Friday, December 4, 2009

Manny Pacquiao agrees to March 13 date for Floyd Mayweather

I just spoke with that "Man on a Mission" Bob Arum, and he says all systems are go for what he called “The Fight” or “Super Fight of the Century” between his charge Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. on March 13.

Or, to put it another way with a sporting analogy, you know that ball that was supposed to have been fired into Manny’s court?

After a two-hour sitdown session with Pacman and his agent Michael Koncz in Manila on Friday, the Mayweather serve has been returned with Roger Federer-like force and is now back on Mayweather’s side of the negotiating net.

“I have to now talk again with Richard Schaefer to button everything down,” Arum said.


Is the path then clear to putting this big attraction down on paper, preparing bout contracts, I asked the Top Rank honcho?

Keeping in a sports setting, Arum then shot back a football analogy.

“Yeah, if there is no stumbling going into the end zone, yeah,” Arum said.

“I think this fight is what boxing needs. This fight is what will keep boxing on the front pages.”

The quick date means, Arum revealed, that talk of constructing a 30,000-seat outdoor arena on the Strip by casino magnate Steve Wynn and some other Vegas power brokers is academic now.

Marvin Hagler and John "The Beast" Mugabi fought on a rainy
March 10 date in Las Vegas (AP Photo)“You can’t go outdoors in Vegas on that date (1986) because of the weather,” Arum said. “Do you remember when I did the John Mugabi-Marvin Hagler bout? The people were wearing garbage bags because of the rain. We held that fight on a March 10 date.”

Arum said the off-the-Strip Thomas & Mack Arena is not available March 13 because of a college basketball (Mountain West) tournament.

This information may strengthen the negotiating hand of the MGM Grand Mirage Group which wants to host Pacquiao-Mayweather at its MGM Grand property in the familiar confines of its about 18,000-seat arena.

Arum, the Mayweather camp and broadcaster HBO are also going to do site inspections of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans and in Arlington, Texas, at “Jerry’s World” as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ new football playpen has been nicknamed.

All things considered, I say keep your money on Nevada rather than New Orleans or the Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington Metroplex because neither of those sites can offer the number of incoming flights nor the 150,000 hotel rooms that a hungry-right-now Las Vegas does.

But we shall see.

One venue that has been chosen is New York, location TBA, for a January 11, 2010, press conference.

“It’s one press conference, in the Big Apple, and that is it,” Arum said.

With the inherent superstar quality of this bout, there is no need for the usual multi-city dog and pony show.

I told you putting this monster match together would be rather simple.

It’s on unless Mayweather fumbles the ball.

Arum flies back to Las Vegas on Sunday.

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