By Michael Marley
Will WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao take the fifth? That is the question that inquiring boxing minds want to hear answered.
No, I don't mean the Fifth Amendment, which in Amercia allows a person to legally refuse to answer any question on the grounds of possible "self incrimination."
My reference is to the suddenly new and fifth fight option that promoter Bob Arum will delineate when he spends Tuesday through Saturday of next week in Metro Manila with his cash cow, Da Pacman. The 80-year-old Arum is jetting to the Philippines to discuss the pros and cons of Pacquiao taking a fight in May or June against Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, undefeated Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan conqueror Lamont Peterson.
But, on Friday morning in a Las Vegas courtroom, Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa threw a wild card into the mix when she granted a request by Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s criminal defense lawyers. The Honorable Saragosa deferred Mayweather's jail sentence on the domestic abuse case, in which he plead guilty, delaying his 90 days sentence until June 1.
Mayweather's temporary reprieve from incarcertation cleaqrly permits him to follow through with a planned May 5 title defense at the MGM Grand, an event which stimulates the local economony and a pitch which the judge bought into.
But what fight fans want to know is whether this jail delay opens up the path for the Dream Fight between Floyd and Manny? I put that question to Arum Friday afternoon.
"Obviously, I will discuss Mayweather with Manny when I get over there," Arum said. "But Manny won't fight early in May. Once we know we've got a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, if and when, then we're going foreward with erecting a 40,000-seat stadium on the [Las Vegas] strip. The soonest we could have that stadium up and operating is the end of May. I also have to consider the cut eye Manny suffered with Marquez."
"I have to check the status of Manny's eye and I will do that. But, yes, this ruling does put Mayweather back into the mix. I've never heard of a ruling like that in all my years as a lawyer but, hey, you live and learn. I will be discussing Mayweather with Manny."
While the exact day is unknown, Mayweather is planning to announce his "Cinco de Mayo" opponent, presumed to be a Mexican foe, as soon as next week. There are continued rumblings that Golden Boy may be ready to let unbeaten WBC junior middleweight king Saul "Canelo" Alvarez challenge Mayweather, despite his youth and inexperience.