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Category: Manny Pacquiao

Bradley on Pacquiao fight: 'Waiting for this my whole life'

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Timothy Bradley agreed in principle Thursday to fight Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, fulfilling a lifetime ambition for the unbeaten, Cathedral City-based world junior welterweight champion.

"This is about being the No. 1 fighter in the world, and that's what my goal has been for as long as I can remember," Bradley said. "I've been waiting for this my whole life." 

Bradley declined to reveal terms of his agreement, which he said could be signed as early as Friday, but fight promoter Bob Arum said there was no reason to doubt that Bradley will have around the same $5-million guarantee that Pacquiao's most recent two opponents  had.

Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) kept his eyes on this prize through a contentious 2011, when he split with  promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson and turned down a likely $1.5-million payday last June against England's Amir Khan to instead pursue a chance at a more lucrative date against Pacquiao.

When another round of talks failed to generate a super-fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- who's scheduled to fight Miguel Cotto May 5 -- the 28-year-old Bradley emerged as the front-runner for Pacquiao.

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Timothy Bradley agrees to fight Manny Pacquiao

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Timothy Bradley has agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Bradley's wife, Monica, said the boxer and his manager, Cameron Dunkin, are finalizing specifics of the deal and are expected to sign a contract later this week.

Cathedral City's Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) is the World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion.

The fight against Pacquiao will be a welterweight fight at 147 pounds. Bradley fought at welterweight against Luis Carlos Abregu on July 17, 2010, and won by a unanimous decision.

Pacquiao (54-3, 38 KOs) selected Bradley after negotiations to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. crumbled again last month.

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Lots of blame to go around for failed Mayweather-Pacquiao bout

Bob Arum: Agreement near on Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Timothy Bradley, right, throws a punch at Joel Casamayor during their WBO junior welterweight title fight Nov. 12 in Las Vegas. Bradley defeated Casamayor in eight rounds. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Bob Arum: Agreement near on Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight

Manny Pacquiao

Promoter Bob Arum said Monday that negotiations to stage a Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas are nearing completion, with an announcement coming as soon as Tuesday.

"It can be difficult dealing with a guy [Pacquiao] so many time zones away in the Philippines, but I feel very good about this and think I'll be in a position to announce something by [Tuesday]. I just have to get all the ducks in a row," Arum said. "I just need a complete sign-off from Manny."

Arum huddled with Pacquiao manager Michael Koncz and Bradley manager Cameron Dunkin during the weekend in San Antonio, where 14,000 fans at the Alamodome watched Arum's middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and new World Boxing Organization champion Nonito Donaire win bouts.

Efforts to stage a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. super-fight crumbled again as they bickered over the fight date, how to split the purse and various other items, although Arum says -- to the great skepticism of some -- that he'll work feverishly to make the bout in November.

For now, Pacquiao, coming off a less-than-convincing victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in November, will fight at 147 pounds. Bradley, the unbeaten junior-welterweight champion from Cathedral City, has defeated the likes of another junior-welterweight champ, Lamont Peterson, along with Devon Alexander and veteran Joel Casamayor.

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Photo: Manny Pacquiao. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press

Lots of blame to go around for failed Mayweather-Pacquiao bout

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Oscar De La Hoya referred to me as "Lance Arum" Wednesday on Twitter. The Golden Boy's business partner, Richard Schaefer, has instructed me to "lose my number." And an exasperated Bob Arum just asked, "How many times do I have to tell you this?"

Yes, tensions run high when you're conducting the postmortem on how to squander more than $100 million.

Schaefer is upset that I didn't pay enough attention to what he says is the fact that Arum repeatedly dismissed the idea that Schaefer was truly representing Floyd Mayweather and fully authorized to negotiate a deal for a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Don't refer to Schaefer as Mayweather's promoter, however, because that makes Mayweather upset. He's his own promoter. Get it?

