Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Bob Arum are standing on the edge of a cliff attached to a giant golden parachute, but it won’t be deployed unless all three jump at the same time. Recent reports indicate that the fighters are ready, willing, and able to make a May 5th appearance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is hesitant to pull the trigger on the best bout boxing has to offer right now.
Meanwhile, Mayweather is spurring on the negotiations 140 characters at a time with some recent Twitter (twitter.com/FloydMayweather
) posts calling Pac-Man out. He’s gone as far as calling Pacquiao a punk and promised to put his recently acquired title on the line if Pacquiao would step up to accept the challenge and “give the world what they want to see.”
Pacquiao held a press conference with Arum in the Philippines and told reporters he’s up for going toe to toe with Mayweather on one condition. “Mayweather wants a guaranteed purse, so what he has to do is get a promoter who can give him the guarantee,” Pacquiao said. “I don’t have problems getting a guarantee because I have a promoter who will give me my guaranteed purse.”
The sticking point appears to be Arum’s claim that an additional $40 million in revenue could be left on the table with the match taking place at the MGM Grand instead of at a special venue he’d like to build in Las Vegas that will hold a much larger audience. Arum also indicated he’d rather hold the fight in late May or early June. "You don't throw $40 million away," Arum told the Los Angeles Times. "June 9 is perfect, but May 5 is out, that's impossible."
Arum even said he would be in a position to pay legal fees for Mayweather to delay the start of his sentence again to accommodate a June 9th fight with Pacquiao. The only problem with that scenario is that Mayweather’s already made a commitment to the MGM Grand for a May 5th fight and is not likely to scrap that date with potential backup opponents already waiting in the wings.
Should the Pacquiao fight be put off, Mayweather will likely battle WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul "Cinnamon" Alvarez (39-0, 29 KO’s). Alvarez is Mexican, and May 5th is Mexican Independence Day, so that prospect seems to make the most sense.
Pacquiao also has backup plans with Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley, and Lamont Peterson on his short list. Bradley is also promoted by Arum, so that bout would likely be easier to put together.
Pacquiao’s made past statements professing a desire to run for higher office in the Philippines next year. If the Mayweather fight isn’t made this year, it’s not likely to happen at all. Still, all is not lost if there’s no summer battle between the two pound-for-pound best boxers on the planet. There would be another window later in the year after Mayweather finishes his 90 day stint in jail. Pacquiao’s used to fighting in November, so a mid-to-late November bout would make sense. Either way, the two are more serious about signing on the dotted line than they ever have been before. If only Bob Arum would stop thinking all about the money and start considering the real magic this bout would generate, we just might see this fight finally come to pass.