Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told RingTV.com on Thursday that he expects to offer a deal as early as Friday to IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson, whom he hopes to match against RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez at The Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium in April.
The four-man tournament scenario comes in the wake of the apparent reluctance of WBA junior middleweight Miguel Cotto to fight at the 147-pound welterweight limit, moving Bradley closer to being the likely opponent for Pacquiao on June 9 at either the Thomas & Mack Center or the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Arum said that the format is also contingent, however, on whether or not WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. is available to face Pacquiao in November should Pacquiao vanquish Bradley.
But Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, did not rule out a bout with Cotto or Mayweather, saying “we have not agreed on an alternative opponnent yet,” and, “Manny is still reviewing his options.”
Meanwhile, Arum said that he spoke to Marquez on Thursday afternoon following an earlier meeting between Marquez and his promoter, Fernando Beltran, during which the two men discussed the merits of the situation.
“Fernando put Marquez on the phone with me,” said Arum. “Marquez said that he’s in.”
Prior to having heard from Beltran and Marquez, Arum told RingTV.com that he had already spoken to Peterson’s manager and trainer, Barry Hunter, about the match up.
“Barry was very enthusiastic, but I’m not rushing him to make a decision on a telephone call. I have too much respect for him to do that,” said Arum.
“I expect to talk to him again tomorrow, but I told Barry that Fernando was meeting with Marquez, and that I would get back to him with a proposed deal for a fight at the end of April.”
Bradley, Cotto, Marquez and Peterson were all being considered for the Pacquiao sweepstakes, along with Mayweather.