Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Manny Pacquiao To Be Canceled? Arum Angry Over Hotel Contract, Tickets
Just a month from realizing a five-year dream of boxing fans everywhere, could the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Manny Pacquiao fight be canceled at the last minute after all? Bob Arum, the 83-year-old fight promotion kingpin who handles Pacquiao, raised exactly that alarm on Wednesday.
But boxing fans can rest easy. Before the day was out, Arum’s concerns appeared to have been alleviated. Phew!
So what happened? Arum gave an interview to Yahoo! Sports in which he griped openly that even though the fighters had finalized their contract weeks ago, the promoters of the historic megafight still has no signed deal with the hotel staging the fight, and the matter of who gets how many tickets from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas remained unsettled.
At least as of Wednesday afternoon, that glitch put the whole fight on the cliff’s edge, as far as he was concerned.
“Fight? We’ve got nothing. They’re going around saying, ‘The fight, the fight, blah, blah, blah,’ but they got nothing,” Arum told Yahoo! Sports in a tone described as “thunderous” by the site.
“They have no contract. Nothing. We haven’t even seen a draft. What is happening now is absolutely intolerable. For the MGM to think that everything is resolved and so forth, when nobody has even discussed terms, is the most insane thing ever,” Arum roared.
Asked if the fight itself could be canceled, Arum put that unsettling possibility squarely in play.
“I don’t know anymore,” he said. “I’ve never been in this area before.”
Arum’s outburst drew a quick and sharp, if somewhat bemused, response from his co-promoter — and rival — Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s company, Mayweather Promotions.
“The fight’s not in jeopardy,” Ellerbe said, reassuring the boxing public in a separate interview Wednesday. “We have a separate deal with the venue which we’ve negotiated, and everything with the site is separate from the contract the fighters signed. Everyone knows what everyone’s supposed to get. We’re talking tickets and hotel rooms. I don’t understand what his sense of urgency is. He’ll get his tickets and his rooms.”
In fact, Ellerbe added that the actual fight tickets arrived in a shipment to the MGM Grand only on Wednesday.
By later in the day yesterday, however, Arum had appeared to calm down. He told Yahoo! Sports that he received the contract in question that same day and it was already with his battery of lawyers for scrutiny.
After all that, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight is not canceled and will indeed go ahead as scheduled on May 2. At least until Arum’s next tantrum.