Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mayweather Tweet Won't Bring Out Pacquiao

By Rich Mancuso

Despite the Floyd Mayweather Jr. tweet on Tuesday that called out Manny Pacquiao, don’t expect the mega-fight to happen on that famous May 5th date. As Bob Arum, the promoter of Pacquiao met his champion in the Philippines, the agenda was about the next opponent and it was not going to be Mayweather.

Well, for the moment it won’t be the May date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A Top Rank spokesperson confirmed that Pacquiao will fight again in early June, with three or four possible opponents that were put on the table.

Pacquiao lets Arum do the talking, and in the past few days it appears from his statements that Arum is making peace with Mayweather, his main adversary. It has been a two-year battle of accusations, third party involvement, and hatred that has kept the most lucrative fight in boxing history from taking place.

And it may still happen at the end of the year, that is if Mayweather is in condition to fight after serving his 90-days in prison, a date that was moved to early June which started the talk and speculation that Mayweather will meet Pacquiao in May.

“One of four,” was the word from Top Rank on Tuesday. “Manny will decide Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley, or Lamont Peterson.” He added, that word will come soon maybe by the end of the week. And, unless there is a change in strategy, Arum and Pacquiao will go for a fourth fight with Marquez.
That would leave Mayweather with more time to prepare for Pacquiao. Because both Arum and Pacquiao look like the enemy through the eyes of fans and media, the fight will have to be made. The most likely scenario is for Mayweather to keep the May date and fight Canelo Alvarez.

In the meantime, since the Pacquiao third fight win over Marquez, Arum has been advocating for a fourth and decisive encounter, a fight that would draw interest as the Mayweather question continues. Arum would like to see Pacquiao and Marquez at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. Pacquiao would not take the fight in Mexico as much as Marquez would want it there.

That fight would be more marketable on pay-per-view than another bout between Pacquiao and Cotto. Pacquiao defeated Cotto, the junior middleweight title holder, in 2009 as a welterweight in the 11th round. And what makes the Cotto mix more interesting, is his desire to fight Mayweather.

His contract with Arum has still not been signed, sealed, and delivered and Cotto was rumored to be the opponent for Mayweather after his commanding win over Antonio Margarito in early December. Cotto has expressed an interest to expand his promotional company and has secluded himself in Puerto Rico.

Cotto, has been informed, if his deal with Arum is delivered, that Madison Square Garden would be his next fight. And if possible the Garden would be booked for a Cotto fight once again a night before the annual National Puerto Rican Parade in New York City. The Garden is a favorite venue for Cotto, and he defended his title two prior times on the eve of the parade in mid-June.

That leaves Bradley and Peterson as names for Pacquiao. Bradley, now with Top Rank would be a viable opponent and has been advocating a fight with Pacquiao. However, Arum has stated that Bradley is not marketable, as of yet, regarding pay-per-view numbers. That may not make Bradley happy, but the unfortunate factor for Bradley is Pacquiao is the money man for Arum.

And with the talk of Pacquiao’s skills dwindling, questions about his legs in the last two fights with Shane Mosley and Marquez, perhaps Bradley could be the right opponent. But Arum is more concerned about what will generate more revenue now as Pacquiao could have two or three fights remaining, one of them with hopes it will be Mayweather.

That leaves Peterson, who may not be an option. The new 140-pound champion, who won the title in a controversial year end fight over Amir Khan, will be forced to have his first title defense against Khan. It will be a return bout, brought on by the issues that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer sought that will give Khan another shot at redemption.

Ironic of course, as Schaefer handles Khan, and is also the third man in the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations. Arum, according to word from Top Rank is willing to sit down with Schaefer and iron out details for the fight. Schaefer could not be reached for comment as Mayweather made his move.

The Tweets were legitimate, all coming from Mayweather’s account. “Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see.” Later he would tweet that his jail sentence was pushed back, that the date was saved, and he called Pacquiao “A Punk.”

However, the world of social media is no way to negotiate a fight. Fight fans have had enough of the Tweets and want the fight to become reality. Regardless, Mayweather once again made the move, and now it is in the court once again with Arum and Pacquiao.

Surely this will continue. Arum is not only in Manila to discuss Marquez, Cotto, Bradley and Peterson. And if an answer to this latest social media message from Mayweather is not forthcoming, well Arum and Pacquiao will now be the culprits as to why the mega fight does not happen.

If the fight never comes to fruition, at least Floyd Maywether Jr, with all his legal issues, continues to make this interesting boxing theatre.

This post is sponsored in part by Forest Hills Real Estate & Garden City Real Estate

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