By Michael Marley
For the first time ever, Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum has stated explicitly that if and when he or his Top Rank president Todd duBoef get a text message or phone call from Floyd Mayweather Jr., they will spring into action to fully negotiate the so-called "Dream Fight.
I had two phone chats with the 80 year old promoter Monday night and, on the second call, Arum said that, despite all those who accuse him of being a fightblocker, he would much prefer to do his due diligence.
"We can put this fight together now, not for May of course, but put it together now for November," Arum said.
"All Floyd has to do, as far as I'm concerned, is to phone us or to send a text to Todd, who he commuinicates with in that manner anyway. All Floyd has to do is to give us some direction. Let Mayweather tell us who he wants us to speak to make this fight.
"If Mayweather says, hey, this is my guy, this is who I want you to talk to, then we'll do that. I will pick up the phone or Todd will answer his text message.
"If Floyd does that, do you think I won't make the call, that I won't follow up to set up meetings with whoever he tells us to? Of course not, I will do my job as Manny's promoter. But we must know who Floyd wants us to deal with."
Arum reported that he and stepson duBoef have yet to recieve any direct communication from Mayweather's chief adviser, Al Haymon, or his ubiquitous factotum, Leonard Ellerbe, who bears the title of president of Mayweather Promotions.
Arum wouldn't name names but it's known a guy named Tommy Smalls is very influential in Mayweather's Inner Circle and so is high profile rapper Fifty Cent. In fact, Fifty Cent even participated in the famous Las Vegas to Philippines phone call which was made to Pacquiao and his adviser, Michael Koncz.
Then, of course, Golden Boy has often been the de facfo promoter for Mayweather's recent big fights.
"If we get this information, this direction from Floyd, then we can finalize things for November and we also enhance their respective interim fights, Floyd's May 5 bout and Manny's June 9 fight. The stakes get a lot higher for those interim fights.
"You sit with the right people, you figure it all out," Arum said. "There's no reason we can't do this now, I mean to make the fight for November.
"We've already discussed doing construction for bleachers, an outdoor setup, at Mandalay Bay but obviously you can't go very far on items like that until you've got a fight signed. We know that the Mayweather fight can come to fruition but now for November."
Arum keeps hedging his bet as to Pacman's June 9 foe.
"It might be Tim Bradley or it might be Miguel Cotto," Arum said. "Cotto doesn't want to concede the weight but he's got to realize that to get Manny to 144 pounds, you have to feed him like a horse. I mean, Manny is barely 140 pounds, barely. It reminds me of Canelo (Alvarez, Mayweather's likely May 5 foe) wanting Chavez Junior to make a weight of 156 pounds, Chavez can't make that weight."
Even though Arum peristently said criticism which accuses him of dodging the Mayweather fight does not bother him, I think the steady drip, drip, drip of such anatagonistic remarks does bother him, at least slightly.
"I want to do this fight, I want reason to prevail. I want this fight to happen in November and it can. That (criticism) is absurd, those saying Arum doesn't want the Mayweather fight.
"I don't want it, Manny won't take it without a 50-50 split. We'd never do that. But I want the fight and, more importantly, Manny wants it."