If you were one of the millions of boxing fans who just knew a proposed bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. this spring would implode, then you hit the nail on the head. The two top pound-for-pound boxers in the world were talking about getting it on this May 5 after Mayweather called Pacquiao a punk on Twitter and challenged him.
However, there were too many obstacles in the way of a showdown such as Mayweather’s upcoming jail sentence and an arena large enough in Las Vegas to hold the event. Most cynics felt Mayweather issued the challenge knowing there was no way a fight could be arranged on such short notice. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum more or less officially put the kibosh on the fight on Jan. 30 when he said the bout won’t take place until November at the earliest, if at all.
Arum said Mayweather’s chosen date of May 5 doesn’t fit into Pacquiao’s plans since he’s going to fight on June 9 and Mayweather’s camp isn’t willing to a change since their fighter’s supposed to start his 90-day jail sentence on June 1. Arum also said Mayweather isn’t willing to fight for a 50-50 revenue split, so negotiations are off and he’s out of the picture for the time being.
Mayweather has booked Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 5, but Arum said it doesn’t make sense for the fight of the century to take place in such a small venue. He wanted to build a temporary outdoor stadium in Vegas, but said it couldn’t be finished by early May. Arum said Mayweather can go ahead and fight as scheduled while Pacquiao will box on June 9 and they can meet in November if Mayweather agrees to a 50-50 split.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions said everybody’s moving on. However, neither fighter has an opponent booked for their upcoming bouts yet. Miguel Cotto’s been named as a possible opponent for both of them and the undefeated Timothy Bradley has been mentioned as another option for Pacquiao, who already owns a 12th-round TKO over Cotto.
It appears to most insiders that Cotto will likely end up facing Mayweather since he doesn’t want to drop below 150 lbs. and Pacquiao doesn’t want to go higher than 147 lbs., but nothing’s certain as of yet. Arum said he wants announce the opponent for Pacquiao by Feb. 7, so they can start promoting the fight.
Arum also announced that he’s working on a fight between junior-welterweight champion Lamont Peterson and Juan Manuel Marquez for Dallas’ Cowboy stadium in May or July. Peterson won the WBA and IBF titles with a controversial split decision over Amir Khan in December and the WBA has since ordered a rematch between the two. A Peterson vs Marquez fight will mean Peterson will have to give up the WBA belt.
Mayweather still has to explain to the Nevada State Athletic Commission why he should be granted a license to fight anybody other than Pacquiao since his sentence was delayed so he could engage in a major fight. If Mayweather receives a license another option could be fighting super-welterweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.