Arum's big plans start with Mayweather-Pacquiao deadline
If there weren't enough obstacles to making boxing's dream fight, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Nov. 13 in Las Vegas, promoter Bob Arum has added another: a Friday night deadline for Mayweather to express interest in making the fight.
There are already questions about whether Mayweather will accept Pacquiao's slight concession to allow a blood sample to be taken from him 14 days before the fight -- he previously had said he'd give blood no closer than 24 days before the bout -- and there's rumblings the unbeaten "Pretty Boy" would rather not fight again until next year.
Mayweather's uncle-trainer, Roger Mayweather, has a pending Aug. 2 trial date in Las Vegas which could result in him being forced behind bars and indefinitely unavailable for the first fight of the century.
And Pacquiao's interest in participating is also a question mark, given Arum's current talks to stage an alternate Nov. 13 fight for the Filipino superstar against Tijuana's Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC super-welterweight title in either Monterrey, Mexico, or Abu Dhabi -- which earlier this year hosted an Ultimate Fighting Championship card.
The foreign venues are required, of course, because Margarito doesn't have a license to fight in the U.S. after nearly taking plaster-loaded gloves into a January 2009 fight against Shane Mosley.
"A lot of money," Arum said of both site offers.
Now, Arum has thrown the Friday deadline into the Mayweather-Pacquiao fray, claiming, "We've got to get moving," as if announcing the fight later next month wouldn't still result in a live-gate sellout and massive pay-per-view buys for the anticipated showdown between the man considered the world's best pound-for-pound fighter (Pacquiao) and the unbeaten Mayweather.
Team Mayweather is keeping quiet. The man the fighter has designated to promote him, Richard Schaefer, is declining comment, and Arum said he's currently not even talking to Schaefer.
Be prepared for a second round of disappointment in these talks, after they earlier crashed in January over the drug-testing disagreement.
It won't stop Arum from making a profit, however, as he announced Wednesday to The Times and others that he's constructing plans for a Dec. 4 card at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas to be headlined by a middleweight bout between former champion Kelly Pavlik and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who impressed last month while defeating John Duddy.
"Chavez will go to the Phillippines to train with [Pacquiao trainer] Freddie [Roach], and then come back here to conclude his preparations," Arum said.
The Dallas card could also include the winner of the Sept. 18 Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez fight in a featherweight battle, Arum said.
Of course, if Mayweather surprisingly triggers interest in Pacquiao, Arum said he will try to shift Margarito against Miguel Cotto in a rematch of their 2008 classic, or Cotto could face welterweight champion Andre Berto.
Big plans. And first, a big deadline.
-- Lance Pugmire