Thursday, December 3, 2009

Arum: No final date on Manny megabout

MANILA, Philippines
- As the world awaits his decision regarding his next fight, Manny Pacquiao was busy rushing the final scenes of his upcoming movie “Wapakman” in Manila yesterday.

The greatest boxer in the planet today arrived in Manila from Gen. Santos City at around 1 p.m. but instead of seeing his promoter, Bob Arum, he donned his “Wapakman” costume and faced the cameras.

Arum took a very long flight from Las Vegas and arrived in Manila yesterday morning. But as of presstime he has yet to sit down with his fighter.

Arum is in town to present to Pacquiao the details of his possible fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and if the reigning pound-for-pound champion could do the fight on March 13 or May 1.

The Top Rank president also clarified upon his arrival in Manila that it may be “premature and inaccurate” to say that a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on March 13 is already sealed.

He holds a press conference this afternoon with officials of giant TV network ABS-CBN which recently struck a deal with Top Rank Promotions.

There are two dates, March 13 and May 1, being considered for what should be the biggest fight in recent history, but the 2010 national elections in the Philippines, where Pacquiao is eyeing a congressional seat in Sarangani in Mindanao, is standing in the way.

“If Manny fights on March 13, it means he should be training two months before that. He might have a hard time focusing because he’d be thinking about the elections,” said the boxer’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal.

Gacal the other day told The STAR that Pacquiao had already decided to fight Mayweather, or whoever it may be, after the May elections.

“But you know Manny. There could be changes. The last thing he said, however, is that he doesn’t want to fight as soon as March 13 or May 1. As of today, nothing has changed. He wants to focus on the elections,” said Gacal.

Pacquiao, according to his lawyer, might meet Arum late last night or today. Even Gacal has yet to talk to Arum who, according to reports, has struck a deal with the Mayweather camp regarding a fight even if no contract has been signed yet.

Freddie Roach, the Filipino’s chief trainer, is not too cool on a March fight if it’s Mayweather. He said they need more time to prepare if it’s the undefeated American they’re going to face next.

Aside from the elections, Pacquiao’s birthday on Dec. 17, the Christmas holidays, Jinkee Pacquiao’s birthday on the first week of January and a planned family vacation will make it difficult for the boxer to agree on a March 13 fight with Mayweather.

Because if he does, it means he should be in serious training by the second week of January.

“Again, it may be very difficult for Manny to train for Mayweather and thinking of the elections – unless he is running unopposed,” said Gacal.

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