By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is scheduled to meet with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in Los Angeles in the first week of January to discuss a possible fight against undefeated Floyd Myweather Jr. in June.
Earlier reports mentioned May 5 as a date picked by Mayweather Jr for a fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. However, Arum indicated it was more likely that the fight would be held, if at all in June, because May 5 was the celebration on “Cinco de Mayo” and it was too early.
He also spoke of plans to build a 45,000 seat venue for the fight near the Wynn Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas strip for the fight fans have been clamoring for over the past couple of years.
In an overseas telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Arum said he would be leaving for Mexico with his charming wife Lovee who is “recovering fabulously well” at home in Las Vegas after surgery and would return to Los Angeles after the holidays to meet with Pacquiao.
Arum said with Mayweather’s reported plan to accept a plea bargain to avoid a felony conviction in connection with a domestic violence case involving the mother of three of his children Jose Harris, he expects the judge to be lenient.
Arum had earlier told The Standard before the story on the plea bargain broke that Mayweather “really can’t commit anything now because next week he’s before the courts. So if the trial is going to happen, he can’t do the fight.”
With the case resolved because of Mayweather’s plea bargain Arum said he expects the judge to be lenient “which will make it easier to get talks moving on a Pacquiao fight.”
Maywearther faces $3,000 in fines and at least two days or up to eighteen months in jail. The sentence will be handed down by Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa on Thursday, Manila Time.
Arum made it clear that any negotiations for a Mayweather fight will have to happen after the New Year.
David Mayo of the Grand Rapids Press who is a friend of Team Mayweather believes that the only legal issue still to be resolved is Pacquiao’s lawsuit against Mayweather alleging slander for accusations that the eight division world champion was on performance enhancing drugs which was filed in 2009.
Noting that boxing, like any other sport is all negotiation from purses to weights to gloves, Mayo said “if they negotiate the lawsuit goes away, not unlike the felonies Mayweather faced.”
Should the negotiations move forward Pacquiao may agree to work out a deal to drop the lawsuit just as he did against Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who faced similar charges.