Arum blasts Floyd's May 2 date as 'disrespectful' to Mexicans

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2014 04:59 PM | Updated as of Dec 15 2014 09:33 PM

A potential roadblock to the highly anticipated Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather showdown has surfaced after Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum said he does not like the fight date set by the American superstar.

Mayweather, in an interview with Showtime, declared that he wants to fight Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, a few weeks after the "Pacman" publicly called on him to "step up" and agree to make the bout that fight fans deserve.

According to a report from RingTV.com, Arum does not believe that Mayweather and Pacquiao should fight on May 2, which is the Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Instead, Mexican prodigy Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is the one who deserves to fight on that particular date – possibly against Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto.

"Let me tell you something, and this, I really feel very, very strongly about. That weekend celebrates Cinco de Mayo, which is a Mexican holiday, which commemorates the outstanding, courageous stand of a lot of Mexican civilians who turned back the French Imperial army," Arum said, noting that the weekend is a "significant holiday" in Mexico and among Mexican-Americans.

"That being said, neither Mr. Mayweather, nor Mr. Pacquiao, nor Mr. (Miguel) Cotto, who is Hispanic, but not Mexican… the only Mexican in that group is Canelo Alvarez, who is a big attraction among the Mexican people," he added.

Arum said fighting on May 2 is tantamount to "poaching" the date from Mexicans.

"To poach that date… shows a terrible disrespect for the Meixcan people, both those living in Mexico and those living in the United States," said the Top Rank boss.

"And anybody who does the poaching ought to be ashamed of themselves. That goes for hotels and that goes for fighters, and that goes for any of us. I'm willing to make that statement," he said.

Mayweather has fought in the last three Cinco de Mayo weekends, missing out only in 2011. He also fought in May 2010.

Alvarez, who lost to Mayweather when they fought in September 2013, has already agreed to terms to fight Cotto on May 2, according to his promoter, Golden Boy's Oscar De La Hoya. They are now waiting for Cotto to agree to the fight.

De La Hoya also expressed his support for Arum's stance regarding the May 2 fight date.

"Bob has promoted boxing for more than 50- years and understands the importance of the Mexican and Mexican-American fan," said De La Hoya, also in RingTV. "Canelo wants to take back the tradition and fight on Cinco de Mayo for his fans all over the world."

Arum, however, made it clear that because he is not a fan of fighting on Cinco de Mayo weekend, does it mean that he won't participate in the negotiations of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

"I'm just saying that it's poaching on a Mexican date, and it's disrespectful to the Mexican people. Period," he said.