Lem Satterfield

What’s next — Pacquiao-Marquez IV, or Mayweather-Pacquiao?


Many had hoped that the results of Manny PacquiaoJuan Manuel Marquez III would serve as the preview to a long-anticipated bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference following Pacquiao’s controversial win, Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum announced the possibility of a fourth matchup against Marquez, given the general level of dissatisfaction and lack of clarity following Saturday night’s result.

Arum also has hinted that RING No. 8-rated pound-for-pound and WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) might be a possiblity opponent for Pacquiao, having scored an eighth-round knockout of former four-time titleholder Joel Casamayor (38-6-1, 22 KOs) on the Pacquiao-Marquez III undercard.

So on Monday, citing his understanding that Arum was not interested in Mayweather-Pacquiao being next, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, told RingTV.com that he would likely seek another rival for Mayweather.

Schaefer told ESPN.com that his realization came through an e-mail from retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, the mediator who has worked closely with both sides to settle numerous lawsuits and issues in recent years.

“We have been informed that Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, is not interested in pursuing a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao at this time. As a result, we will look at other options for Floyd Mayweather’s ring return on May 5. There are several big fights out there for him, and we hope that we will have something to announce in the coming days,” said Schaefer.

“We had no conversations with any other fighter since Floyd primary goal was to deliver the biggest fight possible, which would have been a fight against Manny Pacquiao. However, with Arum and Team Pacquiao refusing to even sit down with us at this point, we will have to move on.”

But Arum denied having conclusively settled on Marquez or Bradley as opposed to Mayweather when reached by RingTV.com on Monday, and he told ESPN.com that he was not aware of an e-mail from Weinstein.

“Everybody is jumping to conclusions. Schaefer put out some statement that we said that we weren’t going to pursue a meeting with Mayweather because we’ve decided on a fourth fight, but we haven’t said anything like that. What I’ve said is that we’re going to make a decision when the time comes to make a decision,” said Arum.

“We just had a show on Saturday. We’re counting the numbers and the buys and all of that sort of stuff. The last thing on my mind is figuring this out and who Manny Pacquiao is going to fight and what Manny’s going to do next. That’s the story. He’s not going to do anything until probably April, May or June of next year anyway. So what is the big deal?”

But according to The Los Angeles Times, Pacquiao prefers another bout with Marquez instead of Mayweather.

“That fight [Mayweather] can still be there in November [2012],” The Times quoted Arum, who added that Saturday’s bout with Marquez “did not have the finish he [Pacquiao] wanted.”

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, could not be reached for comment.

But Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, echoed Arum’s sentiment.

“There’s no need to rush into anything. We’re not going to rush judgement about who we’re going to fight or when we’re going to fight. After the holiday season, we’ll get with Bob Arum and discuss options. The facts of the matter are that Manny Pacquiao just went through a very difficult fight. As always, we’ll take a couple of weeks just to relax. Manny will enjoy his family,” said Koncz.

“We haven’t even discussed anything with our promoter, Bob Arum, nor will we intend to discuss with our promoter, Bob Arum, anything about any fights probably until after the Christmas holiday. If anybody is inclined to come to us with a reasonable offer to fight, they can reach out to myself or to Bob Arum, but Manny is going to take some time off that he rightfully deservers. It’s that simple. Period.”

The past negotions for the Mayweather-Pacquiao megabout failed over Mayweather’s insistence on Olympic-style drug testing.

In fact, prior to his past two victories over Shane Mosley and Ortiz in May of last year and in September, Mayweather required that his opponents undergo random testing of urine and blood that was conducted by United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Pacquiao has an ongoing lawsuit against Mayweather, accusing him of defamation and 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.

But Arum claims that drug testing never was an issue for Pacquiao, and has told RingTV.com that the details of the lawsuite can be worked out.

“For two years, Manny Pacquiao has said that he would agree to random, Olympic-style drug testing,” said Arum during a recent conference call. “Manny Pacquiao has said that he would do it.”

As for the lawsuit?

“That’s not a problem,” said Arum to RingTV.com. “That’s something that could probably get worked out as part of a negotiation.”

Regardless, Schaefer believes Mayweather’s effort against Marquez in comparison to his bouts with Pacquiao prove that Mayweather, above all, is the sport’s premiere fighter.

“One thing which is clear right now is that Floyd Mayweather is today, without doubt, the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” said Schaefer.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with Floyd Mayweather and the Money Team, and to bring him back to a worldwide audience on May 5, 2012, live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.”

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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