seats around 16,500 people.
"In order to maximize revenue for the fight, you have to have a stadium larger than 16,500," Arum said. "The (temporary stadium) wouldn't be ready with any degree of certainty in the beginning of May. It would be available at the end of May."
"If we do it on May 5, we would be limited pretty much to the MGM Grand, and we would probably do a gate of $20 million, a record gate. If we did it in this new temporary arena for 45,000 people, we would do a gate of around $60 million."
"The difference is a minimum of $40 million. It's an extra $20 million for each fighter... That's still a lot of money," Arum said. -- Report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News.