by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Following what he described as an “excellent” meeting with Manny Pacquiao in General Santos City last Friday, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is confident the mega-fight the world wants to see between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will happen next year.
Arum spoke to BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard while being driven home from the airport after his arrival in the United States. He told us he had discussed a possible fight with Mayweather Jr. and added “we are optimistic for April next year.”
Arum discussed the feasibility of doing a Mayweather fight in April after “getting Pacquiao’s ideas on schedules and when he is going to have to start campaigning next year” for the May elections in which Congressman Pacquiao is expected to run for governor of Sarangani province.
Arum was confident that the issue of a revenue split which proved to be one of the stumbling blocks in the past could be resolved. Arum said “I know how to handle that with the Mayweather people and do the best deal possible and then get back to Manny. "
The entry of Mayweather’s close friend and associate Curtis Jackson, popularly known as 50 Cent, into the promotional business, has been a plus according to Arum who told us “he appears to me to be a real businessman with no agenda like some of the other guys so I think we can get a deal done.”
Arum was clearly referring to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions who had handled Mayweather’s recent fights reportedly for a flat fee.
However, De La Hoya made the mistake of downplaying the desire of 50 Cent to become a promoter with the rapper hitting back at De La Hoya on Twitter.
Arum had earlier mentioned April as “a safe month because we can’t do the fight in March because of all this basketball” such as the NCAA ‘March Madness’.
Even Mayweather appears to have had a change of heart about Pacquiao whom he had previously accused of being on performance enhancing drugs.
BoxingScene in an article that came out after he was released from prison quoted the undefeated champion as saying “Pacquiao is an unbelievable boxer. Hopefully we could make the fight happen in the future.”
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz, who has good relations with Mayweather, is also scheduled to return to the United States - an indication that things are moving in pursuit of what could well be the biggest fight in boxing history.