NEW YORK — Manny Pacquiao may soon turn his attention from campaigning for Congress to negotiating the details on the richest fight in boxing history.
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, told The Associated Press on Monday that discussions could begin as early as Tuesday for a bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr., once results are in from the Philippine elections. Pacquiao is running for Congress for the second time.
The matchup involving boxing’s two most high-profile fighters was discussed at length earlier this year, but negotiations fell apart when the sides could not agree on drug testing protocol.
Both took different fights, with Pacquiao soundly beating Joshua Clottey at the new Cowboys Stadium near Dallas, and Mayweather routing welterweight champion Shane Mosley in Las Vegas.
“I think the fight will happen,” said Roach, who was in New York with another of his fighters, Amir Khan, who defends his junior welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“It will probably be November, maybe October,” Roach added.
“November’s not a great pay-per-view month, but I think it will happen.”
Roach wouldn’t say whether Pacquiao would budge on the drug testing dilemma. Mayweather has said that every fight he takes, beginning with Mosley, will include Olympic-style blood testing along with the typical urine tests.
That means the fighters could have blood drawn in the days leading up to the fight.
Pacquiao believes giving blood makes him weak and refused to do so within 24 days of a fight.
“If Manny Pacquiao can take a blood and urine test then we have a fight,” Mayweather said shortly after his victory May 1. “If not, no fight.”
Both fighters months ago agreed to what is usually the major sticking point in negotiations with a deal to split the proceeds evenly. That may not happen the second time around, though, depending on how the pay-per-view numbers shake out from their other bouts. Pacquiao-Clottey generated about 700,000 buys while Mayweather-Mosley is expected to be over 1.1 million.
That could give some additional leverage to Mayweather, even though his opponent was much better known. Other than the stadium venue, Pacquiao was the only real draw in his bout.
One thing that won’t become an issue is Pacquiao’s potential duties in Congress.
“When he fights they close down Parliament and all the terrorists call for a peace,” Roach said, only half jokingly. “It’s not going to change anything. They’ll just announce him as Congressman Manny Pacquiao, that’s all.”
Roach had been receiving constant updates from promoter Bob Arum, who spent the last few days before the election in the Philippines. Roach said early returns show Pacquiao “winning in a landslide” against 61-year-old Roy Chiongbian, who comes from a politically powerful family.
Computer problems and campaign-related violence, which has killed more than 30 people in the past three months, were the main concerns in the voting. Official hope the results set a new standard for the country’s fragile democracy, where government corruption is common.
“He wants change,” Roach said of Pacquiao, who lost decisively in his first attempt at politics. “I think it’s genuine. People see that he wants to help his country, and that’s why they’re voting. That’s why they support him.”