Bob Arum's first meeting with Manny Pacquiao at a posh hotel in Metro Manila after his arrival in Pacquiao's native Philippines Tuesday failed to name the Filipino boxer's opponent and the fight venue, but a definite fight date has been set.
Arum had earlier set the date on April 16 but due to Pacquiao's congressional schedules, the new fight schedule has been officially moved to May 7.
Pacquiao's next opponent will be made known after Friday's birthday celebration of the Filipino boxer's 32nd birthday, which will have Bob Arum as a prime guest along with trainer Freddie Roach and some members of congress, among others.
The venue would most likely be the MGM Grand but no definite announcement has been made so far. Arum said the fight would be made only in a place that offers free state income tax like Nevada, Florida or Texas.
ESPN's Dan Rafael reports: "Arum said one of things [sic] he and Pacquiao discussed at their meeting was his commitment to spending more of his training camp in the U.S. than he did for the November fight. He trained for more than half his camp in the Philippines, where distractions caused by his congressional duties and his celebrity upset Roach."
He only spent two weeks at Roach's Wild Card gym in Hollywood, Calif., before spending the final week in Texas.
"Manny said he was going to work really hard and that he would train for four full weeks in the United States and maybe even five," Arum said. "He'll be in the U.S. longer this time, which is good for him and good for the promotion."
Arum has submitted to Pacquiao a shortlist of three possible opponents of Pacquiao for the May 7 fight schedule. This includes Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto.
Arum earlier said he still has Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in mind as Pacquiao's next opponent but he said he has not heard a word from the undefeated boxer who is currently embroiled in a legal battle stemming from his alleged assault on his girlfriend Josie Harris, mother of his three children.
From the three names on the shortlist, Arums seems to favor Shane Mosley who has reportedly severed ties with Golden Boy Promotions (GBP).
Juan Manuel Marquez is reportedly asking twice as much as he made from his last fight with Mayweather and said he is pricing himself out.
In the case of Andre Berto, Arum said although he submitted a very attractive proposal, he thinks the Haitian-American boxer would not bring in the right revenue to make the fight viable.
What about Mayweather? Is that officially dead?
Arum said he's heard "zero" from the Mayweather camp.
"If Floyd was promotional minded, he'd come here for Manny's birthday party [Friday] and come out of the cake saying he's ready for the fight," Arum said. "That would make a huge statement."