Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum confirmed to RingTV.com on Sunday that he is fielding offers from potential investment groups looking to stage the megabout between RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pound WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao and RING No. 2-rated pound-for-pound WBC counterpart Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Yes. There’s more than two groups,” said Arum, who turns 80 on Dec. 8. “We’ve been fielding proposals and we’re talking to people. I’m sure that Floyd’s doing the same.”
In a related development, The New York Daily News has reported that the adviser of Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts), Michael Koncz, visited Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) during a light workout at the fighter’s Las Vegas-based gym last week.
Koncz could not immediately be reached for comment.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, spoke to The Daily News.
“He [Koncz] was in a group of people that came by the gym and was greeted by Floyd, who is friendly with everybody that comes by the gym,” said Ellerbe, adding that Koncz posed for photos with Mayweather.
“I don’t know why he came by the gym other than the fact that a lot of people like to come by the gym and meet Floyd.”
Koncz’s visit to Mayweather could be a demonstration that the relationship between the two fighters may be thawing in the interest of making the bout a reality.
Past negotions for the Mayweather-Pacquiao megabout twice failed over Mayweather’s insistence on Olympic-style drug testing.
Prior to his past two victories over Shane Mosley and Victor 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 lawsuit can be worked out through negotiations.
“For two years, Manny Pacquiao has said that he would agree to random, Olympic-style drug testing. Manny Pacquiao has said that he would do it,” said Arum recently.
“[The lawsuit] is not a problem. That’s something that could probably get worked out as part of a negotiation.”
Mayweather’s fourth-round knockout in his last fight in September dethroned RING No. 3-rated welterweight Ortiz as WBC titleholder.
Mayweather desires to return to the ring on May 5 against an opponent to be determined, appearing to have the intentions to land a bout opposite Pacquiao. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has said that the MGM Grand is on hold for that date.