Manny Pacquiao delays next bout to May 7
Manny Pacquiao met with his promoter and his business manager Tuesday in what was described as "full, exploratory meeting," and the Filipino superstar boxer is prepared to decide his next opponent by Friday, promoter Bob Arum said.
But that fight will be delayed by nearly a month, it was learned, because of Pacquiao's congressional obligations. The announced April 16 bout will now be held May 7, the weekend of Cinco de Mayo. The site will remain the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The man considered the best pound-for-pound boxer told Arum that his duties as a congressman in the Philippines makes the April date too difficult to fulfill. Pacquiao typically trains for eight weeks before a fight.
As for who he will fight, the talks are ongoing.
Holding a world junior-middleweight belt that is his record eighth weight-class title, Pacquiao is considering bids by Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto, Arum said.
"I know where he's headed, but it's not right for me to divulge yet," Arum said. "Until it's conclusively decided, I'm not going to say anything."
Arum also warned not to read anything into the new date that Marquez would be the choice.
Arum and Pacquiao's business manager, Michael Koncz, have made it no secret that they prefer Pacquiao fight Mosley in the absence of the legally troubled Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 39-year-old Mosley, currently a world welterweight champion, has generated rich pay-per-views as the B side to bouts featuring Oscar De La Hoya and Mayweather. Mosley has looked awful in his two most recent fights, however, a one-sided loss to Mayweather and a sluggish draw against Sergio Mora in September.
World lightweight champion Marquez, meanwhile, has fought Pacquiao to a 2004 draw and 2008 split-decision loss, and he's shined in bouts this year against Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis.
Pacquiao's handlers want to avoid such a tough battle against Marquez with the mega-pay day against Mayweather Jr. still possible pending his legal trouble in Nevada for allegedly striking the mother of his children and threatening his children.
Following dinner at a Chinese restaurant in the Philippines, Arum said he presented information to Pacquiao at the promoter's hotel suite. Pacquiao often says his promoter determines whom he fights.
"I do have a lot of influence based on logic, but Manny has to determine what's logical," Arum said. "He relies heavily on me, but I'm not going to tell him to fight 'X' when he wants to fight 'Y.' "
Arum wouldn't say that's the scenario at play.
What about Mayweather? Is that officially dead?
Arum said he's heard "zero" from the Mayweather camp.
"If Floyd was promotional minded, he'd come here for Manny's birthday party [Friday] and come out of the cake saying he's ready for the fight," Arum said. "That would make a huge statement."