ESPN.com's Dan Rafael sounds as pessimistic as I've ever heard him regarding the chances of a Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. superfight ever taking place.
With Mayweather's availability to fight May 5 and him actively calling out Pacquiao as his next opponent, you would think, given Arum's desire to get Manny in the ring in the month of May before Floyd was granted a continuance on serving in his time in prison, this fight stood the best chance it ever had of actually taking place.
But you would be wrong.
Immediately after Floyd was granted a stay on serving his sentence, Arum announced zero interest in fighting Floyd and made clear his desire was for Pacquiao to fight in the month of June.
Rafael argues, given these turn of events and the apparent distance between the camps (for whom Rafael has been vocal in blaming Bob Arum chiefly in this go round of negotiations or lack thereof), this fight is highly unlikely to ever take place in 2012, if ever.
The volatility of both elite fighter's future inside the ring insures many unforeseen events transpiring: defeat, retirement, injury, further divide between the camps, prison terms, etc.
The biggest curiosity factor at this point is just how the boxing public will hold Bob Arum accountable for changing his position on the matter of this fight. Arum has called out Mayweather in the past, berated him as a coward for not fighting Pacquiao in earlier opportunities to do so, and generally gone out of his way to create as much enmity as possible between the two camps.
And, in a brilliant response to Arum's antics, Mayweather has ceased playing games and set a definite date, location and intention to make the fight happen.
The perception, at this point, is a near consensus among boxing experts that Arum is the sticking point in the process of making this fight happen. Pacquiao has said he wanted the fight, likewise Freddie Roach. Mayweather has laid out his cards flat on the table to see it happen.
Yet, we seem further than ever to actually having this fight happen.