By Mark Vester
In what is sure to change the entire playing field in the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao negotiations saga, HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg has spoken out for the first time since Mayweather-Pacquiao drama unfolded.
Since June, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told press members that his company was negotiating a deal for Manny Pacquiao to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. on November 13. Arum claimed HBO's Greenburg was the middleman handling the entire negotiations between him and Mayweather's manager, Al Haymon. Arum never spoke to anyone from Mayweather's camp directly.
Mayweather had until July 16 to accept a fight proposal to face Pacquiao in November. The deadline passed without a response and Arum held a late night telephone conference to inform the media that he would be pursuing other options for Pacquiao.
On July 19, Mayweather's adviser Leonard Ellerbe issued a statement claiming the negotiations never took place. Within the circulated statement Ellerbe said - that either "Arum or Greenburg" were lying. Both Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, and Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya, sided with Ellerbe and told BoxingScene.com there were no negotiations whatsoever.
Greenburg has finally spoken out......and he sides with Arum's version of the story as being the middleman who handled the negotiations between Top Rank and Team Mayweather since the month of May.
"Fights like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters' ability to connect with sports fans around the world. It's unfortunate that it won't happen in 2010," said Greenburg. "I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2nd, carefully trying to put the fight together," said Greenburg. "Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it."
Pacquiao will now face Antonio Margarito on November 13 in either Las Vegas or Mexico.