Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum’s alleged unwillingness to pit his welterweight attraction Manny Pacquiao, against undefeated pay-per-view sensation Floyd Mayweather, may be negated by the Filipino fighter himself, as Pacquiao has told the press that his American rival is his most desired opponent for his next pugilistic outing. Manny added that he and Arum are due to meet as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, to discuss his summer fight.
“I’ve said this over and over before and I’m saying this again,I want Floyd Mayweather Jr to be my next opponent and I haven’t changed my choice despite recent developments,” said Pacquiao, as quoted by Phil Boxing.
A showdown between Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) and Mayweather (42-0-0, 26ko) would not only represent a welterweight unification contest for the WBO and WBC world titles, it would also decide whom the true pound-for-pound best prizefighter currently is.
The prospective bout is expected to far surpass the records for gate receipts and PPV purchases and, as such, Arum wants to maximise earnings for his fighter as much as possible.
So much so, that the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which seats 18,000, is deemed to be too small a stage and the experienced promoter, instead, would favour the construction of a temporary stadium to be built on the city’s famous strip.
Mayweather had already reserved the date of May 5 to box at the MGM Grand, yet his own participation was jeopardised due to an imminent 87-day imprisonment for domestic violence charges, however, Mayweather’s lawyer was successful in having the sentence postponed due to the obligation to fight.
The May date was deemed too early by Arum, who – following consultation with a plastic surgeon – claimed Pacquiao would need further time to recover from a 28-stitch cut sustained during his most recent clash with proud Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez.
Arum was believed to favour the four options of Top Rank super lightweight Timothy Bradley, three division world champion Miguel Cotto who is expected to continue being represented by Top Rank on a fight by fight basis, Marquez who has boxed Pacman three times and feels he deserved victory in each and every contest and, finally, Lamont Peterson – the unified champion of the WBA/IBF titles at 140lbs.
The Mayweather option has not been completely discarded by Arum, as he reportedly would consider aligning Pac with Floyd if the date was pushed to the end of May or even in June, however, Mayweather is expected to turn himself in to the prison authorities by June 1.
“I am meeting with my promoter, Bob Arum on Tuesday and I will insist that the fight with Mayweather be given the preference than the four others in the list I will fight next,” concluded Pacquiao.