After Floyd Mayweather’s camp fanned the flames of a possible fight against Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino pound-for-pound king’s promoter, Bob Arum, made the media rounds to quickly brush off talk of the long-awaited fight.
Arum told ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael that Mayweather’s pronouncement, through adviser Leonard Ellerbe, was a “joke” not meant to be taken seriously.
“I think it’s Floyd’s way of trying to grab a little bit of the spotlight away from Manny,” said Arum of Mayweather’s latest move, which comes just days before Pacquiao’s rubber match with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Ellerbe announced that Mayweather wants the fight to happen on May 12, 2012, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Arum, still seemingly frothing at the mouth, continued his tirade, this time with Chris Mannix of SI.com.
“What happens if the MGM is not putting up any guarantees?” he said. “They have a call in to reserve it. Big deal. Has anyone sat down and negotiated with them? What if Jerry or the Wynn are putting up $30 million? Wouldn’t you consider that? The negotiation on the site is a major element in any of these promotions. They know that. It’s why I believe this is not sincere. This is bull—-. If the fight was to happen Mayweather would want to maximize revenue. He wouldn’t tie himself to one place. He would see what other offers were out there. Even if he says I don’t want to fight in Texas, OK, there are offers.”
Curiously, however, this isn’t the first time that the name of Pacquiao’s next opponent has been leaked just before a big fight. The excellent boxing blog Bad Left Hook points out that last May, just before Pacquiao stepped into the ring against Shane Mosley, rumors started that the Pinoy champion would be fighting Marquez next, on November 12. Arum denied those rumors, basically saying it’s BS.
Flash-forward a few months, and Pacquiao will step into the ring with Marquez on November 12 (November 13 Manila time).