A Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight could be the biggest bout in boxing history, but the prospect of the fight actually coming together is looking more and more grim.
The fighters had circled a May 2 date for the long-awaited showdown, but it appears that the two may once again reach an impasse in negotiations. Pacquiao and Mayweather, Jr. nearly agreed on a fight in 2009 — and even had a detailed, eight-page agreement drawn up — but it fell apart after Pacquiao objected to Mayweather’s request for drug testing.
Now it appears the second chance at a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight could go the same way. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said that Manny has a backup fight planned for May 30 if the Mayweather bout falls through.
“A lot of places around the world want to host a Manny Pacquiao fight,” Arum said. “He’s an international icon, and I have been approached by a number of people looking to host a Manny Pacquiao fight.”
Arum himself has become a point of contention in negotiations for the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Mayweather’s camp is reportedly leading a campaign to push Arum out of the picture. Arum had served as Mayweather’s promoter until 2006, when the two parted on bad terms.
Though Pacquiao hasn’t nailed down what opponent he would face if the Mayweather bout can’t go through, it seems likely that former unified junior welterweight title holder Amir Khan would get his shot at Pacquiao. Other potential opponents include Russian Ruslan Provodnikov or Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
While the fight is still coming together behind the scenes, Manny Pacquiao traveled to London to meet with Prince Harry. Arum said the meeting could lead to a fight in the U.K. — Khan’s home country.
“Prince Harry has a group looking to put on a Manny Pacquiao fight in London,” Arum said. “Khan would certainly make sense, and it’s an interesting fight. But remember — all that is a backup plan. We are still trying to nail down the Mayweather fight. We need Mayweather to say yes.”
Time could be running out to secure the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Pacquiao’s camp reportedly wants the deal to be inked by the end of January, which they believe is the time needed to put the likely $300 million-plus bout.