Arum books April 20th for Pacquiao; Mayweather fight now more unlikely than ever to happen
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum sat down with him recently and the two decided that Pacquiao’s next fight after his December 8th bout with Juan Manuel Marquez will take place on April 20th next year. That sounds reasonable enough. However, the move by Arum will likely make it all but impossible to land a mega fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr, because Arum didn’t check with Mayweather to see if he would be okay that date.
Arum told the Manila Bulletin at Mb.com.ph “I have talked with Manny and we agreed to hold his fight [next year] on April 20th.”
This whole thing about setting absolute dates for when Pacquiao will be fighting is a real negative in terms of putting a potential Pacquiao-Mayweather fight together. When you have a fight as big as that you don’t just throw out a date and say this is why my fighter Pacquiao will be in the ring next, because that just makes it look like Arum is trying to dictate the dates. We already had Arum talking about how an outdoor arena had to be built in Las Vegas for a fight between them to take place in May of this year. This was initiated by Arum, whereas Mayweather was okay with just having the fight take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In the end, the fight didn’t happen, although not just for this reason.
If Arum really wants to put Pacquiao in with Mayweather next year then he needed to discuss with his management when Mayweather would be available for a fight with Pacquiao instead of putting down a firm date like April 20th and saying this is when my guy is fighting. Of course, Mayweather isn’t going to bother trying to fit himself into that date because he likely won’t want to be seen working on Arum and Pacquiao’s schedule instead of something that the two fighters work out among themselves.
Arum’s April 20th won’t matter one bit if Pacquiao can’t beat Juan Manuel Marquez on April 20th. If Pacquiao loses that fight then you can already pencil Marquez in for the April 20th date because it obviously won’t be Mayweather. Pacquiao will have to fight Marquez again because the Filipino can’t walk away from two losses in a row. He already walked away from his loss to Tim Bradley without trying to avenge it, but if he does it with Marquez, Pacquiao is going to look really bad. Anyway, Mayweather isn’t going to fight Pacquiao on April 20th next year if Pacquiao beats Marquez, you can bet on that. Mayweather is going to take that move by Arum of setting a date for Pacquiao’s next fight as a strong indication that Arum doesn’t want to put Pacquiao in with Mayweather.
It’s hard to disagree with that because a blind man can see that’s the wrong way to go about trying to set up a fight with Mayweather. Arum just selecting a date for Pacquiao and then assuming Mayweather will come running to fight on that date seems to indicate that Arum might not want to see his cash cow Pacquiao fight Mayweather. It’s either that or maybe Arum doesn’t realize that he’s not dealing with one of Pacquiao’s opponents, who would readily agree to anything just to get a fight with him, but rather a fighter with even more popularity than Pacquiao.