Arum emphasized that the tournament’s completion would depend on whether or not he could make a November fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
“We want to sign a contract for the November fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather within the next two weeks in order to give us enough lead time subject to each of them winning their two interim fights. This tournament won’t take place if we’re able to do that. I want to make it plain that a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is my first priority,” said Arum.
“So a lot of things have to happen, like if the Mayweather fight with Pacquiao can’t happen in November. If there is no Cotto because of the weight, if there is no Mayweather because of the craziness, and Pacquiao fights Bradley — if — and then Marquez fights Peterson somewhere around the same time on two different pay per view shows, then why wouldn’t I make the winners against each other if a November fight can’t be made with Mayweather?”
Marquez told RingTV.com that he would like to take a tuneup fight on March 17 in a newly-constructed venue in Mexico City before perhaps rising a weight class to challenge Peterson, who dethroned Amir Khan for his belts by disputed split-decision last month.
A victory over Peterson would make Marquez only the third Mexican fighter to win a fourth title over as many different weight divisions, a mark that was first achieved in September when Erik Morales scored a 10th-round TKO over Pablo Cesar Cano for the vacant WBC junior welterweight belt.
“I told Fernando that my next opportunity I would like it to be against Manny Pacquiao. Everybody knows. I want to take maybe one fight for preparation. That would be in March. Maybe,” said Marquez, who would be facing a fighter who idolizes him in Peterson.
“I would like a fight with Lamont Peterson for my fourth title… Lamont Peterson is a great fighter because he won over Amir Khan, who is another good fighter. So Lamont Peterson is a great fighter for me to fight.”
Beltran, president of Zanfer Promotions, said Arum had targeted the Dallas Cowboys Stadium for Marquez-Peterson in April.
Beltran could not immediately be reached during Thursday’s meeting with Marquez, although he acknowledged having mulled the Marquez-Peterson with Arum during an earlier interview with RingTV.com.
“Definitely, definitely, that’s what we’re working on right now. We want Lamont Peterson. We want to fight in Mexico first, and that would mean a lot in Mexico for him to fight in his [home country] before his fans. Right after that, we really want to go and fight Lamont Peterson, and then, of course, we want to deal with Manny Pacquiao,” said Beltran.
“I have been reading everything about Manny, but I don’t think he wants Marquez immediately. I think that Peterson is a very good fighter who stays in front of you. He throws a lot of punches and he’s a very experienced guy. Styles make fights, and I really think that it will be a really tremendous match up.”
Below is Arum’s complete interview in Q&A format.
RingTV.com: So where do things stand right now?