After a brief ray of hope last week, the likelihood that a Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight will actually take place in 2015 suddenly appears remote at best, as reports out of the fighters’ camps now say that negotiations to make the fight, which seemed to finally be picking up steam last week, have now run off the rails once again.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum places the blame squarely on Mayweather and his camp — which is not surprising to boxing observers, because Arum also Mayweather’s promoter until the two split acrimoniously in a blizzard of lawsuits and accusations in 2006. The two have never resolved their differences, and since then Mayweather has been scrupulous about avoiding any business with Arum.
“There are issues that should be solved in 10 minutes, but it’s a slow dance,” Arum told ESPN.com boxing correspondent Dan Rafael on Monday. “We send one draft to their side and their lawyer sends back a draft with something else that’s an issue. And there doesn’t seem to be any urgency about it on their side. It’s terrible.”
But Mayweather and his team have earlier claimed that Arum himself is the main impediment to getting the fight deal finished, which would allow both fighters to begin their training camps for what would be easily the biggest fight — and biggest payday — of either boxer’s career.
Mayweather and Pacquiao appeared to kick start the fight negotiations last week after a coincidental meeting at an NBA basketball game in Miami attended by both men.
The two exchanged personal contact info and later held a face-to-face meeting in Pacquiao’s Miami hotel suite. Those developments led to an announcement by Arum that the deal would be done “in a couple days.” Media reports appeared to confirm that the fight contract was, in fact, finalized.
But those reports had to be retracted after Mayweather himself took to his social media accounts to denounce them as “lies.”
One popular sports site, Deadspin, wrote on Monday that Arum may be sabotaging the fight on purpose, by his repeated declarations that Mayweather fears fighting Pacquiao and is deliberately ducking the fight.
Deadspin writer Iron Mike Gallego notes that the 83-year-old Arum is likely not motivated by the need for more money — Arum has a reported personal net worth of $200 million — or prestige, having ruled as the sport’s most powerful promoter for the past four decades.
At the same time, Gallego notes, Arum has a history of feuding with his former fighters — as in his much-chronicled dispute with Oscar De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions, until recently, refused to match fighters in its stable against any Arum-controlled fighters.
“The only one involved in these negotiations who doesn’t seem to want this fight to happen is the person who needs it least, Bob Arum,” wrote Gallego. “He’s also the last person seemingly still fighting his hardest to prevent it from happening.”
Regardless of who is responsible, fight fans hoping to finally see a Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao matchup, a fight first proposed in 2009 only to see talks fall apart then too, appear likely to be looking at another disappointment in 2015.