Floyd Mayweather Jr. out as next foe for Manny Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao should now train his sight on an opponent other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Much as the Filipino eight-division world champion wants to fight the unbeaten Mayweather soonest, the American justice system deprived him and the fight fans of the dream showdown until after the first half of 2012.
Lawyer Jeng Gacal, Sarangani Rep. Pacquiao’s chief of staff, told the Inquirer Thursday that Mayweather’s three-month jail sentence starting on Jan. 6 effectively quashed hopes of the megabuck bout happening in May— or even in June—as envisioned by the Filipino superstar’s promoter Bob Arum.
“Apparently, he [Mayweather] is out of the picture,” said Gacal. “Unless a suspension [of the three-month jail sentence] occurs, there’s no way for the fight to push through.”
Even that is wishful thinking as half of Mayweather’ six-month sentence has already been suspended by Las Vegas Judge Melissa Saragosa.
With Mayweather unavailable until early April, Pacquiao and Arum may have to look for other candidates, who, however, will bring in far less money to the fight than the flamboyant American, the former pound-for-pound king.
According to Gacal, if Mayweather fails to get another suspension of [the three more months of his sentence], the short list of possible Pacquiao foe will be made up of Juan Manuel Marquez, who is very keen on a fourth fight with the Filipino; Miguel Cotto, who is seeking revenge from a 12-round stoppage handed him by Pacquiao in 2009; and World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
Against Marquez, whom he beat by majority decision last month, Pacquiao earned at least $25 million. That would pale in comparison, |however, to a projected Pacquiao earnings of at least $50 million against Mayweather.
Before Mayweather’s guilty plea and eventual sentencing, Pacquiao had already agreed to a smaller share of the prize purse and to an Olympic-style drug-testing just to lure Mayweather back into the negotiating table.
The Mayweather camp can still appeal the decision, but the motion would only prolong the court proceedings and endanger the chances of the Pacquiao fight pushing through.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.