Bob Arum: Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will have to be late May
There've been no recent discussions to stage a blockbuster fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, according to Pacquiao's promoter, but a Nevada judge Friday allowed the unbeaten Mayweather to delay his scheduled 90-day jail sentence that was to begin this week so he can have what his advisor calls a "mega-fight."
"It seems to me to be bizarre, but who am I to say?" Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said Friday after Clark County Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa ruled that Mayweather could delay serving his sentence for domestic violence misdemeanors until June 1.
Mayweather's attorney, Richard Wright, argued in court that Mayweather has reserved May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for a major fight.
Saragosa said in court: "Mr. Mayweather has an obligation to this court. Given the fact that Mr. Mayweather has these obligations, I am going to grant your request."
Following the judge's ruling, Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe issued a statement: "We are pleased that the judge granted postponement of Floyd's surrender date so that he can fulfill his commitment to Las Vegas to deliver his promised mega-fight and the economic benefits it provides to the community."
Asked if there was any doubt that "mega-fight" means Manny Pacquiao, Ellerbe said, "We'll make an announcement about who we're going to fight next week. We just came out of the ... court hearing. Give us a chance to catch our breath."
Representatives for what most people believe to be the world's top two fighters have tried and failed three times to stage a fight over the last two years, with drug testing, old business rivalries and promotional disagreements sabotaging each attempt.
Arum is boarding a flight to the Philippines to meet with Pacquiao on Sunday to discuss the Filipino congressman's next bout.
Earlier this week, Arum said he wasn't planning on Mayweather being available for a late-spring bout, and was going to discuss possible fights against Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson or Miguel Cotto with Pacquiao.
Now the discussion has changed.
"May 5 is out for us, it can't happen, because we want to explore the idea of getting a [temporary] stadium/arena up on the streets of Las Vegas that can seat 40,000," Arum said. "The end of May is a possibility."
Arum said he's intent to explore the idea of the larger outdoor venue because "having the fight in a 40,000-seat arena rather than a 16,000-seat arena seems like a no-brainer."
Additionally, Arum said Pacquiao is still healing from a deep cut over one of his eyes that he sustained in the Marquez fight.
"I don't know that he's on schedule to start sparring until the beginning of April," Arum said. "That's one of the things we'll discuss. If it is early April, we'll have to have the fight in late May."
Asked if he was cynical about Mayweather's interest in truly wanting to fight Pacquiao, Arum said, "I have no idea."
Asked if Pacquiao wants Mayweather, Arum said, "Yeah."
If the fight every boxing fans wants to see can't materialize, Mayweather might opt to fight someone like Robert Guerrero, a top junior-welterweight contender from Gilroy.
"I know people want to see Pacquiao, but if that fight can't happen, I'm going to shock the world and beat Floyd Mayweather," Guerrero said.
Photo: Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz in their WBC welterweight title fight last September in Las Vegas. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images