By Edward Chaykosvky
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has set his next date, and picked his opponent, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not on the menu. In a recent interview with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum revealed that Pacquiao was going to return on June 9th at a new outdoor venue on the Las Vegas Strip. Mayweather is scheduled to fight on May 5th at the MGM Grand. The temporary venue wil be constructed to seat 38,000 fans, says Arum.
Arum would not reveal the name of the opponent. Pacquiao selected his opponent from a list of four names - Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto or Lamont Peterson.
Fans were hoping to see Pacquiao fight Mayweather, but Arum will explore the fight in November. In an earlier interview on BoxingScene.com, Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, said the date of May 5th wouldn't change - because Mayweather was legally obligated to fight on that particular date. Mayweather's 90-day jail sentence, for a domestic abuse charge, was delayed to June 1 in order to allow the boxer to fight on May 5th.
“If you postpone it two or three weeks, you can make so much more money. Mayweather told the court he was committed to fight on May 5th. I think they lied and said Pacquiao was ready to fight him. Now they are saying the judge ordered them to fight on May 5? Was the MGM behind this? If the judge says you have to surrender yourself on June 1st, what the f— does it matter to the judge if you fight on May 5th or two weeks later?,” Arum said.