Arum says Mayweather vs. Pacquiao can happen in 2014
By Chris Williams: With his fighter Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) having lost his last two fights and starting to show his age at nearly 35, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is suddenly very interested in trying to put together a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. for 2014. Arum thinks it’s possible to make that fight happen next year, but only if Mayweather is willing to take a step forward to try and meet him halfway.
It makes a lot of sense for Arum to be pushing hard for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight now because with each loss that Pacquiao suffers, he gets nearer to the end of his career.
Even if Pacquiao chooses not to retire, he’ll no longer be in the position to talk about a Mayweather fight if he keeps getting beaten over and over.
Arum said “On our side the answer is yes [the fight can be made in 2014], we’re very open to it. There are ways it can get done, they have to dumb down the rhetoric, we are prepared to dumb down the rhetoric and get it done. There is no real impediment to having that fight happen whether it will or not depends completely on the Mayweather side.”
Whether the fight happens isn’t all on Mayweather’s side. Arum had the chance to put together a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao last year, but then Arum blew it by talking about an outdoor stadium that would need to be built and how Pacquiao wasn’t healed up from a cut he had suffered. Mayweather made a $40 million offer to Pacquiao, but he turned it down and got much less to face Tim Bradley. Arum had the opportunity to put together a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao in 2010, but Pacquiao was unable to agree with the random blood testing for performance enhancing drugs that Mayweather wanted at the time.
That was Pacquiao’s best chance of getting the fight because Mayweather had agreed on everything, even a 50-50 purse split. But Arum had Pacquiao move on and fight Top Rank stable fighter Joshua Clottey for a tiny fraction of the money that Pacquiao would have made against Mayweather. That has got to be one of the worst blunders in the history of boxing. I imagine Arum wish he could turn back time to revisit the negotiations for that fight, because I think Arum would readily agree with the conditions that Mayweather was asking for back then.
Pacquiao won’t be in the position to get the Mayweather fight in early 2014. Beating Brandon Rios, who is coming off of a loss to Mike Alvarado, won’t be nearly enough to get the fight with Mayweather. Pacquiao has to actually beat some good fighters and I don’t think Arum has the quality guys in his stable that will change Mayweather’s mind about him thinking Pacquiao isn’t the same fighter. Pacquiao would probably have to beat guys like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Keith Thurman for him to get Mayweather’s interest, but Pacquiao probably couldn’t beat either of them, even if Arum could get those fights for him. Those Golden Boy fighters, so it would be almost impossible for Pacquiao to face either of them.