In the wake of confirming that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a telephone conversation on Wednesday night (Thursday in the Philippines), Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, shed his thoughts on what the development means.
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 O.K., 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 O.K. with you.”
Mayweather, who turns 35 next month, has targeted May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his next bout, and is scheduled to begin a 90-day jail sentence starting on June 1.
Mayweather’s camp insists that he is legally obligated to fight on May 5 and that he can not do so on another date. But Arum disputes that contention, even as he appears to have selected targeted Pacquiao’s return for June 9 at an outdoor venue in Las Vegas.
Arum and Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, have dismissed May 5 as a date for Mayweather-Pacquiao, citing their camp’s desire to have built a 40,000-seat, temporary outdoor venue on The Strip in late May or early-June to maximize revenue.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, told David Mayo of MLive Media Group that Mayweather is locked in to fight on May 5.
“We’re going when we’re going,” said Ellerbe. “That, I know, is happening.”
Arum said that he does not believe that Mayweather’s sentence prevents him from fighting before his scheduled prison date, but Mayweather blames Arum for blocking efforts to make the bout, whose negotiations have twice failed over the issue of drug testing.
Arum said Mayweather still is among the five choices for Pacquiao, including Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley and IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson.
Below are Arum’s comments in regard to the most recent situation.
On the fact that Floyd Mayweather called Manny Pacquiao:
“Mayweather called Michael Koncz to talk to Manny, and Michael Koncz put Manny on the phone. Manny said that they have to resolve the date and other issues, and other things are happening. Floyd called Michael Koncz.
“Michael Koncz and Floyd have been talking quite often during this period, 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.
“So I’m current on everything, but I can’t really say. It’s good that they talked, and everything, but I don’t know whether we can say that that’s real progress.”