MANILA, Philippines – The much-awaited mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao by the end of 2012?
Don’t count on it.
“I have to be realistic about this,” Top Rank chief Bob Arum told Boxing Scene. “I don’t think that Mayweather will be available in the fall to fight Manny. He certainly doesn’t indicate that he wants to fight him now. I would think, probably, everybody would be better off if we thought about that fight [for] next year. But everything is open.”
Negotiations for the fight, expected to be the highest-grossing bout in the history of the sport, have been ongoing now for years but have fallen through due to disagreements on drug testing. Most recently, the 2 fighters reportedly spoke to each other but ultimately could not find a compromise on purse split.
Mayweather wanted more than half of the earnings, but Pacquiao disagreed. Because of the failed negotiations, Mayweather is instead scheduled to face Miguel Cotto on May 5, while Pacquiao will meet American boxer Timothy Bradley on June 9.
Need to happen
Pacquiao had said last month that he is willing to take a smaller purse, which raised hopes on the bout possibly happening in November this year, but Arum’s recent statements contradicted the expectations.
Boxing fans and analysts alike have anticipated the fight, but because it has not materialized, it has sparked controversy among fight experts on who deserves to be on the pound-for-pound list’s No.1 spot, considering that the 2 have yet to meet in the ring.
Even International Boxing Hall of Famer “Sugar” Ray Leonard told ESPN.com on Monday, April 2, that the 2 must clash to cement their legacies. Besides this would be healthy for the sport.
Pacquiao has continously reiterated his desire to quit boxing soon to focus on his political aspirations. He is currently the congressman of Sarangani and plans to run for governor in the 2013 elections.
Marquez before Mayweather?
Arum also brought up the possibility of a third rematch with Pacquiao and long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Marquez recently told the Ring magazine that he wants nothing else but to meet Pacquiao again, who he has consistently given difficulty.
“That’s the single factor it’s that I want the rematch. I want the rematch with Manny. The factor that returned me to this sport is that I want the rematch,” Marquez said.
In Arum’s explanation of his inability to make the fight happen, he alluded to a recent commercial of Pacquiao with Hennessy, that introduces the idea of a “wild rabbit” — or an individual’s ultimate idea of success.
“Manny can chase the wild rabbit in the television commercial, but as a promoter I can’t chase a wild rabbit,” said Arum. “I’m now concentrating, if Manny is able to fight through until next year, I’m planning or hoping that the Mayweather fight can take place next year.” – Rappler.com