Top Rank Inc. Bob Arum and Michael Koncz, respective promoter and adviser to RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao, have expressed anger in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement that RING No. 2-rated pound-for-pound fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. will make the first defense of his WBC belt on May 5.
Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, confirmed that the fighter, who turns 35 in February, will return to the MGM Grand, where he ended a 16-month layoff by dethroning Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) as WBC beltholder by fourth-round knockout on Sept. 17.
Arum and Koncz believe that the move was made by Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) in an attempt to upstage the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 39 KOs), who will defend his WBO welterweight belt against RING No. 5-rated WBO/WBC lightweight titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez ( (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12 at the MGM.
Pacquiao battled Marquez through a draw and a split-decision victory in two prior meetings as featherweights and junior lightweights.
“It’s a difficult fight to make, first of all, they’ve already said that it’s May 5. They already said that it’s at the MGM. How dare them? I’m really outraged that they made the announcement now right before Manny’s fight, and we’ll remember that,” said Arum.
“And who are they to say what date that the fight would be held? What kind of of negotiation is that? So, if the MGM gave them May 5, then, Manny may fight somebody else in April in Texas or in the Thomas and Mack. This is not the way to make a deal.”
Negotiations for megabouts between Pacquiao, who is promoted by Top Rank Inc., and Mayweather, who is handled by Golden Boy Promotions, have failed twice over Mayweather’s insistance on Olympic-style random drug testing.
Prior to his past two victories over Shane Mosley in May and Ortiz, Mayweather required that his opponents undergo Olympic-style random drug testing of urine and blood that was conducted by United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Pacquiao’s has an ongoing lawsuit against Mayweather accusing him of defamation, asserting that the fighter has continued to insinuate publicly that Pacquiao’s success over eight weight classes is the result of having used performance-enhancing drugs.
Arum told RingTV.com that he believed that the defamation suit’s issues could be worked out through negotiations.
“If Mayweather wants to fight Manny Pacquiao, then he should say that he wants to fight Manny Pacquiao,” said Arum, “and then all elements are on the table.”
Koncz is offended by what he believes is Mayweather’s jealous attempt to steal Pacquiao’s thunder.
“”It’s evident to me what Floyd Mayweather’s camp is doing. They’re just making an announcement to steal the thunder from Manny Pacquiao’s show that’s coming up, and there’s going to be another opponent. There’s been no discussion. So as Arum said, how can he choose a venue and also choose a date? That’s all part of a fight negotiation, along with the fighters’ purses, when you’re going to try to make a fight between the fighters’ camps,” said Koncz.
“As far as I’m aware, nobody from Mayweather’s camp has contacted Manny directly or myself, or anybody else in position to discuss the fight. Secondly, Mayweather can not attempt to control everything by already selecting a venue, and selecting a date, because if the opponent is Manny Pacquiao that he intends to fight, then he needs to check with Manny to see if he’s even available on that date.”
Ellerbe called Koncz, “an idiot.”
“Everyone knows that anything that Michael Koncz says has no relevance whatsoever. He needs to worry about picking up Manny Pacquiao’s dry cleaning and running errands for Manny Pacquiao,” said Ellerbe.
“Manny Pacquiao has one promoter, and one promoter only, and everyone knows who that is, and his name is not Michael Koncz. Any business that has to be discussed surely wouldn’t be with Michael Koncz.”
Ellerbe went on to say that the “$80 million that Floyd netted in his past two fights is more than Manny Pacquiao has netted in his entire career.”
“Michael Koncz needs to be worried about why Manny Pacquiao keeps having to ask, ‘how in the hell is Floyd Mayweather making all of this money when we’re fighting the same opponents, and my promoter is out there saying that I’m the biggest attraction in the sport?’ — that’s what Michael Koncz needs to worry about.”
Koncz said he won’t “keep addressing any media comments right now, because the focus is on Marquez, and Marquez is a very capable and dangerous opponent.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com