Manny Pacquiao's promoter: 'I'll do my darndest' to make Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight
Manny Pacquiao's veteran boxing promoter, Bob Arum, returned from the Filipino's surprise congressional election victory and declared Wednesday that "I'll do my darndest" to make the super-fight the sports world has anticipated between Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Arum declined to respond to reports that Pacquiao has softened his stance on accepting drug testing inside of the 24-day pre-fight deal he agreed to before negotiations to stage the bout collapsed earlier this year. Mayweather wants both fighters to be subject to blood and urine tests for performance-enhancing drugs through fight night.
"I'm not going to negotiate this through the media," Arum said.
Arum did say that "Manny is definitely going to fight in November," and that he has already reserved Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas on Nov. 13 for the bout if both sides can agree to place the fight there.
They didn't the first time, with Mayweather promoter Golden Boy Promotions pushing to set the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Arum has in the past criticized Golden Boy for its stubborn loyalty to MGM because it places other fights -- such as the ugly April 3 Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones Jr. rematch -- at MGM/Mirage properties.
But he was less confrontational about the issue Wednesday, listing MGM Grand as one of "two sites we would be looking at."
"I love [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones, but I'll advocate putting any fight of Manny's in the place that it makes the most sense," Arum said, noting that Cowboys Stadium can accommodate more people with cheaper ticket prices.
Golden Boy Chief Executive Richard Schaefer has countered that a major fight in Las Vegas has an added excitement factor, boosting pay-per-view sales.
"Negotiations are negotiations, Arum said, without revealing when official talks will begin. "Let's see what happens. We have a plan."
Meanwhile, Arum said he was energized by Pacquiao's election victory over the son of a powerful Filipino family, Roy Chiongbian, and praised Pacquiao's ability to connect with the masses and his commitment to help his countrymen.
"At 35, he can run for Senate, and at 40, I'm sure he'll be president of the Philippines," Arum said.
The distraction of politics, Arum said, can be handled by Pacquiao in the free time he has formerly invested in singing and billiards.
"When he is training, he runs in the morning, sleeps, goes to the gym, eats, then has his free time," Arum said. "His free time will now be devoted to his political responsibility. He'll have plenty of time to do his politics."
Arum said the Filipino Congress is in session in July, then is "off for two months."
During the down time on the campaign trail, Arum said Pacquiao presented his "marching orders" for a bout with Mayweather and his boxing future.
"My belief is he'll engage in three more fights," Arum said.
As for Mayweather, Arum said he wants badly to make the fight that so many Filipinos urged him to arrange, and that he anticipates he'll start working with the Mayweather camp "sooner rather than later."
-- Lance PugmirePhoto: Bob Arum, right, with Manny Pacquiao in March. Credit: Chris Cozzone / AFP / Getty Images.