by Ronnie Nathanielsz
TOP Rank promoter Bob Arum, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Dec. 8 with a luncheon for his staff at the Top Rank offices in Las Vegas, told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight is his priority.
Arum said he’ll be coming over to the Philippines sometime in January.
“Hopefully, at that point, we’ll have some serious dialogue with Mayweather,” said Arum.
However, the Top Rank promoter stressed that everything is still uncertain.
“I’m not sure, although I remain optimistic,” said Arum. “Mayweather really can’t commit anything now, because next week, he’s before the courts. So if the trial is going to happen, he can’t do the fight.”
Arum said if Mayweather is unable to do the fight, there are three options available to Manny.
He mentioned Timothy Bradley, a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez or a rematch with Miguel Cotto, “who looked good on Saturday when he beat Antonio Margarito.”
“You have to understand that this isn’t the kind of fight you make in 15 minutes. It doesn’t work that way. It takes time, and my obligation is to get Manny the best deal possible,” Arum said.
He even laughed off at Golden Boy Promotions’ chief executive officer Richard Schaefer’s claim that he didn’t want to make a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.
He told boxing writer Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal: “Why would I not want that fight to happen? Manny wants it. Boxing fans want it. The media wants it.”
Arum pushed his claim that any negotiations with the Mayweather camp would not involve Golden Boy Promotions, which is why he said Schaefer is desperate.
However, the Top Rank promoter indicated that if Mayweather wanted Schaefer and Golden Boy involved, it was “up to Floyd. He’s his own man.”
Top Rank president Todd duBoef, for whom Mayweather has publicly stated he has the highest respect as a friend, was quoted by Carp as saying “Patience is the key. We’re not going to do anything to jeopardize that fight from happening.”