Manny Pacquiao knows what Top Rank chief Bob Arum won’t say—Floyd Mayweather is the only fight worth making.
“That’s a better match,” Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin of the proposed May 5 date with his American rival.
Pacquiao was pleased to hear that Mayweather’s jail term would be deferred until June. He implied that he would be interested in resuming negotiations for May 5, stating, “[T]he question now is if we can agree.”
The Filipino congressman’s comments come just days before a meeting with Arum to discuss options for his next bout. Despite Pacquiao’s seeming willingness and desire to talk with the Mayweather camp, Arum has repeatedly called discussions for May 5 a no-go for a litany of rather dubious reasons.
Instead, Arum told reporters that Pacquiao would fight on June 9 or 16 against Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez or Lamont Peterson.
Bradley, the long-reigning 140-pound champion, recently signed with Top Rank, and Peterson, also a junior welterweight, is coming off of an upset victory over Amir Khan. Cotto has won three in a row since being stopped by Pacquiao in November 2009. Marquez is campaigning to add a fourth fight to his storied history with Pacquiao.
Pacquiao and Arum have taken a lot of heat from boxing fans and analysts for apparently avoiding Mayweather. After originally stating that his charge would be ready to fight in May, Arum reversed course, saying Pacquiao would need until June once news broke that Mayweather received a continuance on his sentence.
However, Pacquiao’s comments show further divisions between the fighter’s inner camp and his promotional managers. It remains to be seen whether Pacquiao will take a stand against Arum’s plans for him.