By Ronnie Nathanielsz
MANILA—Top Rank promoter Bob Arum insists that he is ready to do whatever he can to make a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. happen.
“We are certainly not the impediment for that fight to happen,” Arum said in an interview with BoxingScene.com/Inquirer. “We will do whatever we can to make that fight happen.”
The Top Rank promoter emphasized that pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao has agreed to take the blood test which Mayweather has been insisting on.
But, to the chagrin of Arum, he said Mayweather’s “crazy father says ‘yes’ but [Pacquiao is] not allowed to train in the Philippines. This is bizarre.”
Meantime Arum said he would arrive with Juan Manuel Marquez and his party in Manila on September 1 for a massive media tour kickoff rally at the Luneta Grandstand in Rizal Park on September 3.
Arum said “we’ll have a lot of fun and a press conference and then go from Manila to New York, Los Angeles and finally Mexico City.”
He disclosed that they had decided to skip the planned stops in Tokyo and Dubai because Pacquiao “has more important businesses to attend to” besides his desire to have eight full weeks of training with four weeks in the Philippines and the second four weeks at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Initial reports indicated that WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Amir Khan is likely to train alongside Pacquiao in Baguio City as he too prepares for a fight in December.
A stumbling block may well be the legal battle over Mayweather’s allegations that Pacquiao was on performance enhancing drugs and his constant refusal to provide his deposition claiming he was in training for his Sept. 17 fight against Victor Ortiz.
Atty. David Marroso provided evidence to contradict Mayweather’s claims.
Marroso told the Inquirer that in their motion for “default and dismissal” against Mayweather Jr before Judge Larry Hicks they charged Mayweather with “deliberately defying a court order to appear at deposition on any of the 24 alternate dates offered by Pacquiao.”
Marroso contradicted Mayweather’s claims that he could not provide his deposition because he was in training and avoiding all distractions and provided supporting evidence including photographs. Marroso accused Mayweather of “lying repeatedly to avoid appearing for deposition.”
He said Mayweather “refused to participate in court-ordered discovery because it interfered with his partying schedule.”