DISCLOSURE OF PACQUIAO’S 2010 FIGHT
MAY HAVE JEOPARDIZED MAYWEATHER DEAL
By Alex P. Vidal
LOS ANGELES, California – Did somebody commit a mea culpa in prematurely disclosing that International Boxing Organization (IBO) light welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao would soon relinquish the title after fighting Miguel Angel Cotto on November 14 to duke it out with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rich transaction in March 2010?
This question surfaced in the boxing circle here after Top Rank chief Bob Arum recently announced the 30-year-old Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KO’s) “may no longer pursue Mayweather” but will instead square off with Shane Mosley in his next fight before the May elections in the Philippines if he will dispose of Cotto (34-1, 27 KO’s) in a 12-round fracas at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“It appears the first round of negotiation with Team Mayweather bogged down due to disagreement in sharing of purse,” said sources from La Brea on 3rd St. here who refused to be named because they were not authorized to say something about the deal which has been going on even before Mayweather silenced Juan Manuel Marquez in 12 rounds last September 19 in Las Vegas.
Sources said both Pacquiao and Mayweather would have bankrolled at least $20 million (about 940 million in Philippine money) each but Team Mayweather reportedly “wanted the bigger slice of the pie” after the unbeaten black fighter dislodged Marquez and his reputation has been deodorized once again after a 21-month hiatus.
DATE OF FIGHT
The proposed date of the multi-million duel would have been March 13, 2010 but sources said the Mayweather camp wanted to up the ante for the 34-year-old hard-hitting American fighter after reports spread first week of October that “Mayweather has agreed to face Pacquiao” regardless of the result of his fight against the 28-year-old Cotto.
The Mayweather camp thought the Pacquiao camp desperately wanted the deal sealed soon as it has already been publicized and the date of the supposed fight reported in media; hence, it could use the opportunity to make astronomical demands, it was learned.
“How could Mayweather have agreed to fight Pacquiao next when he is now enjoying with his family after a bruising clash with Marquez and has never sat down with any representative of Pacquiao to seriously discuss the matter?” sources quoted a member of Mayweather’s training team as reportedly saying.
They said, “It is not Mayweather who is hankering for a Pacquiao fight because he is the one who is undefeated and has nothing to prove anymore in as far as his talent an skills are concerned.”
Arum has announced that he would turn his back from the negotiation table if Mayweather, nicknamed “Money”, will insist on a 60-40 sharing.
And, sources said, “it appears Arum has packed up his portfolio as he refused to succumb to Mayweather’s demand as he did not want to compromise the status of the prized Filipino icon who is reputed as the best boxer in the world pound-for-pound.”
Arum described Mayweather’s demand as “outrageous.” He did not elaborate.
Arum, 77, made a brief visit at Pacquiao’s training camp in Baguio City, Philippines last week of September where the part-time politician and richest Filipino professional athlete is staying together with trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning tactician Alex Ariza, among other training personnel.
Meanwhile, if Pacquiao will eliminate Cotto in the numbers game, he could end up facing Mosley (46-5, 39 KO’s) in a WBO, WBA welterweight unification duel tentatively next year, it was reported.
Although he is also included in the elite list as Mayweather’s possible next opponent, Mosley has a score to settle with Cotto who upset him and grabbed his WBA welterweight crown on Nov. 10, 2007 at the Madison Square Garden in New York before Mosley masterfully broke Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KO’s) into pieces with a 9th round stoppage for the WBA super welterweight belt on January 24, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Margarito was the first man to stop Cotto in the 11th round in a bloody encounter on July 26, 2008 in a match that transformed the MGM Grand into a bullfight arena with Puerto Rican and Mexican fans loudly jeering and yelling at each other like their countries are at war.
A Cotto-Mosley rematch is reportedly not a far-fetched possibility next year to determine who will meet Mayweather in the event of a Cotto win over Pacquiao on Nov. 14.