Some boxing analysts believe that Manny Pacquiao’s two-year contract extension with Top Rank has all but doomed a possible superfight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., but promoter Bob Arum insists that this is not true.
Arum and Top Rank on Wednesday announced that the “Pacman” had signed a contract extension with the company until December 31, 2016, with the Filipino superstar potentially fighting twice a year.
“Manny is family. We’ve been together since 2005, we got a great relationship, and we’re delighted that we will be together until the end of Manny’s career,” Arum said in an interview with 8 Count News.
Some believe, however, that Pacquiao’s contract extension with Top Rank will kill "any hopes of a showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the term of the deal,” as ESPN’s Dan Rafael wrote.
The two camps remain far apart on several issues, and Mayweather has also repeatedly expressed his reluctance to deal with Arum, his former promoter with whom he had a bitter falling out. The unbeaten American works exclusively with Golden Boy Promotions, the chief rival of Top Rank.
But Arum believes the fight remains possible even with Pacquiao under contract for two more years. “I would be happy for Manny to fight Mayweather at any time during that period,” he said
The promoter said all it takes to put the fight together was to negotiate in good faith and leave behind the “childish” notions that had prevented them from working together in the past.
“All it takes is to sit down at the bargaining table, stop making threats, stop saying, ‘We’re not gonna deal with this guy or that guy,’ which is kind of stupid. Sit down at a table and try to work out a deal, how hard is that?” Arum said.
“Give us a call and set a time for negotiating. We’ll negotiate in private. Everything, all options will be on the table, and we’ll see if we can work out a deal,” he said.
Despite Arum’s optimism, there are still several issues that will block a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, including the American’s lucrative deal with Showtime/CBS. Most of Pacquiao’s fights have been shown on rival network HBO.
More realistic than a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is a fifth edition of the Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez saga. The Mexican legend recently dominated Mike Alvarado to become the number one contender for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight belt.
Arum says Pacquiao-Marquez V is “not necessarily” a done deal, noting he has yet to talk to both fighters.
“I have to meet with Manny probably around the 26th of May… We’ll decide who he’s gonna fight and what he’s gonna do,” Arum said. “Certainly, Marquez is the leading candidate. We’ll be talking to Marquez as well.”