Before he stopped talking to me Thursday, Schaefer told me Wednesday, "Since 2007, I've promoted Floyd's fights, and all those people who've tried to circumvent and short-cut me ... this makes it clear that we are a real team. Stop trying to circumvent. When they did that, again and again, it shows me [that Pacquiao's negotiators, i.e. Arum] don't want the fight. It's time to realize that I, [manager] Al Haymon, [advisor] Leonard Ellerbe, we all work with Floyd. And if Arum wants a fight with Floyd, he know clearly knows who to deal with."

Schaefer deserves congratulations for responding to the Pacquiao talks going south by luring Arum's expired fighter, super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, to create the best possible bout short of Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Cotto avenged his tainted 2008 loss to Antonio Margarito with a decisive victory in December, and the 31-year-old's body-punching talent and sharpened boxing does make him a legitimate threat to hand Mayweather (42-0) his first loss. And Schaefer said this will be "the first of many" Cotto fights under Schaefer's Golden Boy Promotions banner.

But May 5 is not Mayweather-Pacquiao, and that's what everyone wanted.

The fingers pointing at Arum are credible. He made a big deal of wanting to avoid a May 5 date so he could try to build an outdoor venue for the super-fight, but he knew Mayweather had a June 1 report-to-jail date, and that a fight of such magnitude did not absolutely require an extra month of publicity to boost pay-per-view sales, which would've been astronomical.

Arum compromised the deal -- perhaps fatally -- by not striking a more conciliatory tone with his bitter business rival Schaefer, especially after Mayweather publicly encouraged Pacquiao's representatives to deal with Schaefer. Talk of an outsider emerging and promising to guarantee Mayweather millions of dollars for the fight was a fairy tale.

"Don't you understand?" Arum said. "Mayweather told us not to deal with anyone unless he tells us to deal with them. If Mayweather said, 'You deal with Richard Schaefer,' we would do that. But I'm not going to call someone when Mayweather tells us, 'Don't negotiate with anyone unless I tell you.' Schaefer had no contract with this guy. He's absolutely overblowing his importance. He's acting like he's an indispensable guy, when he's hired for a fee and not acting as a traditional promoter."

It actually would've been best if the two fighters got together in a room like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield did, haggled out the outline of a deal, and ordered their people to make the fight.

Now Arum is moving on to a Pacquiao fight against Cathedral City's unbeaten junior-welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley, meeting in San Antonio on Thursday with Pacquiao manager Michael Koncz and Bradley manager Cameron Dunkin.

"It's a good fight -- fresh face [in Bradley], undefeated guy," Arum said.

Bradley may have a fresh face, but the act and blame game has grown very stale.

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Photo: Manny Pacquiao. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press.

Manny Pacquiao manager: Mayweather declined 'prize fight' deal

FabforumFloyd Mayweather Jr. told a boxing news website Wednesday that he offered Manny Pacquiao a $40-million guarantee to accept the sport's most anticipated super-fight, also telling BoxingScene.com that "we didn't even talk about the back end."

That sparked a strong reaction Wednesday from Pacquiao manager Michael Koncz, who met privately with Mayweather in Las Vegas and engaged the fighter in telephone conversations before Mayweather officially turned to Miguel Cotto as his May 5 opponent in Las Vegas.

"I must break my silence to the media about our discussions, because both Floyd and I agreed not to discuss these dealings," Koncz said. "Since Floyd is unfairly chastising Manny, I can confirm he did offer Manny a $40-million guarantee, with $20 million up front.

"But when the back end [pay-per-view profits] wasbrought up, he said we didn't need to discuss the back end, that 'we can discuss it at a later time,' which I took as 'There is no back end.' "

Richard Schaefer, who has helped Mayweather promote all of his fights since 2007, dismissed Koncz's role as a key negotiator in the process, responding to Koncz's claims by saying, "Michael Koncz? Who ... cares? All those people trying to circumvent and short-cut me, this [Cotto deal] makes it clear we are a team with Floyd.

