MANILA, Philippines?Team Mayweather has conjured a convenient, if not absurd, excuse on why Floyd Mayweather Jr. did not sign a fight contract with Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.
No negotiations ever took place between the two camps according to Leonard Ellerbe, one of Floyd Mayweather Jr.?s closest advisers, in a statement issued Monday.
The statement has drawn the ire of Top Rank chief and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, who earlier claimed that virtually all points had been settled and only Floyd?s signature was needed to seal the deal that could have earned both fighters at least $40 million each.
?Al Haymon, [Golden Boy Promotions CEO] Richard Schaefer and myself speak to each other on a regular basis, and the truth is no negotiations have ever taken place, nor was there ever a deal agreed upon by Team Mayweather or Floyd Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 13. Either Ross Greenburg or Bob Arum is not telling the truth,? Ellerbe?s statement read.
Absurd, says Arum
?This is like absurd unreality,? Arum told ESPN.com?s Dan Rafael. ?I?m not going to be party to this [expletive]. When I heard about [Ellerbe?s statement], I thought it was a joke. Ross said he was talking to Haymon. He certainly wasn?t making it up. And Haymon was relaying conversations to Ross allegedly that Floyd had with him.?
Arum then cited a point to buttress his argument.
?If there was no negotiation, who imposed the gag order?? Arum told Rafael. ?Why they?re doing this is absurd ... Schaefer said there was a gag order. Who could there be a gag order from if there were no negotiations? From the sky??
During the events that transpired in May and June, Arum often refused to answer queries regarding the status of negotiations, referring to a gag order allegedly imposed on both camps.
Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya had also acknowledged that negotiations were ongoing when he told a Spanish talk show that the ?deal for the fight was very close.?
Meanwhile, Arum told Boxing Fanhouse.com Monday that he?s negotiating with the camps of World Boxing Association junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and former welterweight king Antonio Margarito of Mexico and will have a deal by the end of the week.
Cotto and Margarito are also under Arum?s stable.