Talks for May 2 Pacquiao-Mayweather bout stalled anew
MANILA, Philippines — Just when things seemed headed in the right direction, talks for a much-anticipated megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have reportedly taken a step back.
After the top two pound-for-pound fighters met face-to-face and exchanged contact numbers in an NBA game in Miami last week, then later the same night met privately for an hour in a hotel, negotiations between opposing camps “have hit a wall,” according to a report by ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael.
Top Rank honcho Bob Arum told ESPN.com that time is running thin on the target May 2 bout, and if no deal is made soon, the fight may be moved to a later date.
“The thing that really concerns me is that we are running out of time for May 2,” Arum said. “If you want to drag this out a little longer then move the fight to later in May -May 30 is a good date – or go in June. We agreed to go on May 2 because that is the date Mayweather is hung up on, but if we’re going to go on May 2 we need to get this done.”
Arum also appeared to be skeptical about Mayweather’s sincerity to make the fight, which will likely go down as the most lucrative fight in boxing history, happen.
“Then Manny and Michael spent an hour or so with Mayweather in the hotel suite and they read it that, no, Mayweather really wants the fight. But I don’t know. If people were really concentrating on this it could be done in no time,” Arum said, referring to Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, who reportedly was with the Filipino ring icon when the two welterweight champions talked in the hotel.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to making the fight happen is striking a deal between network giants Showtime and HBO. Mayweather is under contract with Showtime for a couple more fights while Pacquiao is tied with HBO.
But apart from the network issues, Arum said there are still other deal points that are not being resolved.
“There are issues that should be solved in 10 minutes, but it’s a slow dance,” Arum said. “We send one draft to their side and their lawyer sends back a draft with something else that’s an issue. And there doesn’t seem to be any urgency about it on their side. It’s terrible.”
If negotiations continue to spiral and eventually come to a dead end, Pacquiao and Mayweather, though, already have prepared backup plans.
Pacquiao is looking at former sparring partner and junior welterweight champion Amir Khan as a Plan B while Mayweather is considering a rematch with middleweight champion Miguel Cotto.
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