It looks like the highly anticipated mega bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will continue to elude fans, even before negotiations between both fighters' camps have begun.
According to ESPN.com, Leonard Ellerbe, one of Mayweather's advisers, and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer both said they were notified via e-mail Monday that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank was not interested in negotiating a date for Pacquiao to fight Mayweather. The e-mail came from retired federal Judge Daniel Weinstein, the mediator who has worked closely with the two sides to settle numerous lawsuits and issues in recent years.
After Mayweather knocked out Victor Ortiz in his return to the ring after 16 months off in September, and Pacquiao had won a controversial fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday against rival Juan Manuel Marquez, the time seemed ripe for the two to agree to the highest-money fight in boxing history.
However, a disgruntled Schaefer said, the time for Arum and Pacquiao isn't now, even if they had said they were open to it before the Pacquiao-Marquez fight on Saturday.
I am sick and tired of Bob Arum twisting the truth, said Schaefer, who then proceeded to invoke Arum's most famous quote. It's another case of 'yesterday I was lying, today I'm telling the truth.'
Schaefer said Weinstein informed him and Ellerbe in the e-mail that Top Rank isn't interested in immediate talks for a possible Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and will instead be pursuing a rematch between Pacquiao and Marquez.
This is obviously as clear as it can be that they have no intentions of making a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, Schaefer said. Therefore, Floyd Mayweather will have no other choice than to move on and identify and lock in another opponent for his ring return on May 5.
Ellerbe told ESPN.com that he and Schaefer would begin exploring potential opponents for Mayweather on May 5.
We have a number of options, and we will evaluate that and give the fans the biggest fight we can give them, said Ellerbe. But before we can get started [on a Pacquiao fight], Top Rank doesn't even want to listen. They're not even interested in Floyd Mayweather. They want no part of Floyd Mayweather. They have no interest in the little fella fighting Floyd. Manny Pacquiao needs to stand up, in my opinion, and tell his promoter that he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather next and stop hiding behind his promoter.
Schaefer said he wanted to have Weinstein help finally make the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight happen. First, because he is trusted by both sides and intimately familiar with the problems between Golden Boy and Top Rank, which are rival promotional companies, and second, because Arum would be more level-headed negotiating around a former judge.
Judge Weinstein is respected by both parties and mediated issues between Top Rank and Golden Boy before, so the plan was to see if he could help facilitate such a fight, Schaefer said. Floyd's team really wanted to get this fight done.
Arum told ESPN.com that he knew nothing about an email and claimed that nobody from Top Rank had communicated anything about making -- or not making -- a mega bout.
In my opinion, you have three cowards -- Bob Arum, [Pacquiao's trainer] Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao, Ellerbe said. All along we know why the fight isn't being made. This is the perfect opportunity. Both guys just fought. This is the fight the fans want to see, and it's a disgrace that they are not willing to give the fans what they want.
In my opinion, there are three reasons why Arum doesn't want the fight. He knows there is no way that Manny Pacquiao can win, it kills his cash cow, and he wants to do in-house fights where he controls both sides. I said all along why this fight hasn't been made to this point. Manny Pacquiao knows, Bob Arum knows and Freddie Roach knows.
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