Back in January, the much anticipated fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. never came to be due to drug-testing issues. Now it appears that a second attempt to get these two great fighters in the ring is fading fast.
The 3 a.m. Saturday deadline placed on Mayweather and his camp has come and gone and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum did not hear from any representative of Mayweather as to whether or not he had accepted the terms of a deal for their scheduled November 13 fight. However, Arum did give some wiggle room in the contract to still accept the deal.
“People have asked me does [the deadline] mean the Mayweather fight is dead,” Arum said. “Even though Mayweather hasn’t responded by the deadline my answer is a simple one — it’s dead when we conclude a deal with an opponent for Manny to fight. … And then we would look to do a fight with Floyd next year. In the interim, while this is going on, if Floyd suddenly emerged we would not be opposed to doing the fight. While these negotiations are going on [with Cotto and Margarito], if Floyd came to the table, that’s the fight we want more than all others.”
For the time being, Arum will now focus his attention on finding a new opponent for Pacquiao. The two fighters he has in mind are Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto. The problem for Margarito is that he still is not licensed in the United States because of a scandal in his loss to Shane Mosley last year over his hand wraps. A rematch with Cotto is a possibility as well. Pacquiao got the best of Cotto in their match last year to win a welterweight title. A fight with Cotto would be for the 154-pound belt which he won from Yuri Foreman in June.
Arum said that he never spoke with the Mayweather camp during negotiations and did say that he thought he and Mayweather advisor Al Haymon had settled on the agreement. Haymon was to take the deal to Mayweather for his approval and Arum said on June 30 that there were no remaining issues. Pacquiao accepted the deal, one that included provisions for drug testing, according to Arum.
One issue that could have had an effect of Mayweather not meeting the deadline could be his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, who is scheduled to go to trial early next month on a year-old battery charge. He has already served time for battery charges and the outcome of the trial could mean that Floyd would be without his services. Not having him around is something that could be causing the delay.
“It would be a shame if it didn’t happen,” Arum said. “I don’t think any of you [media] guys should be too harsh on Floyd. I would have liked for him to communicate but I really believe this issue with his uncle has an effect.
“Right now, I understand Floyd’s position regarding Roger. We know the seriousness regarding Roger and I can understand him delaying plans for a future fight until there’s a resolution. Boxing fans are going to be disappointed but they have to realize and cut Floyd Mayweather some slack. People should be understanding. Floyd Mayweather is not saying he will never fight Manny Pacquiao and Manny Pacquiao is not saying he’s not going to fight.
For now, boxing fans can only wait and see what the future holds for these two fighters. A bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao is one the world definitely wants to see.