Pacquiao's promoter starts "Countdown Clock" for Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao's promotional company has inserted a "Countdown Clock," onto its website, giving Floyd Mayweather Jr. until midnight as Friday turns to Saturday to express any interest in participating in a tentatively planned Nov. 13 super-fight in Las Vegas.
"For seven weeks, it's been silence," Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said, of the decision to install a deadline for Mayweather action. The clock is connected by a headline reading, "Money" Time: Mayweather's Decision.
Mayweather is in the midst of a charity camp at his Las Vegas gym this week, but neither he nor his advisor were available for comment Thursday.
His promoter, Richard Schaefer, said he saw the countdown clock and was , "laughing my [rear] off.
"There are a few clocks I'd like to put up, too, but we won't go there."
Schaefer declined to comment when asked if Team Mayweather will contact Team Pacquiao before the midnight deadline arrives Friday night.
"Our information is that [Mayweather] wants to fight next year, which is his prerogative," Arum said. "I'm not saying it's now ... or never, but we want Manny to fight this year. And if Manny is successful, he'll fight Mayweather next March, May or June, whenever they're ready."
One source close to the situation said Arum was capable of announcing a new fight for Pacquiao by Monday, but Arum refuted that, saying he would talk with Pacquiao during the weekend and discuss how to proceed if Mayweather fails to express interest in making the bout.
The top alternate options for Pacquiao would be either a rematch with super-welterweight world champion Miguel Cotto, whom he defeated in November by 12th-round TKO, or, most likely, a bout against former world welterweight champion Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC super-welterweight title. That would give a victorious Pacquiao a record eighth weight-class belt.
The problem remains, however, that Margarito has not been re-licensed to fight in the U.S. since California revoked his license in February 2009. Margarito's hand wraps were confiscated before he fought and lost to Shane Mosley at Staples Center, and plaster-hardened inserts were found inside the wraps, the California State Athletic Commission reported.
Margarito appeared at a Friday Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing requesting a license, but the commission tabled his request and directed him back to California for approval.
California can't consider his request by its next meeting July 26 in Sacramento because the agenda is already set, and Arum said he's been told the commission may not meet in August.
Instead, Arum said he is considering asking Nevada for a one-time, conditional use license in Nevada if Pacquiao wants to fight Margarito in Las Vegas instead of other possible destinations, Monterrey, Mexico, or Abu Dhabi.
"We're not going to make that pitch if Manny wants to fight Cotto again, but if we make the pitch, we think they should grant it," Arum said. "It only means about $100 million to the local economy. Let's be real here."
Photo: A screen grab of the countdown clock on toprank.com.