By Michael Marley
According to promoter Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao's next opponent will be announced "sometime next week" and the Pinoy Idol's next bout will occur on June 9. Top Rank is looking at either the Thomas & Mack Arena or, more likely, "the nice people" at the MGM Grand, to host the bout which will match Manny with either Miguel Cotto, Lamont Peterson, Juan Manuel Marquez or Tim Bradley. Arum feels the only fight that merits the outdoor stadium is the mega-fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Although Uncle Bob didn't say it, I will. The leading candidate is Cotto, who would be getting a rematch after previously having been stopped in the twelfth and final round by the Filipino superstar.
Mayweather let the world know he's spoken on the phone to Pacquiao and his agent, Michael Koncz. "Money" also keeps banging the drum about Arum being the block to the Floyd-Manny Super Fight.
Arum says this is balderdash.
"I'm not stopping any fight. This is all for public relations, it's nonsense," an exasperated sounding Arum said late Friday afternoon from Las Vegas.
"Arum's blocking the fight and so on, it's just rididculous. What's going on is not rational. The whole thing about them fighting in May (Mayweather wants May 5, Arum chose May 26) is moot now. It's moot because it's all been BS. Look at what Mayweather's lawyer is saying, it's all doubletalk. If the right people approached the judge (Hon. Melissa Saragosa) I think the judge would push Mayweather's sentence back another 30 days. But they don't want that.
"This is not the normal way you put together a big fight. The normal way would would be for us to sit down somewhere. Mayweather said he won't agree to a 50-50 split with Manny. Now that's something blocking the fight, something we won't agree to.
"We could sit down and get everything in place, including the outdoor stadium (bleachers) which will have a bubble over it. But we (he and TR president Todd duBoef) have never heard from either (Al) Haymon or (Leonard) Ellerbe," Arum said. "We would also need to explore the best date and the outdoor stadium. I could get all that done but not like this."
Arum charged that Mayweather's conduct is not helping matters.
"On their side, they are all puppets for Mayweather. Mayweather is his own manager, his own promoter...like I said, it is ridiculous nonsense."
If the 50-50 split argument and other hurdles could be overcome to make a November Floyd-Manny bout now, Arum said it would benefit everyone involved.
"It would benefit their interim fights, if Mayweather fought on May 5 and Manny on June 9, because everyone would know their next fight would be against each other come November."