Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
The issue of random blood testing may have been cleared up due to Top Rank Boxing founder Bob Arum’s confirmation that Manny Pacquiao is willing to undergo it should it ensure a super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, but the chances of the pound-for-pound showdown materialising in the immediate future has taken a hit as, despite Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer’s eagerness to book the bout, Arum is “not ready to talk in a negotiating stance“.
“Our position is simple and that is that right now, we’re not ready to talk,” said Arum, as reported by Yahoo Sports, before stating that his most pressing concerns currently surround the promotion for the emotive-charged rematch between two fighters within his Top Rank stable: ‘Super’ WBA super welterweight world champion Miguel Cotto and challenger Antonio Margarito.
The news comes after Juan Manuel Marquez gave Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) his most competitive match-up since the last time the two rivals boxed in 2008. For the three year period that followed the first Marquez – Pacquiao rematch, Manny claimed a major lightweight world championship, the WBO welterweight crown that he still holds and a world title at 154lbs that he vacated, all while concussing, beating up, retiring or hospitalising a canon of high-profile opponents including Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Oscar de la Hoya and Margarito.
On November 12, though, Marquez provided Pacquiao with yet another 12 close rounds where it was the latter who emerged with a points decision. He has since departed the US to return to his native Philippines but, talking on his behalf, Arum has refused to commit to naming their next opponent. However, that is not to say the name of Floyd Mayweather Jr (42-0-0, 26ko) has been ruled out…
“In a few weeks, whether it’s a [Juan Manuel] Marquez rematch, a Mayweather fight, a fight with Timothy Bradley or whatever, we’ll sit down with the appropriate parties and talk. But we’re not ready to talk about it now,” said Arum.
The delaying of conversation, though, may ensure a fourth fight with Marquez or a dust-up with Desert Storm Bradley comes to fruition for Pacman’s first duel in 2012, as Schaefer is eager to book Floyd’s next fight sooner, rather than later, and may not wait on Arum to decide it’s time to talk.
“I left Bob a message two months ago and he never called me back,” explained Schaefer. “I read comments from Bob saying that Manny wants a rematch with Marquez. What am I going to do, sit around and wait to see what they do? Hell no. I am going to get the biggest fight done for Floyd that I can.”
This is a stance perhaps fortified by Mayweather’s own proclamations recently that he will soon return to his training base at the Mayweather Gym on Schiff Drive in Las Vegas as he wants to box in February. This, before a further day on May 5.
“We wanted to make the Pacquiao fight but if Bob doesn’t want to do it, or Manny is saying that he wants to fight Marquez, what can we do? Floyd wants the fight. He gave his team the go-ahead to reach out to me to get it done and we are ready, willing and able to talk. But in order to reach a deal, the other side has to want to come to the table.”
Arum continued: “There’s no rush. Manny just had a fight and went through a very hard training camp. He’s going home now. We need to give him a little time, and we have a lot of things to do ourselves. I’m not ruling out anything. No decisions have been made. But we’re just not ready to talk. Schaefer can talk to me, and I’m happy to talk to him, but we’re not going to talk in a negotiating stance just yet because of everything going on.”
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