Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has brought a lot of negative attention towards his number one client, Manny Pacquiao, due to his refusal to negotiate with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Arum’s recent antics have rubbed many hardcore boxing fans the wrong way, and many now feel he’s trying to protect his main money maker from the sports pound-for-pound best.
Even though Pacquiao has stated that he wants to fight Mayweather, he hasn’t been vocal enough with his promoter. With boxing fans slowly starting to turn against him, Pacquiao now insists Mayweather is his number one priority.
“I am meeting with my promoter, Bob Arum on Tuesday,” Pacquiao said in an interview with Philboxing.com. “I will insist that the fight with Mayweather be given the preference than the four others in the list I will fight next. It’s not really fair for some quarters to blame me if, in the long run, the fight wouldn’t push through. When Arum sits in the negotiation table, he will be laying on the table all the conditions we want, which, everybody knew already are simple. That I will abide by his demand for drug testing. I am even agreeable to get lesser purse just so the fight would push through. In other words, as far as my side is concerned, there will be no problem. We know, too, that Mayweather has no promoter. He negotiates by himself. So if the fight won’t be realized, it’s no longer because of me.”
While it’s good Pacquiao has restated his intentions to fight Mayweather, he seems to be leaving a window to back out of the fight. Implying negotiations might not work out, simply because Mayweather negotiates for himself, is simply inaccurate.
Mayweather is as business savvy as it gets in boxing (second only to Oscar De La Hoya), and his main issue with Pacquiao has been the Filipino boxer’s refusal to take random pre-fight blood tests.
I’m pretty sure Mayweather would sign a contract to fight Pacquiao with a 50/50 split, and he certainly wouldn’t mind getting a bigger cut. If Pacquiao sticks to his word and forces Arum to negotiate for the fight, boxing fans should be in for a historic night on May 5.