Lem Satterfield

Mayweather phones Pacquiao directly


Top Rank CEO Bob Arum confirmed a report by the Filipino TV network ABS-CBN that Manny Pacquiao and  Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a telephone conversation on Wednesday night (Thursday in the Philippines).

“Mayweather called Michael Koncz to talk to Manny, and Michael Koncz put Manny on the phone,” said Arum. “Manny said that they have to resolve the date and other issues, and other things are happening.”

Reached on Thursday evening, Koncz would neither confirm nor deny that the conversation took place and declined comment.

Neither Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer nor Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, could be reached for comment.

But Ellerbe acknowledged the conversation to David Mayo of MLive Media Group.

“Floyd reached out to him. They had a conversation. That’s between them. I’m sure the whole world can speculate,” said Ellerbe. “Listen, I know what they talked about. I’m sure they weren’t talking about playing a pick-up basketball game.”

According to a translation by BoxingScene.com’s Ryan Maquinana, who is of Filipino descent, Pacquiao told the Filipino TV network ABS-CBN that his conversation with Mayweather “went OK, the talk about the negotiation proceeds forward.”

“I said that the 50-50 was approved and there’s no problem,” said Pacquiao. “Anytime. It’s in your hands. We’ll just wait if it’s OK with you.”

“Floyd called Michael Koncz. Michael Koncz and Floyd have been talking quite often during this period,” said Arum.

“And Manny happened to be there, and so then Michael put him on the phone. Obviously, they’re the fighters, so it’s good that they’re talking.”

Previously, Mayweather had used his Twitter account to tell Pacquiao to “step up punk,” adding that he was “ready to put my belt up.”

Manny Pacquiao I’m calling you out. Let’s fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see,” wrote Mayweather in the initial tweet. “My jail sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in. Step up punk.”

Top Rank President Todd duBoef said that it’s good that Mayweather and Pacquiao have had dialogue.

“Obviously, in order to make things happen, we need to take this out of the realm of the public and social media and telephone calls and into private rooms and sit down and start moving the ball forward.” duBoef told Kevin Iole of Yahoo!Sports. “That’s the way deals get done, not using social media to go back and forth in public. It will be far more productive to sit down and discuss the issues and hammer out a deal in a room.”

RingTV.com has learned that the Mayweather and Pacquiao spoke for appoximately four minutes, after which Mayweather and Koncz continued to speak for a short time longer.

In November, Koncz visited Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) during a light workout at the fighter’s Las Vegas-based gym, a visit that was confirmed by Ellerbe, and, later, by Koncz.

“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.

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

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