Don’t count out Mayweather yet–Arum
MANILA, Philippines—What a difference a day makes.
As late as Friday, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was out of the picture for Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum insisted that there’s no way Pacquiao-Mayweather would push through on May 5, which the unbeaten American has reserved for his next fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But asked for reconfirmation by a Filipino sportswriter shortly before his departure for the United States yesterday afternoon, Arum replied: “Don’t say that (Mayweather is out).”
Either Pacquiao was able to convince Arum to put back Mayweather in the mix in their last meeting in Manila or there have been backdoor talks, if not new twists, that radically altered the roster of the Filipino icon’s probable opponents.
Arum himself said that Pacquiao has bared his choice in their 30-minute second meeting yesterday, but wouldn’t divulge the name.
According to the 80-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer, he’s going to confer with the camp of Mayweather upon his arrival before making an announcement next week.
A Team Pacquiao insider, however, hinted that former victim Miguel Cotto and unbeaten World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley have the edge to do battle with the eight-division world champion late May or June 9.
Meaning, Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez, whom Pacquiao beat by a controversial majority decision last November, will have to fall in line again to earn a fourth crack against Pacquiao.
Another strong candidate, Lamont Peterson, suddenly dropped out of contention when the World Boxing Association ordered a rematch of his December bout against Amir Khan, from whom he snatched the WBA/International Boxing Federation light welterweight titles.
Earlier, Mayweather tweeted twice, daring Pacquiao to fight him on May 5 in a bout that is expected to guarantee each fighter at least $50 million each.
Mayweather holds the WBC welterweight crown while Pacquiao reigns in the WBO.
Arum, who also met with Pacquiao Tuesday night, said May 5 is too early, proposing instead that the showdown, also projected to shatter the 2.5 million pay-per-view hits of Oscar De La Hoya-Mayweather in 2007, be held late May instead, before Mayweather starts serving his 87-day jail sentence for domestic violence on June 1.
Given a choice, Arum said June 9 would be the perfect date as the 40,000-seat makeshift arena in Las Vegas would be ready by then.
If everything doesn’t fall into place, Arum, as well as renowned trainer Freddie Roach, would love their prized ward to tangle with Mayweather in November.
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