"It's time to realize we are with Floyd, and if [Pacquiao promoter] Bob Arum wants a fight, he knows now who he needs to deal with. Do you think Michael Koncz is going to [do anything] without the approval of Bob Arum?"

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Bob Arum: Mayweather 'isn't in the picture' for Pacquiao in spring

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Boxing promoter Bob Arum Monday said Floyd Mayweather "isn't in the picture" to fight Arum's boxer Manny Pacquiao in May.

"They don't want to fight in late May," Arum said of the Mayweather camp. "It's dead for May, so we should sit down with everybody, let Mayweather fight someone else May 5 and we'll fight someone else June 9, and then let's get a signed contract for [Mayweather-Pacquiao] in November. That's a win-win for everybody."

Arum additionally narrowed the pool of potential June 9 opponents for Pacquiao to world super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and World Boxing Council junior-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of Cathedral City by announcing he's finalizing another bout.   

Arum says he has struck a preliminary deal to stage a junior-welterweight title fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and champion Lamont Peterson later this year at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas. The date will either be in May or July, Arum said.

"I just got off the phone with [Peterson manager] Barry Hunter," Arum said, assuring that Peterson will not participate in a discussed May 19 rematch at Staples Center against England's Amir Khan, whom Peterson defeated by a controversial decision in December.

"So if you eliminate those two [potential Pacquiao opponents] and Mayweather isn't in the picture, you can do that math," Arum said.

The promoter said he'd like to announce Pacquiao's next opponent by Feb. 7 and have the fighters start a national publicity tour after Feb. 18.

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Pacquiao promoter: 50-50 split with Mayweather a must

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An email to an ESPN anchor believed to be sent by Floyd Mayweather Jr. clarified a Wednesday night telephone conversation between Mayweather and his possible opponent Manny Pacquiao, with the emailer maintaining that Pacquiao's hopes for a 50-50 split in a super-fight "can't happen."

If that stance is true, Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, said Friday that the fight can't happen.

Arum, contending that Pacquiao draws more pay-per-view fans, more fans to the arena and has a proven track record to bring more high-rollers to Las Vegas from international locales, said Pacquiao was "content" to split the pot equally, but in no way deserves to take less.

ESPN reported earlier Friday that Mayweather had emailed anchor Stan Verrett to expand upon what transpired in his phone conversation with Pacquiao.

ESPN.com quoted the email as saying, "I called him and asked him about us fighting May 5 and giving the World what they want to see. I also let him know we both can make a lot of money. He asked about a 50/50 split and I told him no that can't happen, but what can happen is you can make more money fighting me then you have made in your career. I also let him know I'm in control on my side but he needs to get on the same page with his promoter so we can make this fight happen.

"I told him to tell his promoter that he only wants to fight Mayweather and that this fight will be the biggest fight in history. His [manager, Michael Koncz] came to my boxing gym a few months ago and we spoke about getting the defamation of character lawsuit dropped against me and about both fighters taking the random blood and urine test. I spoke to his manager again last night about the same thing. The call last night lasted 15 or 20 minutes. I mainly spoke to his manager, he got on and off the phone real quick."

Arum said if Mayweather's adamant on the position of requiring more than 50%, the promoter will likely announce next week a late-spring date for Pacquiao (likely June 9) against an opponent from a field that includes Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez or Lamont Peterson.

Pacquiao this week told Arum which of the four he'd like to fight if making the Mayweather bout again proves impossible. Arum, at this point, is declining to reveal the name of the alternate fighter.

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--Lance Pugmire

Photo: Floyd Mayweather Jr. presents Stephanie Kirby, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Southern Nevada, a ceremonial check for his donation of $100,000 on Wednesday at his gym in Las Vegas. Credit: Jeff Scheid / Associated Press

Floyd Mayweather Jr. tweets 'I'm ready to fight Pacquiao 5/5/12'

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. sent out three more tweets Tuesday making it clear that he doesn't want to hear about fighting Manny Pacquiao in late May or early June, or concern from Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum that Mayweather lacks a guarantee to encourage him to engage in the super-fight.

