After repeatedly assuring the public of a definite fight schedule for Manny Pacquiao, suddenly promoter Bob Arum (through Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz) is now saying the fight will happen on December 1 instead of Nov. 10.
The planned November 10 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena is off, Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz told Ronnie Nathanielsz of Philboxing.com.
According to Koncz, the change of schedule was due to a conflict with Pacquiao's personal affairs which he did not specify.
Speculations are high that the fight schedule is being changed to give more time for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to fully recover from his incarceration for a possible match with Pacquiao within the year.
Pacquiao has been asked by his promoter Bob Arum to choose from a shortlist he gave during his recent visit and meeting with the eight-division world champion in Manila.
The shortlist include a fourth fight with Mexican counter puncher Juan Manuel Marquez, a second fight with Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and a rematch with Timothy Bradley, who snatched his WBO welterweight crown in a controversial fight in Las Vegas last June 9.
According to Nathanielsz, members of Pacquiao's team "have been pushing him to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and nobody else, because a loss in a rematch with Bradley or a fourth fight with Marquez would ruin his chances of making big money in a Mayweather fight."
By December 1, Mayweather would have spent four months out of his cell, which is more than enough time to prepare himself for a showdown with Pacquiao.
In another scenario, a possible Pacquiao vs. Cotto rematch could be the reason for a December 1 fight schedule.
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, told Boxing Scene weeks ago his company is helping Miguel Cotto in his ring return and has in fact set the fight on December 1, without naming his opponent.
If Pacquiao's next opponent is not Miguel Cotto, the rescheduled December 1 fight of the Puerto Rican star as arranged by Schaefer could be in jeopardy—no promoter in his right mind would stage a fight on the night of a Pacquiao or Mayweather fight.
Arum seems to have taken the public for a ride with his changing statements on the scheduled Nov. 10 fight and the much-awaited disclosure of Pacquiao's next opponent.
In an interview after his meeting with Pacquiao, Arum said Pacquiao's next opponent will be out the week after he left Manila, which did not happen. Instead, he announced via Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz the postponement of the fight to December 1, without naming who Pacquiao will fight next.
Could this dillydallying by Arum lead to a Mayweather-Pacquiao superfight on December 1?