Ross Greenburg Tried to Put the Mayweather/Pacquiao Fight Together
By Ryan Dunn: There has been plenty of mud slinging of late, following the second failed attempt to put “the fight” together between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the #1 and #2 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport (you choose the order).
Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions set a deadline for Team Mayweather to make a decision as to whether or not he wanted to fight Pacquiao. Mayweather let this deadline pass, then casually stated he wasn’t thinking about boxing after all was said and done. Arum held a midnight press conference to explain what the deadline meant, how the exclusivity had now expired. He soon moved forward to put a fight together for Pacquiao’s November 13th fight date. It is looking like Antonio Margarito will be the likely opponent.
During this press conference, however, Arum repeatedly suggested that he had been working with HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg as a mediator for the negotiations with Mayweather. Here’s what Arum had to say:
“I have had a couple of conversations with Ross and I laid out all the terms that would be acceptable to our side and I also informed him about the concession that Manny had made about drug testing. He got back to me in a couple of weeks and told me he had discussions with Al Haymon, representing Mayweather, and that everything looked good. We were nearing a resolution. The subsequent conversations with Ross detailed to me discussions he had with Al Haymon. Nowhere were the names of Richard Schaefer or Golden Boy mentioned”
Soon after this press conference, however, Leonard Ellerbe — Mayweather’s advisor and conditioning coach — stated that negotiations never took place at all. In Haymon’s own words:
“Here are the facts. Al Haymon, Richard Schaefer and myself speak to each other on a regular basis and the truth is no negotiations have ever taken place nor was there ever a deal agreed upon by Team Mayweather or Floyd Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquiao on November 13. Either Ross Greenburg or Bob Arum is not telling the truth, but history tells us who is lying.”
Okay then. So is Bob Arum is a pathological liar with nothing to do with his days but to outright deceive the fans? I have to admit, there was some shred of credence to Ellerbe’s accusations, and we all began to wonder. But what did Greenburg have to say about this? If Ellerbe was to be believed, then that meant Ross was just thrown under the bus by Arum.
Well, it turns out Arum and Greenburg are either partners in deceit, or Ellerbe is the one living under a cloud of delusion. Ring Magazine’s website recently put out a brief statement from Greenburg himself. Here’s what he had to say about the “negotiations” between the two camps:
“Fights like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao are significant because of these fighters’ ability to connect with sports fans around the world. It’s unfortunate that it won’t happen in 2010. I had been negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2nd, carefully trying to put the fight together. Hopefully, someday this fight will happen. Sports fans deserve it.”
At the end of the day, the end result remains the same. Floyd doesn’t want to fight right now. That’s fine. But why not let the fans know this back in May? How about in June? Or maybe sometime this month before the deadline? Why did he choose to stay silent while all other parties work diligently to put him in the squared circle against the Fighter of the Decade. Why did his manager put out a statement denying these negotiations ever happened? Fans worldwide are clamoring for this fight, but Floyd apparently isn’t even thinking about it.
We may never know the details of what was agreed to or not, but one thing we do know is that at least one person in these failed negotiations has a serious problem with the truth. I’ll let you guys decide who it is, now that you have the facts from all three parties.
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