Talk of Pacquiao-Mayweather bout warming up

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have shown they can do well by themselves, but talk among the two camps has swung back to prospects of a showdown between the world's two best pound-for-pound boxers.

Their promoters acknowledged this week the clamor for that glamour clash, which many feel has potential to be the sport's richest fight.

Talks between the two champions dissolved earlier this year over Pacquiao's refusal to agree to Mayweather's demands for an Olympic-style drug testing, with the Filipino saying he did not want blood drawn from him too close to a fight.

Since then, Mayweather decisively beat fellow American Shane Mosley in a bout that drew 1.4 million pay-per-view buys, and Pacquiao manhandled Joshua Clottey of Ghana and then won election as a congressman back home in the Philippines.

Bob Arum, whose Top Rank firm promotes Pacquiao, was in the Philippines to support Pacquiao's political bid and said he wants to see the two fighters square off in the ring.

"It's amazing how many people came up to me as I was leaving the Philippines and asked me when is the Mayweather fight going to happen," Arum said on a recent conference call. "That's the fight people want to see. That's the fight that I'm going to do my darndest to make happen.

Some speculate Pacquiao might follow a different path now that he is fighting for Filipino constituents.

"Pacquiao is enjoying being a congressman and Floyd is enjoying being a family man," said Schaefer.

But Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who also expects the Mayweather fight to happen, said he saw no conflict going forward as his fighter juggles two careers.

"He's a multi-tasker. He's been doing this for a long time, making movies, being a singer. He likes staying busy," said Roach. "The congressmen don't do much anyway so they'll give him eight weeks off (to prepare for a fight)."

Arum appeared more excited about 31-year-old Pacquiao's political future than the millions of dollars a Mayweather fight would bring.

"When he's 35 he can run for Senate, and when he's 40, I am sure he'll be President of the Philippines," gushed Arum. "He is special and we in boxing are lucky to have him be part of the sport."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)