"I'm ready to fight Pacquiao 5/5/12. Bob Arum know the date can't change. I have my guarantee. Call Schaefer and Al and stop lying to the public," Mayweather wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

The post was in response to Arum repeating that a late May or early June fight date makes more sense so he can explore the construction of a 40,000-plus-seat venue on the Las Vegas Strip for the bout that would pit boxing's top two pound-for-pound fighters.

Mayweather, scheduled to begin a 90-day jail sentence June 1 for his involvement in a domestic violence episode, has tentatively booked MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for May 5.

Arum has also said Mayweather lacks a financial guarantee to accept the bout, which Arum has said is hurting Mayweather's ability to commit to the bout.

Instead, Mayweather is claiming he has the guarantee and is urging his former promoter -- they had a bitter parting -- to contact other Arum adversaries Richard Schaefer, chairman of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, and Mayweather manager Al Haymon, to craft a deal.

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Pacquiao expected to finalize opponent choice this weekend

Manny.300It doesn't mean Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a go for late May, but Pacquiao is scheduled to decide this weekend whether he'll agree to terms for the long-awaited super-fight.

Boxing officials close to the situation but unauthorized to discuss the Filipino superstar's plans publicly told The Times on Tuesday that Pacquiao has said he'll retreat to a remote location, pray and determine his 2012 schedule.

One of the officials said there's a "good chance" he'll ask for Mayweather in late May, which would be significant because neither has officially said yes to the fight and terms such as a guaranteed share of the share, the weight classification or other details.

Mayweather, scheduled to appear in Las Vegas on Wednesday to donate $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen foundation fighting breast cancer, has posted Twitter messages calling out Pacquiao and urging him to "Step up punk." That doesn't rise to the level of agreeing to the type of general terms Pacquiao is closing in on.

"He wants Pacquiao, and there's still hope it can happen," promoter Oscar De La Hoya said of Mayweather.

De La Hoya's company, Golden Boy Promotions, has helped promote all of Mayweather's fights since Mayweather edged De La Hoya by split decision in 2007 in what was then the most lucrative bout of all time.

De La Hoya poured water on the contentions of Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum that Mayweather needs someone to step in and guarantee Mayweather a certain amount of money for the fight, and that it's best to work toward a late-May, early June date so a 40,000-plus-seat outdoor stadium can be constructed on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Mayweather to Pacquiao: 'Step up punk'

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced on Twitter late Monday night that he "just won $400K on Alabama, the new National Champs." He awoke Tuesday and repeated his case for a bigger event: a super-fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather has tentatively reserved May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a fight date. His attorney last week sought to postpone his scheduled Friday incarceration date for a 90-day jail term so Mayweather could keep the fight date.

That date, Mayweather said on Twitter, should be with Pacquiao.

"Manny Pacquiao, I'm calling you out let's fight May 5th and give the world what they want to see," Mayweather tweeted.

The world's top two boxers -- Mayweather is unbeaten in 42 pro fights, Pacquiao has dominated the sport for the last six years -- have tried and failed three previous times to stage a bout, with camps from both sides blaming the other for not truly wanting the bout.

Pacquiao looked very human in his close unanimous decision in November over rival Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said afterward that he would seek a fourth fight against Marquez in the late spring rather than a megafight against Mayweather, who was facing the uncertainty of a domestic violence case.

A Nevada judge sentenced Mayweather to 90 days behind bars, but then allowed him to delay his jail time until June 1.

"My jail sentence was pushed back because the date was locked in," Mayweather tweeted in calling out Pacquiao. "Step up punk."

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Bob Arum: Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will have to be late May

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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.

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--Lance Pugmire

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

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