Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Right after obtaining a favorable ruling from a Nevada Court allowing him to start his prison term on June 1 instead of January 6 as ordered, unbeaten boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced in a Twitter message to his millions of followers he is ready to face pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.
In his message, he said, "Manny Pacquiao I'm calling you out let's fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see," he tweeted. Mayweather later followed it up with another message, which reads, "My Jail Sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up Punk."
On Wednesday, Mayweather said, "I’m ready to put my belt (World Boxing Council welterweight crown) up. What about you Manny Pacquiao? Let’s make history."
Clearly, Mayweather was trying to dare Pacquiao to commit himself to a May 5 fight, a date he has originally reserved for his ring return at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
In a GMA-7 TV interview, Pacquiao responded to Mayweather's call saying, "If he agrees to a 50-50 (sharing), then the fight will push through."
Obviously, purse sharing is still one of the issues that will have to be resolved. Earlier, Pacquiao was quoted to have said he was willing to take a lower share of the purse in order to make the fight happen and for all fight fans in the world to see and enjoy.
Another contentious issue is the venue of the fight. Mayweather wants it at MGM Grand, which he has locked up for May 5 to coincide with a Cinco de Mayo Mexican independence day affair.
On the other hand, Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, who is in Manila to confer with Pacquiao on the choice of his next opponent, said MGM Grand is too small for the Pacquiao-Mayweather super fight.
Arum wants the fight to take place in a makeshift facility in Las Vegas which can accommodate at least 45,000 people. MGM Grand Garden Arena has a capacity of only 16,500 people. He said an additional revenue in terms of gate sales can be generated which he estimated at $50 million.
The most important issue yet to be resolved is the timing of the fight. Mayweather wants the fight to take place on May 5, but Arum wants it by the end of May or early June.
There seems to be no problem with end of May, as Mayweather would still be free until June 1 as per court ruling. Arum believes the court can extend for at least a week after the June 1 deadline for Mayweather to report to the county jail to serve his sentence.
On the three main issues that Arum has raised (venue, date of fight and purse splits/guarantees), not one has been addressed by Mayweather and his handlers as of Saturday, Manila time.
So far, Mayweather has dominated the Internet, print and broadcast media with his Twitter call-outs, creating a media firestorm out of his tweets—but nothing concrete has been done by his camp to address the issues necessary to formalize negotiations.
After his series of Twitter posts, Mayweather told Ben Thompson of Fytehype that he is not interested in fighting anyone of his probable opponents which include Canelo Alvarez, Robert Guerrero and Miguel Cotto. He said he wants Pacquiao and no one else.
Mayweather's recent interview by Fytehype's Ben Thompson can be viewed here.
Fight fans say unless an official negotiation takes place, the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is far from being made. For now, no one, not even Mayweather's adviser Leonard Ellerbe or Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, have said that formal negotiations have indeed commenced.
Meanwhile, Arum said he won't be able to announce who would be Pacquiao's next foe after their meeting Saturday, saying he will study Pacquiao's choice further when he returns to the U.S. after a week-long visit and meeting with the Filipino boxing star.