By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is not giving up on the possibility of providing fight fans around the world the showdown they have longed to see between “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Arum told the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Pacquiao is scheduled to have dinner with him at Arum’s residence in Los Angeles on Tuesday and that he “wants to explore everything” including a fight with Mayweather.
Arum said “obviously I don’t think that Mayweather, because it looks like he will be in prison for at least one or two more months, will be prepared to fight this year. So I think that if the Mayweather fight happens it would probably happen sometime next year.”
In the meantime, the Top Rank promoter told us “Pacquiao will have another fight this year and then look forward to maybe fighting two fights with Mayweather next year.”
Arum added “I don’t think anybody on Mayweather’s side could commit him now for a fight because you don’t understand how debilitating it is living in prison, eating that kind of food.”
Arum said he has not even narrowed down the list of potential opponents for Pacquiao’s next fight because, he said, “I just don’t know. I don’t want to jump the gun on him. ”
Meantime, Arum said that Pacquiao, wife Jinkee and their children are going to Israel on Thursday and that his personal pastor Jeric Soriano “is setting everything up and he (Soriano) seems to be a decent guy.”
Arum indicated he had sent word to the Israeli government “to make sure that he’s going to be alright, which I’m sure he will be.”
He said Pacquiao “will do most of the Christian things, the Stations of the Cross and so on and will go to Bethlehem and so on.