Slowly but surely, boxing fans are getting used to Top Rank’s wishy-washy statements regarding the much-anticipated—and, at this point, even annoying—idea of the Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao bout coming to fruition.
In a recent interview with the Manila Standard Today from the Philippines, Bob Arum once again teased boxing fans with the initiative to get the fight going sometime next year, but was unsure just how this would work. Arum said:
I want to explore with Manny the feasibility of doing a Mayweather fight sometime next year. I have to get his idea on schedules and when he is going to have to start campaigning for office. I know how to handle that with the Mayweather people and do the best deal possible and then get back to Manny. I am very optimistic we are going to get it done for next year.
This does indeed sound promising, but then again, we have all heard this before, and yet nothing has happened to move this idea forward thus far. Arum says that he knows how to deal with the Mayweather people, but has not shown this to be the case. Both camps have talked about making the fight a reality before, and more than once, there remained unfulfilled scenarios that have prevented anything from moving forward.
The good news is that Golden Boy Promotions might no longer be a part of the deal, as TMT Promotions will now do all the talking and negotiating. Even Arum feels confident that this will make all the difference needed to get the signatures closer to the contract. Arum told the Filipino paper the following about new promoter 50 Cent:
[He] appears to be a real businessman with no agenda like some of the other guys, so I think we can get a deal done.
The question is how early next year will the fight take place because Pacquiao will be running for office again and if the elections take place in May, how much lead time does he need in preparing his campaign.
Just as Freddie Roach has previously said on several occasions, politics are slowly but surely taking over Pacquiao’s life, and his boxing career seems to be sitting in the bleachers. The fight against Mayweather Jr., like it or not, would be the biggest event in Pacquiao’s professional life. He will not be remembered for anything else he has done, as much as he would be for his mega-fight against the unbeaten Mayweather.
As far as Pacquiao’s November fight goes, we should soon hear an update on his next opponent. The options seem to be: Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez and, of course, Timothy Bradley.
Of the three, I personally think that a fight against Marquez is the most dangerous, but not necessarily the most sought after. A fight against Cotto at Miguel’s natural weight is also no tune-up and would look entirely different from their first one.
When it comes to the Bradley fight, it seems that financially this is not an optimal choice, and aside from that, there are other problems with the possibility of a rematch. Arum told the paper:
The real problem I have is that the pay-per-view networks, the cable companies and the satellite people in the United States don’t believe that Bradley will do appreciable business and that is something that really troubles me because we spent a lot of money promoting Manny’s fight, but if they don’t believe the results will be there they are not going to spend the money we need them to spend.
Apparently, nobody wants this fight; not even the networks believe that it will do well. While I understand what worries the networks, technically, I would assume that the rematch of a fight that had such a controversial ending would create enthusiasm and a demand for it take place.
Hopefully, we will know what the plan is within the next few days.