Sunday, December 6, 2009


The Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, an encounter everyone has long been waiting because of its potential to become the most lucrative in history, is on.
If plans don’t miscarry the 12-round encounter that is expected to break the existing record 2.4 million pay-per-view, which, incidentally is held by Mayweather in his fight against the now-retired Oscar De La Hoya two years ago, will be held March 13.

Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank left Manila yesterday after a brief three-day visit here to talk with Pacquiao and bringing with him an offer from Mayweather, which, the Filipino boxing hero could not refuse.

Neither Pacquiao nor Mayweather had signed the dotted line, but Arum said that would only be a formality and that he will be talking to Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer as soon as he arrived in the United States Monday (Tuesday in Manila) about the nitty-gritty of the contract.

Arum refused to disclose how the mega-purse will be split although a leaked report said it will be divided evenly between the protagonists. The fight will be at the welterweight limit 147 pounds and a pair of eight-ounce gloves will be used.

Reports spread quickly Friday that the much-anticipated fight between the top two finest pound-for-pound fighters in the world will push through after that Arum-Pacquiao meeting at a Makati Hotel.

Such reports stemmed from an interview with Pacquiao by a television network where the seven-division champion was quoted as saying “March 13 is OK.” Surprised by the fast development, Pacuiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach, who was very vocal in his opposition to a March date, nevertheless welcomed the reports.

“We're happy it could be happening, but I'm surprised it's happened so quickly,” Roach told The Los AngelesTimes’ Lance Pugmire via a telephone conversation from Britain where one of his fighters had a fight date over the weekend.

Arum said that next Thursday he, Schaefer and the head of HBO Sports, Ross Greenburg, will visit Cowboys Stadium, one of the venues bidding to host the fight.
A big press conference has already been scheduled January 11.

Pacquiao himself said the talk between him and his promoter went well even as he affirmed that no signing of the contract took place as there are still some things to be ironed out.

“We agreed to everything in principle, but there are still some finer points that need to be negotiated. Bob is going to take all of this back to Floyd Mayweather and then, hopefully, it will be all worked out. We believe that the deal will get done,’’ he assured.

He said running for congress will not affect his preparations as well as the movie “Wapakman” he is presently shooting.

“Yes, I am. I'm not worried about that. The filming of the movie will be completed on Dec. 9, and the movie is scheduled to be released on Christmas.

“I am fine. I will be healthy. My hand was only bruised, but there is not going to be a problem with it,” he said in reference to his ruptured eardrum and broken right hand suffered in his fight against Miguel Cotto. “Also, my ear will not be a problem. I know my body, and I would never do anything to seriously jeopardize my health.

“If Manny says yes, if Manny is ok for March 13, then I say, I’m also ok,” Roach said, adding, ”we’ll have to start training after New Year’ day so that we can get our customary 10 weeks in I guess we will have a month in the Philippines then the remainder in my gym at Wild Card.”

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