By Keith Idec
Anyone who was holding out hope that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. might finally fight in November probably shouldn’t continue reading this story.
Promoter Bob Arum said on Wednesday that the highly anticipated showdown between boxing’s top two pound-for-pound fighters is more likely to occur in 2013 than in November.
“I have to be realistic about this,” Arum said. “I don’t think that Mayweather will be available in the fall to fight Manny. He certainly doesn’t indicate that he wants to fight him now. I would think, probably, everybody would be better off if we thought about that fight [for] next year. But everything is open. First of all, Manny has a really tough fight with Bradley. And secondly, depending on how things break everybody would certainly agree that Juan Manuel [Marquez] deserves a rematch [with Pacquiao]. So I would think that would be what I’m focusing on.”
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) will box the unbeaten Bradley on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a 12-round fight for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title. If Pacquiao wins, Arum spoke Wednesday about matching Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time in November.
Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs), who lost a controversial majority decision to Pacquiao on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas, will face Ukraine’s Sergey Fedchenko (30-1, 13 KOs) on April 14 in Mexico City for the interim WBO junior welterweight title. If Marquez wins that fight, Arum hopes to have Marquez box Brandon Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) on July 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Rios also would have to win his fight April 14 in Las Vegas, against Cuba’s Richard Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs), to get to the Marquez fight three months later.
Mayweather, meanwhile, will oppose Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) on May 5 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The undefeated five-division champion is scheduled to report to Clark County (Nev.) Detention Center on June 1 to serve a 90-day sentence on a domestic violence conviction.
Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) is expected to be released in plenty of time to properly promote and train for a November pay-per-view bout against Pacquiao, but Arum senses that based on Mayweather’s monetary demands (no pay-per-view money for Pacquiao) that Mayweather doesn’t want the fight.
“Manny can chase the wild rabbit in the television commercial [for Hennessy], but as a promoter I can’t chase a wild rabbit,” Arum said. “I’m now concentrating, if Manny is able to fight through until next year, I’m planning or hoping that the Mayweather fight can take place next year.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.