Lem Satterfield

Koncz: Mayweather’s not out of the picture

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Michael Koncz, the advisor to WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao, told RingTV.com on Monday that he is in Las Vegas to speak with Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum about Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Although WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto appears to be the current frontrunner, Koncz told RingTV.com that WBC welterweight titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not yet out of the picture.

Koncz would not confirm or deny whether or not he expects to meet with Mayweather, who lives in Las Vegas.

“I am in Las Vegas right now having various discussions and meetings with different people, and we have not closed the door on Floyd Mayweather,” said Koncz.

“I’m here in Las Vegas pursuant to Manny’s instructions trying to finalize his next bout. No doors have been shut on any of our options to this point.”

Pacquiao has been targeted for a return bout on June 9 in Las Vegas at either the Thomas & Mack Center or the MGM Grand, with the possibilities being Cotto, Mayweather, RING lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson or WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley.

Cotto’s advisor, Gabby Penagaricano, has confirmed to RingTV.com that there have been talks with both Pacquiao and Mayweather, the latter regarding a fight on May 5.

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Koncz and Mayweather have been in personal communication since late-November, when Koncz made a visit to the unbeaten fighter at his Las Vegas-based gym.

Last week, Pacquiao confirmed to the Filipino TV network ABS-CBN that Mayweather had called him in the Philippines from Las Vegas and that they spoke by telephone.

The conversation with Mayweather “went OK, the talk about the negotiation proceeds forward,” said Pacquiao, adding, “I said that the 50-50 was approved and there’s no problem. Anytime. It’s in your hands. We’ll just wait if it’s OK with you.”

Mayweather’s version of the conversation differed a bit.

“He asked about a 50/50 split and I told him no, that can’t happen, but what can happen is you can make more money fighting me than you have made in your career,” said Mayweather.

“I also let him know I’m in control on my side, but he needs to get on the same page as his promoter so we can make this fight happen.”

Mayweather is slated to begin an 87-day jail sentence staring on June 1, and has targeted May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his next bout.

But Arum and Koncz have dismissed that date for Mayweather-Pacquiao, citing their camp’s desire to construct a 40,000-seat, temporary outdoor venue near the Las Vegas Strip in late May or early-June to maximize revenue.

Pacquiao’s selection process began on January 10 in his native Philippines, when Koncz and Arum presented the candidates to him.

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Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.

Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

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

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