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Arum considering 4-man tournament for Pacquiao
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Bob Arum still insists that Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao is a priority for November, but he's come up with a contingency plan that would pit the winners of Pacquiao-Bradley and Marquez-Peterson against each other in the fall.
Having all but dismissed May as a month that Floyd Mayweather Jr. could face Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told RingTV.com that he is considering a four-man tournament scenario should he fail to complete a proposed rematch between Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto for June 9 in Las Vegas.
The tournament would also hinge on whether or not Arum could secure a November match between Mayweather and Pacquiao. If not, then Arum would match Pacquiao against WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley, and RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez against IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson "somewhere around the same time" this spring, Arum said on Thursday.
The Pacquiao-Bradley and Marquez-Peterson winners would be matched in November if Mayweather is not available in the event that Pacquao defeats Bradley.
Bradley, Cotto, Marquez and Peterson were all being considered, along with WBC welterweight beltholder Mayweather, as potential opponents for WBO welterweight titleholder Pacquiao, although Cotto emerged as the frontrunner heading into this past week. But the negotiations appear to have stalled over the issue of weight: Pacquiao doesn't want to fight above the 147-pound welterweight limit, and Cotto does not want to drop to it.
Cotto's advisor, Gaby Penagaricano, could not immediatley be reached, although he has also acknowledged that Cotto has had talks with the Mayweather camp about a potential fight.
In addition, Mayweather is slated to begin an 87-day jail sentence staring on June 1, and has targeted May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his next bout.
But Arum and Pacquiao's promoter, Michael Koncz, have dismissed that date for Mayweather-Pacquiao, citing their camp's desire to construct a 40,000-seat, temporary outdoor venue near the Las Vegas Strip in late May or early-June to maximize revenue.
"We could have a tournament. Let's say that if Mayweather doesn't ever come to the table, which is a possibility," said Arum.
"Then let's say that Manny fights Bradley because Cotto has a problem with the weight, then Marquez fights Peterson, and the winner of that fights fights the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley -- if that's the fight that we make."
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, could not be reached. But the notion of a tournament absent a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight wrankled Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who handles Mayweather.
"I could give a s--t about Arum's bulls--t tournament. It just goes to show you that he's already saying what he's going to do in November. He had no intentions of doing a Pacquiao fight with Mayweather. I hope that the public realizes that this guy did not want the fight. He's already talking about a tournament. So let him do and do his bulls--t tournament," said Schaefer.
"The fact is that at least he realizes that he's having two semi-main events with the winners fighting each other. We believe that the time for doing tuneups and lead-ins, that that time has come and gone. We believe in only promoting main events. Every one of our fights is a final. There is no semi-main event, as he is suggesting here with this tournament. But I couldn't really care. Let him go and do that.
"We knew all along and we have been saying that he has had zero -- and you can print ZERO in capital letters -- intentions of ever making a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Otherwise, he would have called and he knows exactly who is putting the fights together. But he's had no intentions of sitting down with me and getting the fight done because he knows that his bulls--t won't fly withg me and that I see right through him."