By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – A super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. – as early as next May – may still happen after all.
The president and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which handles Mayweather, said he plans to talk with Bob Arum, the Top Rank CEO, to negotiate the much-anticipated bout, which could top all boxing records.
“I think that Floyd Mayweather has made it very clear that he wants the big fights, and that he wants the biggest possible opponent,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer in a recent talk with Ring TV..
“I think that everybody knows that he means that the biggest possible opponent means that you’ve got to start from the top, and that’s obviously a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight,” Schaefer said.
Negotiations for a megabout between the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) and the unbeaten Mayweather have failed twice over Mayweather’s insistance on Olympic-style random drug testing.
But Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs), who turns 35 in February, announced last week that he will make the first defense of the WBC welterweight belt he won in September by stopping Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) against an opponent to be determined on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Schaefer wants that “opponent” be Pacquiao
“But that’s assuming that Bob Arum wants to get the fight done. We’re not going to be talking about that this week,” Schaefer said
This week, of course, the focus is going to be on Pacquiao’s next fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
On Saturday, Pacquiao goes up against Marquez ((53-5-1, 39 KOs) for his WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao has an ongoing lawsuit against Mayweather, accusing him of defamation and asserting that the fighter has continued to insinuate publicly that Pacquiao’s title-winning success over eight weight classes is the result of having used performance-enhancing drugs.
But Arum said neither the lawsuit nor the drug test would be an issue.
“That’s [lawsuit] not a problem,” said Arum. “That’s something that could probably get worked out as part of a negotiation.”.
Arum also said during a recent conference call that any past issues Pacquiao might have had with random drug testing have been laid to rest.
“There are no issues as far as Manny Pacquiao is concerned with Olympic-style drug testing,” said Arum.
“For two years, Manny Pacquiao has said that he would agree to random, Olympic-style drug testing. Manny Pacquiao has said that he would do it.”
– Ring TV