Wednesday, December 2, 2009


CEBU CITY -- Hall of Fame boxing promoter and Top Rank President Bob Arum, who arrived in the Philippines early Thursday morning from Las Vegas, will have a crucial meeting with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao today in Manila. Arum is trying to close the highly anticipated Pacquiao-Mayweather fight by personally coming to the country. Pacquiao, who filed his certificate of candidacy Tuesday as a congressman in Sarangani for the May 10, 2010 elections, is currently in General Santos and will arrive Manila this afternoon (Thursday morning Pacific time).

Earlier reports indicate that Floyd Mayweather Jnr, who was represented by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer in the negotiations, had agreed to terms to fight Pacquiao, a fight that is expected to set new pay-per-view records that the prospect of it being made had catapulted boxing back into the mainstream consciousness with a buzz never before seen since the Ali-Frazier-Norton-Foreman and the Leonard-Duran-Hearns-Hagler eras.

The parties in the negotiating table, according to reports, were looking at a May 1, 2010 fight date but with Pacquiao making good his promise to run in the May 10 Philippine elections, the fight had to be pushed earlier to March 13, 2010. Pacquiao's lawyer Jeng Gacal, however, had earlier issued a statement to Philippine Star, which he confirmed to Pacquiao confidante Wakee Salud this morning, that Pacquiao had said "there will be no fight" before the May 10 elections.

"If Pacquiao will not fight Mayweather in March or May, Mayweather will fight Shane Mosley next," Salud, who is with Arum at the Rennaisance Hotel in Manila today, told The Mayweather-Mosley fight of course will happen only if Mosley wins his fight with Andre Berto on Jan. 30 in Las Vegas. "And there's no guarantee that Mayweather will beat Mosley," Salud said.

"Suppose Mosley wins over Mayweather, a Pacquiao-Mosley fight is not as big as Pacquiao-Mayweather fight," Salud continued. "And everyone will miss the 'Fight of the Century'."

That leaves 77-year-old Arum, who had staged some of the biggest fights in boxing, to wave his magic on the political aspirant from Sarangani to agree to a deal to fight Floyd Mayweather Jnr before the May 10 Philippine elections in a crucial meeting later today in Manila.

Meanwhile the world is holding its breath.

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