By Salvador Rodriguez
The prospect of a welterweight mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is very unlikely for 2012, according to the recent run of events and the behind the scenes negotiations for several possible fights. Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum was shocked with last week's erroneous reports regarding a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout for the month of November in Qatar.
"We believe that November is a good date, but we do not expect it to be in Qatar. In fact, I was surprised by the statements when we saw them on the internet. The reality is, that there is nothing [to those reports]," Arum said.
With Pacquiao and Mayweather going their separate ways, several other fights are taking shape.
A source with direct knowledge of the negotiations expects a possible fight between Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley for June 9th, and Juan Manuel Marquez to fight in March or April at a new arena in Mexico City and then return in the month of June or July against IBF/WBA 140-pound champion Lamont Peterson at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The winners of both bouts could possibly face off in November.
WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto is being considered by both Mayweather and Pacquiao, but only Mayweather is willing to face Cotto at 150-pounds or above. Pacquiao and Cotto have not been able to agree on the weight. Cotto could face Mayweather on May 5th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but even that depends on Mayweather's ability to pay Cotto a reasonable sum that includes a percentage of the pay-per-view and other sources of revenue.
Salvador Rodriguez covers boxing in Mexico for The Record.