By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who flew into a flooded Metro Manila to discuss plans for Manny Pacquiao’s Nov. 10 fight, scheduled at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, said a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. will take place next year.
“I want to explore with Manny the feasibility of doing a Mayweather fight sometime next year. I have to get his idea on schedules and when he is going to have to start campaigning for office,” Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard.
When asked about the revenue split, Arum said: “I know how to handle that with the Mayweather people and do the best deal possible and then get back to Manny. I am very optimistic we are going to get it done for next year.”
The promoter said that Mayweather’s close friend and now promoter 50 Cent “appears to be a real businessman with no agenda like some of the other guys, so I think we can get a deal done.”
He added: “The question is how early next year will the fight take place because Pacquiao will be running for office again and if the elections take place in May, how much lead time does he need in preparing his campaign.”
He mentioned April as a safe month because they can’t do the fight in March due to the US National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “March Madness.”
Arum said he will meet with Pacquiao and explain the financial ramifications of the choice between a rematch with Timothy Bradley, a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez and a rematch with Cotto. They are the Filipino icon’s three options for a November fight at the MGM Grand.
Arum said while people may want a rematch with Bradley to be able to avenge his seriously questioned loss by a split decision last June 9, “the real problem I have is that the pay-per-view networks, the cable companies and the satellite people in the United States don’t believe that Bradley will do appreciable business and that is something that really troubles me because we spent a lot of money promoting Manny’s fight, but if they don’t believe the results will be there they are not going to spend the money we need them to spend.”
Arum said he will give Pacquiao the options so he can make the decision.
“Then, I go back and try to make a deal with his No.1 choice and I am optimistic that will happen, but if I can’t go to No.2 and then by sometime the week after this, we’ll have a final decision,” said Arum.