by Lem Satterfield

Manny Pacquiao told members of the Philippines press on Wednesday that negotiations have begun for a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr..

Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts) is coming off a controversial majority decision win on Nov. 12 in defense of his WBO welterweight belt against Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) on HBO Pay Per View from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

It was the third meeting between the two, who had earlier battled to a draw and a split-decision win for Pacquiao in May of 2004 and March of 2008, respectively.

"Negotiations are ongoing for my fight with Mayweather, but nothing is final," Pacquiao was quoted in ABS-CBN from a press conference after his homecoming in General Santos City, Philippines.

Marquez has lost by one-sided unanimous decision in September of 2009 to Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), whose negotiations for a bout with Pacquiao have twice failed over the issue of drug testing.

"Mayweather may be thinking, 'I can fight Pacquiao now because he had trouble against Marquez, and I was able to beat up Marquez,'" said Pacquiao. "This is what boxing fans are waiting for."

Mayweather scored a fourth-round knockout in his last fight in September to dethrone No. 3-rated Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) as WBC titleholder.

Mayweather has announced that he wants to return to the MGM Grand on May 5 against an opponent to be determined, appearing to have the intentions to land a bout opposite Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is promoted by Top Rank Inc., while Mayweather is handled by Golden Boy Promotions, whose CEO, Richard Schaefer, said Pacquiao's assertions are "not true."

"The only person who can negotiate is [Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob] Arum. Certain members of Team Pacquiao are trying to go around Bob Arum and have reached out to our side. We will not engage in this and support it. From what we are concerned, Manny Pacquiao has a boss, and his name is Bob Arum," said Schaefer.

"Bob made it clear through [retired judge and mediator] Dan Weinstein that he wants to get a Marquez versus Pacquiao fight done and has no interest at this point to sit down and get a Mayweather fight done. As I said before, Floyd is the no. 1 pay per view draw, the no. 1 box office draw and the no. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. As such, we have zero interest in waiting to see if Bob can get a Marquez fight done, and if not, we are second choice."

Arum said that he is focused on the Dec. 3 HBO Pay View televised clash between ex-titleholder Antonio Margarito and RING No. 1-rated WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto at New York's Madison Square Garden.

"Pacquiao's not necessarily wrong, but it's not right either," said Arum. "Things are happening, but so far, nothing solid."