By Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — Manny Pacquiao won’t fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. until November at the earliest, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said Monday.
Arum said Mayweather is trying to stage his next fight May 5 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas without promising Pacquiao a 50-50 split of fight revenue. As a result, Mayweather “isn’t in the picture” as Arum plans Pacquiao’s next fight for June 9.
“They don’t want to fight in late May,” Arum said of the Mayweather camp. “It’s dead for May, so we should . . . let Mayweather fight someone else May 5 and we’ll fight someone else June 9, and then let’s get a signed contract for (Mayweather-Pacquiao) in November. That’s a win-win for everybody.”
However, there remains deep skepticism the super-fight will ever happen, given the long-standing animosity among Arum, Mayweather and the fighter’s advisor, Al Haymon.
Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy Promotions chief executive who has helped promote all of Mayweather’s fights since 2007, was asked about Arum’s comments that the chance has slipped away for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight this spring. “Everybody moves on. That’s what we’re doing. Moving on,” Schaefer said.
Arum on Monday also narrowed the pool of potential June 9 opponents for Pacquiao to two: world super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and World Boxing Council junior-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of Cathedral City, Calif.
Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) has said previously he was hopeful the dominoes would fall into place to allow him a shot at the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter.
Arum says he has also struck a verbal deal to stage a junior-welterweight title fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and champion Lamont Peterson later this year at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas. That fight date will either be in May or July, Arum said.
“So if you eliminate those two, and Mayweather isn’t in the picture, you can do that math” about Pacquiao’s next opponent, Arum said.
Arum wants to announce Pacquiao’s next opponent by Feb. 7 and have the fighters start a national publicity tour around the week of Feb. 20.
Cotto, who defeated Antonio Margarito by technical knockout in December, has expressed reluctance to fight under 150 pounds. Pacquiao won’t fight above 147 pounds.
In a 147-pound fight in November 2009, Pacquiao defeated Cotto by 12th-round TKO. “I’m not saying (Cotto’s) right or wrong,” Arum said of the weight issue. “It’s his body. He has to make the determination.”
Plus, Cotto can afford — for now — to drive a hard bargain on that position because he may emerge as Mayweather’s next opponent.
First, though, Mayweather must pass the scrutiny Wednesday of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which has summoned him to explain why he should be licensed to fight against someone other than Pacquiao. Mayweather pleaded no-contest to domestic-violence charges involving the mother of his children, but a judge delayed Mayweather’s three-month jail sentence until June 1 so he could have a major fight in May.
If the Nevada commission clears Mayweather, he could opt to fight the popular super-welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as his Cinco de Mayo opponent.
“There’s a handful of opponents we’re working on. Cotto is one. ‘Canelo’ is one,” Schaefer said. “Floyd is the type who wants the biggest and the best fights possible.”